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 them from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Our Father God is a relational, loving God. This scripture is found in the Bible after the first temple in Jerusalem has been completed and King Solomon threw a week-long party. That party led to a walk of shame.
Perhaps what He is saying is that He doesn’t want a fancy building or our constant efforts (works) to impress, serve, or get close to Him. He wants our hearts. He wants our trust. He wants to hear from His children.
He wants us to not call ourselves Christ followers but to be Christ followers. And notice that this scripture points out the if/then equation. Notice that He lines it out very simply.
If we humble ourselves (admit our need for the Savior), seek Him (crave His face, guidance and goodness), and repent (stop doing, saying, thinking and believing the things that lead to our own walks of shame) and call to Him THEN He promises to hear us, forgive us and heal our land.
That’s a sure deal. A sure bet. A guaranteed promise.
Throughout the Bible, He tells us the recipe for a healthy life-a healthy land is to believe and receive. When He speaks about healthy land He is asking us to get right with Him, with others and to share His goodness with the people that don’t know Him. We have the opportunity to do His work alongside Him.
We make that far more complicated through our limited understanding and the things that we have experienced or witnessed in the name of Christianity. Even at that, if we repent (the 5-dollar Bible word for turning from our old compulsive behaviors and actions) He is dancing and celebrating simply hearing our words.
Every promise and prophecy in the Bible has been fulfilled in and through Jesus. His timing may not be the same as ours, but He does what He says He will do. Every time.
We get things so out of order sometimes. We think we have to get our act together or be better or do better to experience the relentless and reckless love of God. That’s religion.
Jesus calls us into relationship just as we are. In and through Him, we will experience healing. In and through Him we will experience the fulfillment of the if/then equation. Humility isn’t the same as weakness. Humility is surrender and right-sized thinking.
Thoughts for the day: How have you already experienced the if/then equation with Jesus? What do you need to stop doing? What do you need to start doing?
Prayer: Father God-thank You that you that You understand our tendency to do the wrong thing. Thank You that You fulfill every promise You ever make. Forgive me for making that so complicated. Help me to let go of the chains of shame and begin to hold up my end of the deal. I humbly admit my need for You today and every day. Amen