“If my people
who are called by my name
will humble themselves and pray and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways,
I will hear from heaven
and will forgive their sins
and restore their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT
Every day our local and national news is filled with depressing reports of moral decline on every level. Our automatic response, mentally if not also verbally is, “Isn’t this terrible! What’s this world coming to?” Added to this destructive cultural landslide are the irresponsible financial practices - nationally, corporately and individually. Unless things get turned around, this nation is headed for God’s judgment.
Our natural response is to point fingers, and lay blame on others. “It’s those people that are responsible – they need to change their ways.” Today’s scripture sees the problem in a different light. As believers we affect our surroundings either positively or negatively, our responsibility is to be a positive influence.
Our key verse today starts with an “If” which makes it a conditional promise. Some conditions must first be met before it will be fulfilled.
The conditions are not directed to those people the general public, but are specifically directed toward God’s people; “my people who are called by my name” – believers, that’s you and me.
The first condition God’s people are called upon to meet is to “humble themselves and pray.” The clear implication is, our pride and self-sufficiency stand in the way of God restoring our land. We as believers – His Church - need to admit that our need is beyond human help, and start crying out to Him for help; wholeheartedly seeking His face.
Seeking His face is longing for an intimate relationship with Him where we become more and more aware of His purity and holiness, and painfully aware of the impurities in our lives; sins we have ignored or even made excuses for in the past, now we see them in all their wickedness.
But if we truly want Him to restore our land it will take more than for God’s people to just see their wickedness – we will have to turn from our wicked ways. This is a call for repentance – a 180° turn from our sin.
So: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”
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