by: Paul Gay
2 Chronicles 7:14 (CSB)
“..and my people, who bear my name, humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”
This is our key scripture for our commitment to “The Return” movement this month in Washington, DC. This movement was begun by several nationally known Christian leaders and ministers to bring international and national attention to our need for revival and recommitment to our Christian faith and heritage.
Now, maybe more than ever, this world and our nation is in definite need of forgiveness of sin and a healing in our land. This healing is not the physical type of healing while this is also greatly needed during Covid-19, but more importantly it is a spiritual healing of our souls that is needed. We need healing in our relationships within races, our families, and our marriages.
As I analyzed this scripture, it occurred to me that there was a sequence to the command of God. It is clear that He was not addressing every human on earth, but instead only those that were His people, those who bear His name. So those who are to act first in this evil time in which we live, are Christians. While we understand that this is an Old Testament dialogue between God and Israel, we also understand that this command holds true for Christians as well. Remember, Christ came to fulfill the OT law, not abolish it. Therefore, we can claim this scripture as something that Christ would also tell us to do in the New Testament.
Notice also that the first act that is required for the promise of God’s intervention to take place is for His people (Christians) to humble themselves. Yes, even before you begin to address and petition God in prayer you must humble yourself! Again, we understand this is something that Christ told us to do in Matthew 23:12 “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
We must first address any bias in our own mind and hearts before we can ask God for anything. We must prefer others over ourselves, we must not think more highly of ourselves over others. We must not think that our righteousness amounts to anything, for indeed our very best intentions are like dirty rags before our Righteous God! We are nothing and He is everything. We must humble ourselves before His greatness and glory, and we must do this FIRST! Do we? Or do we rush in to make our demands and wants known to the Creator before we even examine our own hearts and pride! Maybe we should start our prayers of revival with an introduction of humbleness from our hearts. Recognizing that we are His servants and there is no good in us.
Then, we can pray. Then, we can seek His face. Then we can have dialogue with our Creator. Once we are in the correct form of communication with our Lord, we can then address with humility the sin in our own lives. For without humbleness, you will not see your own sins! We will arrogantly (and wrongfully) think that everyone else sins more than we do.
Just think, in this small short verse, we have not yet come to the part we love to quote so much, the part about what God will do! For it is only after we have done our part, does God say that He will hear in heaven, and only then will He forgive us and heal our land. I tend to think that all of our problems, issues, and needs are driven by our pride, lack of commitment to God, and our sins. This scripture seems to indicate that the healing needed in our land (internationally/nationally) is tied to the forgiveness of our sins. Without first humbling ourselves as a people and a nation, we will never ask for forgiveness and no healing can occur.
Start today, remind yourself before every prayer: humility is the key.