If my people who are called by name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from, their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
I grew up in the Hippie generation. I was too young to be a hippie, but my generation was greatly influenced by their culture. We wore bellbottoms, the girls wore mini, middy, and maxie length dresses. Long hair, afros, and love beads were the thing. I even had a poster on my wall that said, “War is not good for flowers, children and other living things.”
Miami was a big place for the hippies because the weather was perfect, especially in the winter. I remember my mom and dad taking us on hippie spotting trips. We would drive through the areas where they congregated in and find ones that looked especially funny.
Everyone thought that the country was going down the drain in the 1960s. People feel the same today. The one thing the hippies, the woke generation, and other generations have in common is that God is not a part of the equation. I am sure there are plenty of those who would disagree and say that they believe and worship God, but as a whole, our country has taken a severe step back from our beliefs and the way that we commit our lives to Him.
What exactly does 2 Chronicles 7:14 tell us?
First, it is written to God’s people, not to unbelievers. So, the demise of the country is the fault of His people and not the fault of those who are lost. So, once we accept our responsibility towards this, what does the verse say we should do? We should humble ourselves and pray. We need to come before God as sinners needing forgiveness and not as ones who have a right or feel entitled to stand before the Most Holy God. We do not deserve His forgiveness, but He gave it to us anyhow. I guess the best way to describe this is if we insulted our boss and then went to him and needed a favor. How would humbly would we approach him? Though, Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we well receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
Not only are we to seek His face, but we are to repent. It says that we are to turn from our wicked ways. We need to see our sins in the eyes of the Most Holy God. They may seem small to us, but they are considered wicked in light of His holiness. What are some of our sins that we are holding on to? What are some of our sins that we rationalize and say that it’s not so bad or not affecting anyone but me?
God is clear in this verse that we must come to Him and turn from our sins before He will heal our land. We do not need to change our politicians or our political leaders. We need to change us. I need to change me, and you need to change you. The good news is if we all do that then the verse will read.
Because my people who are called by my name, are humbling themselves and praying. And because they are seeking my face and turning from their wicked ways, I am going to hear their prayers and forgive their sins and heal their land.
This 4th of July let’s remember all of our freedoms. One of our greatest freedoms is the freedom to worship. We can worship our God without interference. That freedom cost a lot of lives over the past 245 plus years. But our spiritual freedom cost God so much more. Let’s not take it for granted. Let’s use this celebration of our freedoms to also reflect on the freedom we have in Christ. Let’s be His people who are called and living by His name.
Pastor Greg Gosselin