Whenever God called for a time of Prayer and Fasting, it was often because His people had gotten ‘off track’. They had taken Him for granted, and had done the very things He’d told them not to do. Sometimes this involved intermarriage with people of different religious and cultural backgrounds (thereby weakening the family’s Spiritual Identity). Sometimes it involved adopting the cultural, moral and relational practices of the nations around them (thereby compromising on His standards laid down in the Law), and sometimes it had been due to outright worship of the ‘gods’ of the nations around them. This specific sin was a direct insult to God and a ‘slap in the face’ to He who had shown them love, forgiveness and grace throughout their history.
Once, during the celebration of the dedication of the Temple that Solomon had built the Lord gave them this warning:
“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this Temple as the place for making sacrifices. At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you.” (2 Chronicles 7:12-13)
He warns them in this chapter that there may be a time–if they are unfaithful to Him and their promises of worship–that He may send natural disaster or foreign armies upon them. He may withdraw his blessing, then His protection, then He may send discipline, then if they still remain rebellious, He may send his wrath.
This is actually for His glory and their good.
BUT when He does all this, they can control how bad it gets by their response!
He also promises this: “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place.” (2 Chronicles 7:14-15)
He says that, in those times, if His people will do 4 things, he will move again.
What are those 4 things?
1) Humble themselves: (Admit their arrogance, admit their taking Him and His blessing for granted; admit their foolishness and rebellion.)
2) Pray: (Openly cry out to Him and verbally, consciously admit all of this and take responsibility for it; Give Him praise and honor that He deserves)
3) Seek My Face: (Seek Him again, ridding themselves of all things–pursuits, desires, behaviors and thoughts–that have cause them to move away from Him. Seek a renewed, loving, intimate relationship with Him again.)
4) Turn from their Wicked Ways: (Turn around–toward Him again. Renounce and abandon their compromise and sin. Declare their intent to give Him His rightful place again. Commit themselves again to living as His people, according to His Word.
THEN He promises that He will do 3 things: 1) Hear them; 2) Forgive them; and 3) Heal their land.
In America today, we need the Church to do these things–not so much on behalf of the Country, but on behalf of the CHURCH! WE are the people of God, and WE have compromised. We have become friendly and comfortable with the World around us to the extent that it has influenced us, not the other way around. We have ceased being the ‘salt of the earth and the light of the world’ (Matthew 5:13-16), and have instead adopted the behavior and standards of our world.
We–the Church–needs to repent!
We–the Church–need to admit our sin and ask His forgiveness!
We in the Church need to humble ourselves and renew our faith and commitment.
WE need to give Him His rightful throne again!
So what about you?
Are there ways that YOU have adopted the standards and practices of our culture?
Are the ways you have compromised the true faith and have sacrificed it for stuff of this world?
Are there specific sins you’ve grown accustomed to, and grown used to?
What can YOU do to ‘Humble Yourself, Pray, Seek His face, and Turn from your wicked ways?
Pray about this. Write down what He moves you do.