2 Chronicles 16:9 for the devotional: "Are you Team Problem or Team Solution?"

What does God sees when he looks over the earth? From our perspective, we are able to see hatred, bias, self-centeredness, violence, immorality, jealousy, and any other sin you can think of. We can also see people who are kind-hearted, caring, helpful, advocates, and loving. Yet, our view of things is often slanted. We see and hear based on what is in social media and the news. Our own backgrounds in life can also slant how we see things. The experiences we have in life can influence how we interpret the world around us. As a result we are either on Team Problem or Team Solution.

An Unslanted View

But Jesus, the creator of the world…including every single person, looks down on the earth and His view isn’t slanted. As Solomon took over the throne and David was near the end of his life, he tells Solomon: “As for you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands the intention of every thought.

You see, we can’t see the intention of other people. We make assumptions based on what we hear, experience, and observe. Often, it leads to being on Team Problem. Only God can see what motivates anyone to do the things we do – whether good or bad. In 2 Chronicles 16:9, we are told that God searches through all of His creation for those who’s heart is perfect toward Him. For those people, He will show Himself strong. These are the people who are on Team Solution. Do you think He finds any such people today? Maybe this is why we hear so often “Where is God in this?” Or maybe this is why people say God is dead. We don’t see God showing Himself strong because our hearts are not perfect toward Him.

How do we have a perfect heart toward God?

What exactly does it mean to have a perfect heart? And how do God’s people attain it? First, a perfect heart does not mean a sinless, flawless heart. Man judges perfection by outward performance, but God judges the heart, the unseen motives (see 1 Samuel 16:7). David was said to have had a perfect heart toward God “all the days of his life,” yet we know David failed the Lord miserably. His life was marked forever by adultery and a notorious murder.

Biblically, perfection is defined as “completeness,” “maturity.” In both the Hebrew and Greek, the term includes “uprightness,” “being without spot or blemish,” “totally obedient.” A perfect heart is one that quickly and totally responds and reacts to the Lord’s wooings, whisperings and warnings. It is the heart that constantly seeks the path God wants them to take and then obediently travels that path without compromise or shortcuts.

A perfect heart is searchable

A perfect heart is searchable. It’s hard to find a searchable heart because being searchable can be painful and brutal. The searchable heart longs for the Holy Spirit to dig into the depths of its innermost being— to investigate, dig out and expose all that is unlike Christ so they can be transformed into the image of Christ.

A perfect heart is teachable

A perfect heart is also teachable. It’s the heart that anticipates digging into the Word of God. They hide it in their heart. They search out the Holy Spirit to help them understand it and no matter how much they discover – they want to know more.

A perfect heart is a trusting heart

A perfect heart is a trusting heart. It knows that God is in control of all things. So even in the moments when we don’t understand, we can trust in God’s perfect plan. Because it trusts God it can say: “All my steps are ordered by the Lord! He is my loving Father, and he has an eternal plan and purpose behind whatever I am going through.”

A perfect heart is a broken heart

The perfect heart is a broken heart. Brokenness is more than weeping, sorrow, a crushed spirit, or humility. True brokenness releases the power of God to make beauty out of ashes. It is the heart that is broken over the sin in this world. It is broken over those who are lost and going to hell. In the Bible, it is the broken heart that has stayed the hand of God when he pronounced judgement.

On one occasion, God sent a prophet to tell a king to get his affairs in order because he would not recover from an illness. The king is brokenhearted and cries out to God. Because He was a King that lived right before God, God heard him and added 15 years to his life. Whenever the Bible tells us about a king in Judah who’s heart was broken over the way the nation was living, we see a nation that returns to God – at least for the time that king was alive. How brokenhearted are you over our world? And what is your motivation for your brokenheartedness? The perfect heart is found in Team Solution.

God’s Description of Team Problem

There was a previous time that God looked down on the earth. Here’s his interpretation of what He saw:

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. –Genesis 6:5.

Sounds like our world today, doesn’t it? A whole bunch of people on Team Problem. What did God do when he saw the great wickedness of man and their every intention was only evil continually? The result was God destroyed the earth with a flood. Yes, He promised He would never again wipe out every living thing by a flood. We do not have to worry about that happening again. However, there are no promises that He would not destroy the earth by another method. In fact, there is a promise in the Bible that God will destroy the earth.

The next time God destorys the world

In 2 Peter 3:8-10, Peter writes about this promise:

Dear friends, remember this one thing, with the Lord one day is as 1,000 years, and 1,000 years are as one day. The Lord is not slow about keeping His promise as some people think. He is waiting for you. The Lord does not want any person to be punished forever. He wants all people to be sorry for their sins and turn from them. The day of the Lord will come as a robber comes. The heavens will pass away with a loud noise. The sun and moon and stars will burn up. The earth and all that is in it will be burned up.

