For Jews and Christians, 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV) provides the answer.
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.But what does that mean, really?
“My people, called by my name.” One has to know who God is and know His name(s) to determine the identities of both God and His people.
“Humble themselves.” In my opinion, this is the most difficult thing for American Christians--to humble oneself—before God. We want to pretend to be “humble” in front of other people, even though Jesus the Christ had a lot to say about that; none of it good. To be blunt, to humble oneself is fast, to pray and to seek God’s face, and to do those things without the intent to "be seen of men."
"Seek God's face." Lots of people claim to hear audibly from God. Some of them I doubt, and some not, since I have had at least one message from God while sleeping. However, the primary method that God uses to talk to His people--and His potential people--is through reading of scripture, and meditating on it. (There will be more about meditation in a later post.)
“Turn from their wicked ways.” This means to trust in the power and other attributes of God and to turn away from trusting in self, in other human beings, and in human-created entities. Examples of the latter are governments and even formal church denominations. Trusting in God points individuals to people and entities which are trustworthy.
The rest of the verse is pretty straight-forward, except that I think that, while the word 'land' refers to nations and real estate, it also refers to our physical bodies: the "land" inhabited by one's soul and spirit.
The primary thing which the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob wants from each of us is a relationship: to talk, to listen, and to obey--to act.
Action is the issue here. Action without the first two—talking and listening—is folly. Talking and listening without acting betrays lack of trust.
God never rewards any of His servants who sit on their backsides. He also does not reward stupidity. He does, however, do the impossible. And I think that is what is required as we observe our enemies set in array about us.
(Thanks to Pastor Melissa Scott)
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