“IF MY PEOPLE…who are called by MY NAME….will HUMBLE themselves, PRAY, SEEK MY FACE, and TURN FROM their wicked ways, I WILL HEAR from Heaven, FORGIVE their sin, and HEAL their land!” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Such simple words given by God to Solomon for His people in that time. Yet, this verse reveals, in principle, a revival prayer applicable to God’s people in any age. When a nation, a people, an individual, falls into sin of any kind, these words are the Heavenly prescription that God gives to those who are called by His Name.
Almighty God is Holy. He is a righteous God Who cannot and will not look upon sin or remain in the midst of it! His Majesty is clothed in holiness and righteousness, and He calls HIS PEOPLE to walk in His ways…to seek His thoughts and to be humble – continuously - before Him! God – our Creator – has the Authority to call for this to be so in the lives of those who are His People! He would not command of us something that was impossible to do. But it can only be truly fulfilled…if we live in His way!
As a child growing up in a small town Southern Baptist church, I remember the very first song recorded in the Broadman Hymnal that was used by our congregation. It was called Holy, Holy, Holy. I remember the song before I recalled the lessons I learned from the Bible! The song, based upon Scriptural truth, taught me (at a very young age) something very significant about God and that was His Majesty and His character of holiness and righteousness. He is High and lifted UP; and He is GOD, in three Persons, Blessed Trinity! I have never questioned this Truth since my childhood! It has always been a true revelation to my heart upon which I place great value. I never question this very important Truth that is a sure foundation for the faith I carry in my spirit!
Over 50 years ago, A. W. Tozer, author of The Knowledge of the Holy wrote in the first chapter of his book, “Why We Must Think Rightly About God”. He wrote: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion (belief about God). Man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure, or base, as the worshiper entertains high, or low, thoughts of God!”
So what those of the Church, God’s people, think of God their Creator, Savior, Redeemer, King, and Sovereign is very significant! If we truly believe Him to BE who He actually is, we will give heed to the words He speaks! Throughout His Word, He speaks of His Righteousness, His Holiness, His sinless character and nature, and calls us, His people, to the same qualities.
In 1 Peter 1:13-17 NLT, we find these words which call us – His people – to holy living before God, Our Father: “So (you are to) think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. BUT NOW, you must be HOLY in everything you do, just as God who chose you is HOLY. For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I am holy!”
Most Christian people today throw up their hands and say, “That is impossible! I cannot do that!” And most make all kinds of “excuses” as to why this is the case in their personal lives. However, God is not a man who can lie. He always “says what He means, and means what He says!” He would not ask of us anything that is impossible apart from His help!
We look at the nation, America, today…as well as to the world, at large, and we see: corruption, confusion, contention, lawlessness, brutality, no self-control, and people who love money and pleasure rather than God. Plainly and simply, this is idolatry. The consequences of this are tragedy, disaster, and peril. People are in shock that such evil has overtaken the environment, the culture, and society…yet, God clearly pointed out that this would be the reality when people worshiped “other gods”. He stated in the First Commandment: You shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3-6).
This He spoke to HIS PEOPLE…yet, such things as listed above permeate most of the lives of HIS PEOPLE today…just as they did in Solomon’s day. That is why the words He spoke as the prescription to “heal their land and their lives” is the same…TODAY!
IF MY PEOPLE…who are called by MY NAME (Christians)…will HUMBLE themselves, PRAY, SEEK MY FACE, and TURN FROM their wicked ways….!!! (2 Chronicles 7:14) For “Happy is that people whose God IS…the Lord!” Psalm 144:15
This is where INTENTIONALITY enters the picture! It is NOT a new idea…to God!
Intentionality is a determination …a decision to act in a particular way. It is not accidental. It is a voluntary action. It is purposeful, and God’s people must take AIM to focus upon the Majestic God, who is High and lifted up, Righteous and Holy. What we “look at”, focus upon, is what we draw to ourselves. God has called us to BE HOLY, for HE is HOLY! As we have no other gods before Him; as we humble ourselves before Him, pray, seek His Face, and obediently TURN FROM our wicked ways and acts, God, Himself says that He will HEAR from Heaven, FORGIVE our sin, and HEAL our land (and lives!) Those are His conditions. Those are His ways to REDEEM us from this “mess” and RESTORE all things to His Divine Order!
JESUS is the Truth, the Life, the Way. There is…NO OTHER!
As to intentionality…I must add. Many people have what they would say are “good intentions”…but Godly intention is a “determined action”, not just a weak “hope so” thought or idea! It is the “part” that is our responsibility TO DO! We are to be “doers” of the Word, and not “hearers” only, deceiving our own selves! James 1:22. So many people flippantly say, “God knows my heart”, and yet…fail to act! They fail to apply God’s instructions to their lives in practice. This is a lack of discipline that is our responsibility to act upon!
Intentionally, it is “our obedient part” to yield to the Holy Spirit within us; for only He has the POWER to fulfill the actions we long to take! There is a “part” that only God, the Holy Spirit, can do; and there is a “part” that is ours alone that the Holy Spirit won’t do for us! He does His part…we do ours!
Intentionality! This is not…a new idea to God! It was His Plan for us…all along!
Looking unto JESUS, Sandy
~ Check out my daily pictorial blog on Facebook called 2 Chron714 Network, a page to call God’s People to fulfill 2 Chronicles 7:14 in our day and hour, so He can “hear from Heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land!”