God’s Biggest IF

Reading Time: 7 minutesMost people who receive this weekly, I am sure, are very painfully aware of the frenetic pace our life has taken on in recent months. There are many issues happening in society, the world in general, and for me, I sometimes feel like I can’t even keep up to it all anymore. I found myself this week wondering:

“What could be a possible solution to all this?”

I did a little praying, some Bible study, I asked a few friends what they thought; and I looked a bit online. As I look at all the things coming upon the world now, I have wondered if there was some trick, well, not really a trick, but I couldn’t help but think:

“God doesn’t seem as close to me this week. What am I doing wrong?”

And right in the middle of my searching, I think I have stumbled upon the perfect solution. God’s solution.

I started to recall some of the Old and New Testament stories I have been reading these last few weeks, and I realized that no matter where I looked in the Bible, the very first response of all the prophets, in all the ages covered by the Bible was ALWAYS prayer. Whenever something bad was coming down the tubes, the first response of all the Bible Greats was to pray. I think this is why the opening text for this week’s email has resonated so well with me. And once I looked into this text, it did start to appear as the needed solution for our in common dilemnas of today:

“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. 2 Chron 7:14”

longing for God
longing for God

The promise here says that “If God’s people would do three things, God would respond in three ways. The Lord’s people needed to become humble, that is,to confess; they needed to pray, or repent; and they needed to turn from their obviously wrong ways, and to come back to Him. If they did, God would hear, forgive, and heal them, and their land.

Does our land need healing? Are we seeking God’s will in todays pressures and trials?

I find it very interesting that this text is not addressed to society at large. It seems mostly directed to “God’s people,” as He does say in this text:

“If MY PEOPLE…”

During a time of national crises, God’s stated ideal for His people when there is trouble at the door. True repentance is more than just talk. Repentance is ALWAYS a situation of “changed behaviour.” The Bible often calls this change “”turned from” as does our opening text for today. Whether we sin individually, as a group, or as a nation, following these steps will lead to forgiveness. God will ALWAYS hear the sincere, honest prayer of anyone who comes to Him, “just as they are.” (see John 6:37)

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Scripture tells us that is is one thing to “just pray,” because His MO for prayer here is apparently, also being humble.

What does this being “humble” look like in work clothes? It is very interesting that this kind of humility is something God is only asking of “His people.” The text says “if MY PEOPLE.” This clarion call to prayer is very similar to Rev 18:4 where God says “Come out of her MY PEOPLE.” So Jesus is always calling His people to a better way of life. To THE life. In fact Scripture says that “In Jesus was life, and THE life was/is the Light of everyone in the world. (see John 1:4).

If we were to go to to the shores of an ocean, we would recognize how the incoming tide lifts all boats. What might be the effects of an incoming tide of prayer for “His people?” The incoming “tide” would lift all people. Jesus has promised:

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10).

Jesus is telling His Church to 1) pray, 2) humble themselves, and 3) turn away from their lifestyle of sin. And Jesus promises that our “land will be healed. So this is a New Testament affirmation of an Old Testament text. It is the same gospel throughout all the Bible.

There have been some people in “the news” who are saying things about what they think is a good solution for what is happening in the world today. Essentially, these are members of our “free market” capitalist system. They believe with all their heart that we need to double-down on our efforts to increase “the economy.” One, well-known personality of the upper echelons of “the economy was in the news this week saying:

“We need wealth to help people. This is what the free-market, capitalism has always been about.”

BUT it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out that “the economy” so called, is not for everyone. It is a raging tide that comes in with a deafening impact, and only lifts a few of the “boats.” Most of the “boats have been actively ignored by our “economy.” Every day, new names are added to the list of people who fall through the cracks and the social “safety nets” and are left destitute, ruined, by “the economy.” Its not our economy. Its an economy only for a few of the biggest boats that get lifted from the incoming tide of our “free market” which, in effect, imprisons almost everyone that gets touched by it.

In our human realms, we still like to think that we know the right steps to take; but as for me, I am starting to wonder if thats even half-true. God does say:

“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” (Prov 16:25)

I found a really good example of the Prov 16:25 principle. A story I read about the first President of the USA, from 1789 to 1797), George Washington, who thought he knew what was best for him and his situation. Washington actually asked for “blood-letting” to be performed on himself for a health-condition he was suffering from, (throat infection). They ended up taking around 4 litres of blood (nearly 40% of his blood) from him, and sadly, Washington died from complications shortly after.

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The Bible is correct when it states that there is a way that seems right to a person, but it’s way is the way of death.

In accordance with 2 Chron 7:14, Scripture assures us of that very point in The New Testament:

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14).

“According To His Will,” appears to be the key ingredient that if practiced by we, God’s people, would be the incoming tide that would lift “all boats.”  Not just a few of them. But are we, as a people doing this? Do we really want to “be humble” when we pray, or are we just satisfied with rotely saying the prayers, something like an incantation? In our text for today, we are asked by God to not just pray, but to “humble ourselves when we pray, with the intention of obeying (turning from sin) whatever it pleases our Lord to reveal to us. As Jesus stated in John 7:17

“If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know whether the teaching is of God or whether I speak on My own accord and by My own authority.”

IF one is willing to do whatever God reveals to them, they will know what is truth and what way Jesus would have them proceed, even during the stormy times we live in now.

I think that Jesus want us to live with power. The power of His Word,and I was studying some things out of the 23rd Psalms earlier this week and learned something very intriguing about how to live with power. I had always known that phrase “He restoreth my soul,” (Psalms 23:3), but what I didn’t know until this week was that one of the key elements to recovering our physical health, which many people of course want to do these days, is that of our spiritual health. The tidal way of power that will lift all the “boats” (people) is 2 Chron 7:14. Everywhere, in many ways, the Bible says that in restoring our soul, the physical body will be positively affected. 2 Chron 7:14 says when we do this “the land will be healed.” The Psalmist once mourned: “all day I am wearied with my groaning…” (Psalms 6:6). But Jesus informs us today that we are only forgiven, when we are ready to be HUMBLE and forgive all hurt and resentments that we hold against other people. The Lord’s prayer tells believers today that we are forgiven “as we forgive others.”

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God’s people are being asked to pray and humble themselves. As my prayer partner said when I was writing this:

“When we let go and let God take care of everything, we stop trying to do it on our own. We surrender to Jesus. Because on our own we can do nothing. And the measure we use in judging others will simply condemn us, by our very own standards. We need to stop being so foolish . “Love one another, and forgive as we have been forgiven by Jesus. Be kind and help, and respect each other, without expecting anything in return. God will reward us according to our own standards. His standards are often not our’s, because it is love that Jesus wants us all to give to each other; and to stop competing with everyone else. We all, ultimately have the same goal. Lets “lift all the boats” and sent the tidal wave of prayer, of being humble, and of turning from everything we know is wrong.

For stricken Israel there was but one remedy–a turning away from the sins that had brought upon them the chastening hand of the Almighty, and a turning to the Lord with full purpose of heart. To them had been given the assurance, “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people; if My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:13, 14. It was to bring to pass this blessed result that God continued to withhold from them the dew and the rain until a decided reformation should take place. {PK 128.1

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Verse of the Day

“[Those Declared Righteous Are Reconciled] For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” — Romans 5:6-8 Listen to chapter . Powered by BibleGateway.com.
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