Are you feeling the weight of the state of our world? Are you burdened about all that is going on? It seems as if every time a news headline comes out I just want to say, “What is going on?!” Well, what’s going on is called sin and sin is rampant in our world, now more than ever. And what’s going on is a spiritual battle – a war between Satan and God. Every time we compromise on one of God’s standards, we can expect more sin, more brokenness. Every time we compromise on one of God’s standards, we allow Satan to have more control over our world. And for every compromise, Satan get a win. But God gives the battle plan that will restore and heal our land in 2 Chronicles 7;14.
What is going on?! It’s called sin & sin is rampant in our world. What’s going on in a spiritual battle – a war between Satan and God. Compromising on God’s standards bring more sin and Satan gains ground.Tweet
There is definitely a spiritual battle taking place and right now it feels as if Satan is gaining ground. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” It’s time the people of God put on their spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) and take a stand!
The Battle Plan
2 Chronicles 7:14 gives us the battle plan for gaining ground in a spiritual battle and the keys for God to heal our land:
if my people who are called by my name humble themselves,
and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Gaining ground in this battle doesn’t start with government officials. It doesn’t start with the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines. Gaining ground starts with “if my people.” In this verse, God is speaking. So the “my people” are the ones who are called by His name. That’s Christians. So dear brother or sister, it’s time we get suit up and get in the fight!
The fight to heal our land isn’t won through protesting, although we should protest any unnecessary violence that causes loss of life or harm. But, we need to understand that the root problem is one we can’t see. We can see the effects of it, but because the real problem is Satan at work in our world, we don’t see the actual problem. And to fix any problem, we must first identify what the problem is. And our problem is two-fold.
Satan is at work in our world and he is gaining ground
The first problem, we’ve already stated. Satan is at work in our world and he is gaining ground. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” He is looking for every person who will give him a foothold in their life so he can move in and take over. Every time he is successful, our land becomes a little more infected with sin.
As a Christian, we do not belong to him, but he is our adversary. He targets our mind and fills it with lies. His lies are not the kind that are spotted easily. They are subtle – just like when he tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. And he’s spent thousands of years craftily telling his subtle lies to get us where we are today. He will twist God’s truths so they sound good, but they are not the truth. But in doing so, we question God’s Word, His purposes and His will. The only way to defeat Him is by hiding God’s Word in our heart through memorizing it, meditating on it, and knowing it. That is how Jesus overcame Satan’s temptation in the wilderness and its how we overcome it today.
God’s people have allowed Satan to gain ground
The second problem, is God’s people have allowed Satan to gain ground. We haven’t put on our spiritual armor and gone to war. Instead, we’ve allowed the world’s standards to supersede God’s standards. We’ve allowed sin to become such a norm that its just “part of our world.” Christians sat back and allowed prayer to be removed from schools and the ten commandments to be removed from government buildings. Sex outside of marriage has be come an acceptable way of life that carries very little shame. We’ve allowed the government to redefine marriage. And then, its as if we are taken off guard and shocked when we see the evidence of sin rear its head and we say, “What’s going on in our world?!” What’s going on is exactly what God’s people have allowed.
If we want to take back the ground Satan has gained, its time to follow God’s battle plan. God, as our commander in chief, has given us four steps to the battle plan that we are responsible for and when we do our part, God will then enact his three steps.
Our part in God’s Battle plan to heal our land
Part 1: Humble ourselves
The first step in God’s battle plan is for God’s people to humble themselves. To be humble is to be free from arrogance and pride. 1 Samuel 2:3 says, “Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.” And James 4:6 tells us that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
To humble ourselves, we must see ourselves as God sees us
If we are going to humble ourselves before an omniscient (all-knowing) God, then we have to be able to see ourselves as God sees us. Ecclesiastes 7:20 paints the picture of how God sees us: “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” The Apostle Paul reiterates the thought in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” We’ve done our part of infecting our land with with sin. The first part of the cure is to humble ourselves before God.