With the state of our world today, we are hurling ever closer to this day. Every day more and more people choose Team Problem. Could God’s people with a perfect heart stay the hand of God and give more years before this time comes? Only God can give an answer to that, but it sure wouldn’t make that day come sooner. And everyday until then is another opportunity for someone lost without Jesus to come to Him. It s another day someone walks away from Team Problem and joins Team Solution.

The Fate of Nations Who Turn Their Backs On God

There are no promises in the Bible that God would not destroy a nation that turns away from Him. In fact, He did exactly that to both Israel and Judah. History has shown the rise and fall of nations. However, history tends to leave out the fact that God was involved. The Bible, however, is a chronicle of ancient nations that rose and fell according to God’s plan and purpose. Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome—all are mentioned in the Bible. All of them played key roles fulfilling God’s judgement on Israel. Greece and Rome had its role in the establishment of the Church founded by Jesus Christ. God is still rising up nations and tearing nations down. He’s not dead – He is very much alive and at work.

An Example: Babylon

Daniel tells us about Babylon who was the first in a line of empires that would impact the world. As a whole, Babylon was very much Team Problem. Yet, God rose them to power to cause the fall of Jerusalem as His judgement because they turned their backs on God and chose to worship false gods. Today, our false gods might look different but they are still here. We make gods out of our careers, bank accounts, children, spouses, hobbies, cars, and sports. Anything or anyone that we make a higher priority than God becomes our god.

Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, and Belshazzar

In Daniel 2:21, Daniel tells the king that God “removes kings and raises up kings,” In Daniel 5, we find the account of the Babylonian King, Belshazzar, at a great feast and a hand appears and writes on the wall. No one can interpret what is written and then they remember Daniel. They call Him in and he provides a brief history of Nebuchadnezzar’s experience with God, including a reminder that “the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses” (Daniel 5:21). He then tells the king what was written on the wall: “God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it…you have been…found wanting;…your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians” (Daniel 5:26-27).

We don’t hear much about Babylon today but the Bible tells us they will have a key role at the end of the age. So where is Babylon today? It lies in ruins under what we know as Iraq. Since we know it plays a part in the end of time, there will come a time when God will raise Babylon up out of its ruins.

God determines the course of nations

God determines the course of nations, not man. He can set up or remove a leader when He wills. He can bring prosperity – and He can bring destruction. America has enjoyed centuries of prosperity. It was founded on Godly principles woven into every part of who we are as a nation. But, like nations before us, we have turned our own way. We have shoved God out so we can live any way we want and think we will be free of guilt. Changing laws and redefining God’s terms doesn’t make us free of guilt. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Does God look down on proud America and find us wanting? Again, I ask: “What does Jesus see when He looks down at the earth today?” When He searches the intents of our thoughts and heart – what does find?

How Does Jesus Feel?

In John 11:35, the shortest verse in the Bible, it says, “Jesus wept.” This verse takes place when Jesus comes to Mary and Martha after the death of their brother, Lazarus, and before Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead. Why did He weep? He didn’t weep for Lazarus. Jesus knew Lazarus was in heaven. He also knew that He was there because He was going to bring Lazarus back to life. So what caused Jesus to weep? He wept out of compassion for those who were suffering and mourning. Jesus wept because of sin and it’s effect on the world. He wept because of the lack of faith people had in who He was. He wept because of His love for us.

How Jesus must weep over the earth today! The very world that He gave His life for shuns Him, throws away His commandments to live any ol’ way they please. Isaiah 53:6 says that every one of us have “turned to our own way” and because of that, Jesus took the punishment for us. Yet still today, the world continues living their own way.

What Causes Jesus to Weep Today?

Yes, I am sure that Jesus weeps over the world today. He weeps for the drug user, the alcoholic, the prostitute, the adulterer, the homosexual, the thief, the child that was aborted, the murder and the murdered, the one who shakes his fist at Him and says “There is no God!” Jesus weeps because He has been kicked out of our schools and our court rooms. He weeps because we look at skin color and not the hearts of people. Our Savior weeps because we’ve become satisfied with just enough of God to keep us out of hell, but refuse to give Him first place in our lives. He weeps because His name is used to curse instead of bless.

Are there just 10 perfect hearts?

