“If my people, who are called by my Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14)
As I sat in the church service on Wednesday night and listened to a beloved sister share from the Word of God, 2 Chronicles 7:14 was impressed upon my heart. The preacher’s emphasis was prayer – the urgency to pray more and to believe in God’s mercy to meet our needs. Our sister eventually quoted 2 Chronicles 7:14, but sometime before she did, I was reminded of the verse and it brought tears to my eyes.
I have read and quoted 2 Chronicles 7:14 many times, but there was something else that the Lord wanted to show me. As followers of Jesus Christ, the onus is on us to create the atmosphere for God to do more in and around us.
“If my people…, then I will hear…”
As Christians, we become very outraged by the innumerable acts of ungodliness that surround us. We are troubled that: there are so many broken families; too many children are rebellious and disobedient to parents and are disrespectful to authority; man devalues life and will take it in a flash; so many people betray one another and destroy relationships; there is such a great push to make homosexuality mainstream, when only a few years ago it was considered an “alternate lifestyle”; some people actually support abortion generally and partial-birth abortion specifically; some leaders are so dishonest and corrupt and they hide who they really are to maintain their hold on power; too many people judge people by the color of their skin and by their beginnings; … The list goes on.
I will concede that we live in a world of good v. evil, righteousness v. sin. The fact is that there is an enemy at work to destroy man – “The Devil comes to kill, steal and destroy.” However, what I believe God wants us to know is that we have a greater responsibility, as Christians, to make some things happen.
2 Chronicles 7:14 states that when God’s people humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, then God will act – forgive and heal. The sad fact is that too many of us are not humble, are not praying, are not seeking God and are full of “wicked ways”. Ouch! That was painful to write.
Here is the plain truth: too many of us walk around with unforgiveness and bitterness towards a brother, sister, spouse, friend, etc; too many of us consider ourselves to be better than other Christians – we just do not associate with certain people; too many of us walk in constant anger and wonder why our children are so angry; too many of us (husbands) ill-treat our wives (not necessarily physically); too many of us (wives) disrespect our husbands; too many of us belittle the Pastor, even in front of our children; too many of us cheat at home, work and elsewhere; too many of us care only about ourselves; too many of us are simply too hypocritical… The list goes on.
Here is the crunch: God will do more through us and impact our world for good, when we, His people, humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways.
As a young believer I believed that I should not mix with unbelievers – don’t hang with them, play with them, etc. That was stupid. How can we impact without contact? Now that I know better, there is something that is even more important than having contact with unbelievers – being Christlike among them – not just on Sundays.
Yes, I know. I know. I know. We are imperfect as Christians and will make mistakes. True! Our attitude, therefore, should not be one of arrogance or condemnation. However, if we constantly strive to love others, care about others, and demonstrate Christlikeness, they will know. They will be impacted.
Think about how many of us profess Christianity. In spite of the thick darkness in our world, we can make a difference in each of our little corners. Light always penetrates darkness – always!
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Now let’s think about that…