II Chronicles 7:14 declares, "...and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
This popular scripture came into being when God spoke to King Solomon just after the dedication of Solomon's temple. It was a glorious event. God's presence had descended and inhabited the most Holy place. The priests couldn't stand up to minister because of His presence. The glory of God filled the whole place in the form of a holy cloud! After several days of celebration Solomon blessed the people (God's people) and sent them to their homes. Shortly afterward God visited Solomon in the night. God said, (II Chronicles 7:12), "I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice." But then God said something surprising. "If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (Verses 13 - 14). In essence God was saying, "If you turn away from Me to wickedness, I will send these things. And...if you humble yourselves, pray, seek my face, and turn away from wickedness, I will hear, forgive, and heal the land."
The key to God healing their land was to turn from wickedness back to Him. It was turning to wickedness that caused the bad stuff in Israel's history. What I love about God's Word is that He establishes immutable, spiritual principles all throughout the Word. There is a solid principle established in this passage. The fact that this is a spiritual principle means it is applied concerning God's people - throughout the ages!
Let's take a look at this principle as it applies to God's people (the Church) today. To see this we must look at II Chronicles 7:14 backwards! The end result is God healing our land. Yes, just in case you don't know it...America needs healing. But America needs healing because the church (God's people) needs healing. Here we go. God will heal our land ONLY if our sins are forgiven. It's God's grace that heals! And how can God forgive our sins unless He first "hears from His throne in heaven"? When God hears from His place in heaven He forgives. But then God will not hear from His place in heaven unless His people "turn from their wicked ways"! There it is. Could it be that our land is infirm because many of God's people are involved in wickedness? Please don't be offended (or maybe you should be), but much of the church today looks no different from the world. Remember, God's people are "in the world...but not of it."
Continuing backwards, the only way to "turn from our wicked ways" is to "seek God's face". To seek God's face is to go beyond normal prayer. To seek His face is to come before Him in brokenness, desiring nothing but Him; not what He can do; just Him. One who seeks the face of God is fulfilling Matthew 6:33, "But seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." One who truly and fervently seeks the face of God simply cannot maintain a heart of wickedness. It is impossible. There is no place for wickedness in our hearts as we seek the face of God. (Worth repeating.) And that is our choice! But how can we truly and earnestly seek His face unless we humble ourselves and pray? The truth is, the process begins with prayer and a true desire to please God; a true desire to turn from the wickedness that degrades our churches, and therefore our land.
This scripture begins with God referring to "His people" as the ones who are called by His name. You are not called to God by your own name. (He may have called your name in some way to get your attention.) But you are called by God's name. Your identity is in Jesus as your Savior. You are saved in His name. You are His purchased possession. In Christ, and in Christ alone you are who and what you are. Your calling is by, through, and for Him! As Paul says, "I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and delivered Himself up for me." (Galatians 2:20) Your life is hidden with Christ in God...your redeemer, deliverer, and healer!
There is a move of God among His people this very day. It is a move to repentance. Many are ready for the "more" God promises if we simply stop living like the world and pursue Him. This land we live in won't be healed without God's people turning back to Him; God's people who are called by His name. The church must answer the call to repentance. Societies like our don't just decline morally over time. The truth is things decline when those who are called by His name fail to live and walk in a manner worthy of His name. If you are like me, your heart is stirring. You've seen enough of the mamby pamby, worldly nonsense the church has been involved in. You are ready to see multitudes catch fire for Him again. John Wesley was asked the question, "How do you gather a crowd?" He quickly responded, "I set myself on fire and people come and watch me burn!" Are others watching you burn? If so, God will heal our land...through you!
Steve is available to teach/preach God's Word in churches, conferences, workshops, special meetings and groups. Some of the subjects include prayer, praise and worship, marriage, missions, etc., among others. If I can serve you please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.