To humble ourselves, we must be willing to be obedient to God
If we are going to humble ourselves, the we must be willing to be obedient to God. Jesus said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15). Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” We cannot both keep God’s commandments and conform to the way of the world. We can’t serve two masters. We pick a side in the battle and you either fight for Satan, or you fight for God. As Joshua said, “Choose you this day who you will serve.” Will you stand with Joshua and say, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord”? (Joshua 24:15)
To humble ourselves, we must be submissive to God
If we are going to humble ourselves, then we must be submissive to God. James 4:7 tell us: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Submitting to God means accepting His authority and sovereign rule over us. We can’t choose the parts of Christianity that sound good or are easy. Submitting to God means to arrange oneself under the command of divine viewpoint rather than to live according to one’s old way of life based on a human viewpoint. It is a process of surrendering our own will to that of our Father’s.
When was the last time you came humbly before God with a broken and contrite heart? Psalm 34:18 says: “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” And in Isaiah 57:17 Isaiah writes, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
People of God – its time we humble ourselves!
Part 2: Pray
The next part of God’s battle plan is for His people to pray. Only God’s people have access to the throne of God through prayer. For the lost person, they gain access through a prayer of repentance and accepting Christ as their Savior by faith. Only then can they come boldly to the throne of God.
Prayer makes a difference in what happens in our world
Prayer makes a difference in what happens in our world. When we pray, all of heaven is moved to action. Jeremiah 29:7 says, “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Sometimes it feels as if there is nothing we can do to change our world. But God reminds us that we can make a difference in our cities and nation if we devote ourselves to prayer. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Paul urged believers to make “petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving . . . for all people—for kings and all those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
God shapes society through the prayers of His people
God shapes society through the prayers of His people. By God’s design, our intercessory prayers releases grace, fosters peace, restrains evil, protects innocent people, averts disasters, enforces justice, and increases harvests. What is our land missing out on because we are not praying? What are you dissatisfied with in our nation? Have your prayed about it? Are you disgusted with laws that have passed that clearly go against God’s Word? Have you prayed about it – or just complained and said there’s nothing we can do about it?
Since prayer affects the state of our world, then we need to pray without ceasing for God to send a revival to our nation and our world. If you do not have a sense of desperation for our world, then I ask you, “How bad do things have to get before we reach desperate?” The point of desperation is the spark to repentance. True repentance occurs when we experience a change of heart accompanied by remorse. Repentance is the flame that ignites revival.
How bad do things have to get before we reach desperate? The point of desperation is the spark to repentance. Repentance occurs when we experience a change of heart accompanied by remorse. Repentance is the flame that ignites revival.Tweet
When was the last time you felt such a sense of desperation and urgency that you fell on your knees before God and cried out to Him in humble submission with a repentant heart for your own sins and the sins of our nation?
People of God – it’s time to pray!
When was the last time you fell on your knees & cried out to God in humble submission with a repentant heart for your own sins & the sins of our nation? People of God – it’s time to pray!Tweet
Part 3: Seek the Face of God
The Hebrew word for “face” in the Old Testament is often translated “presence.” When we seek the face of God, we are seeking His presence. The call to seek God’s face was issued to His people because they had abandoned Him and needed to return to Him. The same is true in our nation today. We have gone from “One nation under God” to a divided nation. We have gone from “loving our neighbors” to loving ourselves.
In Psalm 105:4, God’s people are called to “seek his face always.” Even if we have not abandoned God, there are times when we neglect to pursue Him. If we draw close to Him, God will draw close to us: “Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world” (James 4:8).
Jeremiah 29:13 tell us that we will seek God and find Him when seek Him with all our heart. Is knowing God your greatest passion? Do you long to know Him personally, intimately. Is He your greatest priority? Do you long for the moments each day you spend in His Word? Can you say with the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, “Did our hearts not burn within us?” (Luke 24:13-34) Does your soul pant with the thirst for the living God? (Psalm 42:1-2) When was the last time you felt the presence of God in your life?
People of God – it’s time we seek God’s face!
Part 4: Turn from our Wicked Ways
It’s easy for us to compare ourselves to the world and say, “I’m not that bad.” We rarely see ourselves as “wicked.” And when measured by the worlds standards, we shouldn’t fall into that classification. However, we need to see sin as God does and sin doesn’t come in sizes to God. A “little sin has just as much consequence as a “big sin.” To Him, sin is sin and its all wickedness.
