2 Chronicles 7:14 is an incredibly powerful scripture: “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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Notice that this is an if/then statement. God says if you do this, then I’ll do that. In other words, we are active participants in this equation. God says He will hear us, forgive us, and heal us, “if…” we do four things. What are those four things?
- HUMBLE OURSELVES
Someone once said that “humility is not thinking less of myself, but rather it is thinking of myself less.” One of the major problems in our country, and in family relationships, is the same thing that got Lucifer thrown out of Heaven: pride. Humankind has a pride problem; we are stuck on ourselves, convinced of our own awesomeness. Narcissism and arrogance and egocentrism run rampant in our world. We need to reserve the throne of our lives for God, not ourselves. We need to worship God as King, and not ourselves. The Bible speaks often of the virtues of humility, meekness, and selflessness. We need to ask God to help us grow in humility and drive out hubris in every form. Humility will transform your marriage, family, relationships, and faith. Let’s all ask God for more humility.
We need God’s help. Our world, country, state, community, church, and individual families need God’s intervention in so many ways. The Bible challenges us to pray without ceasing, to ask for wisdom, to devote ourselves to prayer, and to align our hearts with Christ – through prayer. It has been said that we need to work like things depend on us but pray like things depend on God. There are things we must do, but there are many things that only God can do. We need to pray for God’s intervention. Zoom outward and pray for the world. Zoom inward and pray for your church family and personal family. Prayer changes things. God hears when we pray.
- SEEK HIS FACE
Worshipping God and living to glorify Him is our chief goal in life. We need to seek after Him through studying His Word and following His Ways. Our goal in life is to live for God and to have a heart that beats after His. We seek His wisdom, blessings, strength, heart, and will. We seek after many things in life, but we need to seek after the Lord most.
- TURN FROM OUR WICKED WAYS
Repentance is literally turning 180 degrees and going in a new direction. There are sins of omission and sins of commission that we’ve all been guilty of. God wants us to turn to Him and turn from sin. This is for individual people, families, groups of people, and governments as we read about in the Bible. Sin stains and sours and sickens us. We need to be free, cleansed and healed spiritually by turning from sin and turning toward God. I love the Bible prayer, “cleanse me from every sin and set me free.” That is a tremendous prayer to pray as we turn from our wicked ways.
God is always faithful to do this part. We, unfortunately, are not always faithful to do our part. As far as it depends on you and me, let us fully engage in being regular practitioners of these four spiritual disciplines. They are things we must do as an ongoing practice of our faith and discipleship.