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 7:14)
For the past few days the Lord has consistently been speaking to me through this one scripture in particular. I began to ask the Lord, "Lord what is it that you are trying to tell me through this scripture?" I understood (or so I thought I did) what it meant in essence or theologically speaking but as we know, this Christian Walk is a personal walk so I began to ask God what it is that he wanted me to take away from this scripture. I wasn't seeking the Lord for a post or a sermon but for some words to impact my own life. He told me to slow down, relax, clear my mind and meditate on it for a while and in His time He would make it known unto me.
You see, when I ask God for clarity or direction I don't always get an instant answer. God wants us to meditate on His word. When we aren't meditating as much as He wants us to, He has a way of getting our attention and causing us to seek Him as we should. Sometimes God will answer me right then and there on the spot, other times I believe He is testing me to see how badly I really want to hear what the Spirit has to say and how humbly I will submit myself to His will once I am still and quiet long enough to hear it.
I realized that I had allowed the cares of the world and everyday life to cut into my private devotional time. I repented, pulled out my spiritual silverware and began to feast on this here Word of God. God began to speak and I began to listen. As I did I broke the scripture down line by line. This is what He is show ing me:
"If My people, which are called by my name"
Okay. The first thing I had to do was define His people that were called by His name. Who are His people? We all may say or think that we are "His people" but are we really?
2 Corinthians 2:16 reads
what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Here God was showing me that in order to be called His people we have to be in agreement with the ways and statues of the Lord. We must be filled with His Spirit, the The Holy Spirit. Once we believe, receive and accept the gift of the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost, then God will live in us as His people. If we do not have the Spirit of God we are none of his (Romans 8:9).
God promised to hear, heal and forgive HIS people. I don't want to get ahead of myself but in order for us to receive his healing, we must truly be His people. Not only must we be His people but we must be His humble people. Which brings me to the next part of the scripture.
strong>"..shall humble themselves.."
Why must we be humble? Well, for one. Jesus said that if we humble ourselves He will exalt us in due season. Also, we risk facing destruction by being proud or high minded.
This is what Proverbs 16:18-19 has to say about pride and humility:
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
As I meditate on God and all that He tells us that He is in Exodus 20:5, I would think that God as the creator of all things who has already told us that He is a jealous God, does not approve in us operating in our own power or our own strength. When we do such, we are in essence saying that we don't need Him. In Proverbs 3:5-6, we are instructed to lean not to our own understanding but to acknowledge Him in all of our ways. When we are proud, we tend acknowledge and accredit ourselves. We are not omniscient like God is. We can't see the unseen. Therefore, only being able to see what God allows us to see we don't have enough information to operate in our own strength like God does. Inevitably, we will interfere with God's plan and delay our own progress if we act on impulse and not the leading of the Holy Ghost.
How do we allow the Holy Ghost to lead us? We ask him. Which brings us to the next directive in the scripture:
"and pray," Why must we pray? Because we need to hear from God. Prayer is communication with God. It is not one sided. As you petition God, you must also allow Him the time and space to speak back to you. Jesus told us to pray. He said that men ought to always pray and not to faint. If we don't pray, we will faint or loose heart. We will not be able to stand if we do not pray. God doesn't just want us to pray but He also said
"and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways"
As you see, we can not continue in our wicked ways and seek the face of the Lord at the same time. Either we are for Him or against Him. There is no in between gray area. There is no purgatory. Heaven or Hell.
There has to be a change. Once we truly come to know the Lord and experience His power for ourselves. We can't continue to live in sin. He won't allow us to. We have free will but conviction will not allow us to knowing the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. (Romans 6:1-2)
Realize that God wants to heal us but before the healing begins, He wants us to do some things first. The latter part of the scripture is dependant upon the former.
"then will I hear from heaven,"Until we humble ourselves, pray and seek His face, God will not even listen to what we have to say. In fact God can not even hear our prayer if we hide iniquity in our hearts. (Psalm 66:18)
and will forgive their sin,
Notice here that that God said He will forgive their (our) sins. He didn't say some sins or list any exceptions. But He said that then He will forgive "sin". There is no sin that we can commit that He can not forgive us for. Why? Because we are His people which are called by His name. He is just and able to forgive us of all of our sins. He sent His son here to die for us just so that we could be reconciled back to us. It is not the will of the Father that we perish but that we have life everlasting (John 3:16)
and will heal their land
"Heal the land". What does this mean? Is it a physical thing, an emotional thing, spiritual thing or perhaps a natural thing? What did God mean when He said that He would heal the land? We know that people of that time were dependant upon the natural land; their crops and their livestock. Therefore, if they did not take care of their land, they would risk starving or not having the means to survive comfortably.
I believe that the word "land" here represents our natural location, state of mind, spiritual state and even our physical state. God wants to heal the whole person. Man is made up of mind, body and spirit. If our minds and thinking are distorted so will our speech be. If we are suffering from emotional scars and wounds, it is very likely that we will in turn hurt others. If we are struggling to let go of the past and don't learn from it, we are doomed to repeat it. Therefore, we need God to heal "the land". We need Him to go to the root of the matter and heal from the inside out.
Once we humble ourselves, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, God is then able to hear us, forgive us and heal us in every area of our life. Remember, healing is not just an emotional or physical thing. There is healing available to the whole man (or woman).
Author of By His Stripes We Are Healed