In the Old Testament, we find the account of Abraham being informed of God’s plans to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham, knowing his nephew Lot lived there, begins to barter with God. “Lord, if you find 50 righteous people, would you destroy the righteous with the wicked?” God promises not to destroy the cities if there are 50 righteous people. Abraham then asks, “What if there are only 45 righteous people?” Again, God promises not to. Abraham continues to barter until he gets down to 10 righteous people. And God says for even 10 righteous people He will not destroy the cities.

But God couldn’t find not even 10 righteous people and He rains down fire and brimstone. Yet, because He cared about Abraham, He made sure that Lot was out of the city before it was destroyed. How many righteous people do you thing God would find when He searches the intentions of the heart looking for the heart that is perfect towards Him? Would God find even ten perfect hearts in your city?

Very Good….or Very Disappointing

In the creation story, each time God created, He said, “And it was good.” Only when He created man in His own image do we find God saying, “And it was very good.” Do you think with the way we live today He regrets making us? Do you think that when He watches how we treat one another that He is pleased with His creation?

John 13:34-35 says: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” How will people know we are a disciple of Christ? By loving others as Christ loves them. Christ loves unconditionally. His love is never-ending. It is a perfect love that sacrificially gave His life for every person. If we love like Christ, how would our world be different?

Two choices

We basically have two choices: We can be part of the problem or part of the solution. One will lead our nation – and even our world – hurling to the end of time when God destroys the earth by fire. The other can bring revival and change. You must decide if you will be on Team Problem or Team Solution.

Team Problem:

The more we stir up strife and hatred, the more we are being part of the problem. If we continue to turn our back on God, we are part of the problem. Choosing compromise of God’s standards is being part of the problem. Romans 12:2 tells us: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” We’ve done too much conforming — and that is our problem. If you are willing to conform to this world, you’re on team problem.

Team Solution:

If we want to be part of the solution, then we need to understand that our problem in our world today isn’t about racism, hatred, violence, drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, child abuse, or all the other things wrong in our world. Our problem is sin. It is not skin color. Our problem is a heart-problem. We have each turned our own way. As a result, we have shut God out and allowed Satan to wreck havoc in our world.

We’ve allowed prayer to be removed from our schools and the Ten Commandments from our court rooms. We voted immoral people into political offices. We’ve allowed the government to “redefine” marriage. We’ve allowed the murder of innocent unborn children to be legal. We have allowed it all and yet, we can’t understand what’s going on in the world. How have we allowed it? By not doing anything about it. We’ve sat back within the walls of our churches with a righteous blindness to what Satan was doing. Now, we are here.

We feel crushed in spirit and heartbroken – and we should. We should certainly feel crushed and heart broken over the loss of life – any life. But. why are we not outraged at the millions of babies who have been murdered? Why are we not outraged by the number of children in foster care? Why are we not outraged over the idea of “same-sex” marriage?

Will the Perfect Hearts Please Stand Up?

Who is standing up to put prayer back in our schools? Is there anyone on their knees praying for God to revive the hearts of His people? Does anyone feel crushed in spirit and brokenhearted over the rampant sin in our world? Where are the people who feel crushed in spirit and brokenhearted by their own sin. Who in the world is so burdened for the state of the world today that they fall on their face before God in humble contrition and repentance? Is anyone longing for and seeking God’s presence to return to this nation? Who is willing to turn from conforming to the evil of this world and be the person God is searching for that has a perfect heart toward Him? If this is you, then you’re ready to be on Team Solution.

What is the Solution?

2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us, “If my people, who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.” Christians, the way to change the world, begins with us humbling ourselves before God, seeking Him with all our hearts. We then must allow the Holy Spirit to create within us a clean heart. Then we can begin to pray for others and for God to heal our world. As we personally seek His presence and surrender our hearts to Him, He will exchange our heart of stone for a heart of flesh. He will shape and mold our hearts into a perfect heart. He will teach us to love other as Christ loves them. Then we can be the light of Christ shining in a dark world.

Our World Needs Jesus

The solution to our problem is Christ. Oh, how our world needs Jesus! God chooses to work through those who are willing to be His servant. If we are going to bring the lost to Christ….if we are going to bring the solution to our world…..it beings with humbling ourselves with a searchable heart that is praying and seeking God’s presence and allowing the Holy Spirit to do the painful work of revealing our sin to us, confessing it, repenting of it, and turning away from our wicked ways. We then must live for Christ in such a way that we sprinkle a little of Jesus everywhere we go. We also need to boldly tell others about Jesus and lead them to Him. With every person we bring to Christ, we make an eternal impact on our world.

Are you ready to have a perfect heart and be on Team Solution?

Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. Acts 8:22

#team problem #teamsolution #John

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