“If 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 and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
~II Chronicles 7:14
We see this verse a lot. But what exactly are we asking when we quote this promise? Are we asking for a return to America’s former prosperity and season of blessing? When we think and pray this passage are we focused on the “then I will forgive their sin and heal their land” part of the equation? What are our motives? Do we just want the material, social, and political success of former eras? Or are we truly desiring the humbling of God’s people, repentance, and seeking of God?
I believe that we gravitate towards this passage because it’s a “if you do this then God will do this” type of promise. We turn this promise into a formula for success, and as a modern, competitive people, we are very interested in formulas. However, this is not how we should approach this verse. We should not desire America to come to mass repentance and humbling before God so that we can merely enjoy the second half of this promise. No! We should yearn to see God’s people whole-heartedly seeking His face and humbling themselves before Him, because it delights God’s heart. Period.
I think we have a false sense that America is (or at least was) the apple of God’s eye. It was the country that had God’s favor and blessing. The nation that was special to God. However, throughout history God has never been interested in nations, kingdoms, and empires. He’s used them to bring about His purposes, but He was never concerned about the rise and fall of kingdoms. God is after people. Individuals, like you and me.
If any nation could claim God’s special favor it would be the nation of Israel. However, even then, God wasn’t concerned about the geographic and political country of Israel, but the people. It’s always been about the people—where their heart is.
So then, why do we worry and fret about our country? Why are we overly concerned about the latest political news or Supreme Court ruling? Why are we pleading for God to restore our nation?
Remember, God’s focus isn’t on the government or political climate of the day. So why are we?
The problem is not with our government, nation, political leaders, or Supreme Court Justices. The issue lies within our Church. The Church as in the entire body of born again believers. We are the focal point of God’s interest, the apple of His eye, and His chief concern. As adopted children of the living God and the spiritual Body of Christ, we have a responsibility to live worthy of our high calling. God has set a high standard for us, which He expects us to meet.
But when we don’t meet that standard, when we bend under the pressure of the culture’s dictates and compromise, when we allow the world to infiltrate the holy ground God had sanctified in our hearts, we cross over to the enemy’s camp. The Bible clearly states that if we’re not completely for God—as in standing resolutely on the principles God stands for—then we are against Him. There is no middle ground.
But you may say, “Where have we compromised? In what ways have we given into to the world?” Well, here’s a short, non-inclusive list:
And these are just a few areas. Do you not see how far the American Church as a whole has slowly conformed to the world’s mold?! Now there are definitely people and churches that are not guilty of all the things listed. But did you notice one or two issues that are present in your church or circle of friends and acquaintances?
The words of the Apostle James ring true more now than ever:
“You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
So on this day of National Prayer, pray for the nation, its leaders, its future. But even more earnestly, pray for the Church: that we will return to our first Love, that we will no longer compromise our calling as Christ’s Church, and that we will not allow the influences of the world to make us lukewarm in our faith.
God does not tolerate half-heartedness or lukewarmness. He wants passionate, all in, resolute, and uncompromising advancers of the truth. Are you one of these people? Are you on fire for God and the work that He’s doing?
If not, you better watch out, because Jesus warns us in Revelation 3:15-19:
“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.”
It is time to return—both individually and as a Church. We need a Church passionate about the things of God. We need to humble ourselves and pray not so God will bless America again, but that we might again be a people zealous for Him.
This is what God desires: a people, called by His name, who humble themselves and pray and seek His face. The healing and blessings are merely gifts that He delights in giving us.
So will you be that person? Will you be the friend of God, the passionate, on fire son or daughter of the King of kings? Will you pray for our Church, our fellow Americans, and the world that they may see the need to repent, humble themselves, and seek God?
Now is the time.
“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.”
“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.”
Receive Posts via Email
Today is a day of remembrance and reflection for our country. A time to remember lives lost, sacrifices made, and a war begun. Read more
Guest Post ~ When Stories Collide
Stories are strange things. Because it isn't the big, important people who are usually the main characters; it's not the sunny, lovely days that move the story along. It's the little people who become the heroes. It's the disasters that cause the quest. Read more
The Unrecognized "Royal" Couple
Our world is obsessed with individuals and couples of fame and fortune, super stars and royals; however, there was one royal couple that the world completely missed. Read more