Isaiah 64:6 says, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” When Isaiah wrote about “filthy” he was referring to the rags used by women during the menstrual cycle. So the greatest possible thing we do that is good and right, is still just filthy rags.
Until we come to the realization that we are just as wicked as the person lost without Christ, then we will not see the need to turn from our wicked ways. We also can’t come humbly before God without an understanding of how much we do not deserve God’s grace and forgiveness. But when we see our sinfulness for the filthy rags we are, and come to Him with a broken and contrite heart poured out before Him, we then experience His grace, love and forgiveness. If you have difficulty with understanding or acknowledging your own wickedness, then ask God to break your heart for what breaks His.
People of God – It’s time we turn from our wicked ways.
God’s part in His battle plan to heal our land
God’s part is conditional on our part. He doesn’t move until we move and and bend our knees in humble submission to Him, pray, seek His presence, and turn from our wicked ways. Its there in a small two letter word that begins 2 Chronicles 7:14 – it’s the word “if.” This verse is what we call a conditional promise. We can’t ignore the first part of the verse that is what we must do and expect God to just get right to His part. It is only IF we do our part, THEN God will do his. So what is His part?
Part 1: He will hear us from heaven
God created prayer as a means by which we can enjoy Him (Revelation 3:20), confess our sin (1 John 1:9), ask Him to meet our needs (Psalm 50:15), and align our wills with His (Jeremiah 29:11–12; Luke 22:42). One kind of prayer is guaranteed to be granted. Luke 18:13–14 describes the prayer of repentance. When we call upon the Lord in humble repentance, He is eager to justify and forgive us. So we have a guarantee that God hears the prayer of a broken and contrite heart.
Prayer God Does Not Listen To:
However, we also find in the Bible that there are prayers God does not listen to. If we hold on to known sin and do not confess it, God does not listen when we pray. When we pray out of a selfish heart, God does not listen. When we pray outside of God’s will for us, He will not listen. And when we pray without faith, God does not listen.
- So if we are not willing to humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways, God will not listen to our cries for Him to heal our land.
- If the reason we want God to heal our land is purely selfish (ie: to make life easier for me to live and enjoy), God will not listen. Instead, we need to approach His throne out of a burden for the lost in the world to know Him and with a desire for Him to be glorified in our world.
- We also need to search the Word of God and know His will. For example, we know that the Bible tells us is God’s will that none should perish – meaning God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell. We need to align our prayers with God’s will.
- And if our prayers do not have the power of faith behind them, God doesn’t listen. Faith is not believing for something; it is believing in Someone. Our faith is in the character of God and His desire to bless and comfort us. When we pray, we should have faith that He hears us and will grant every request that is in line with His will for us (1 John 5:14–15).
Part 2: He will Forgive our Sin
The prayer of the repentant heart is the only prayer in the entire Bible that gives us a guarantee that God will hear and answer. 2 Chronicles 7:14 was God’s reminder to Solomon about God’s covenant promise with His chosen people. God knew the nation of Israel would stray from Him and turn to worshiping false gods. As a result, He would send judgment on the nation. But when the nation came to together as a nation to humbly seek God and repent of their sin, God would restore them.
So does this verse apply to us today? Yes and No. No, the promise is not made to America. However, the principles of the verse do. When God’s people get serious about being God’s people through humbly seeking the presence of God and turning from own sin, we know that God will forgive us. For true repentance to occur, we have to stop doing what we’ve been doing and change our sinful way of living for God’s way of living. You can’t live God’s way and not impact our world. You can’t live God’s way and Satan continue to gain more and more ground.
When God’s people get serious about being God’s people through humbly seeking His presence and turning away from sin, we know God will forgive us. When we choose to live God’s way, it impact our world and Satan looses ground in itTweet
Pushing Satan back or even sending Him in retreat requires us to live repentant lives, fully submitted to and in obedience to all of God’s commands. In Matthew 5:14, Jesus says that we are the light of the world. We are light because His light shines through us when we live His way. So as we repent and seek God’s forgiveness, the result should be living in obedience to God’s Word and then God works through us to change the winning force in the spiritual battle that rages around us.
Part 3: He will Heal Our Land
Our land is our nation. Wherever you are in the world reading this, your land is your nation. Our nations are torn, tattered, and sick. They are ravaged by the sickness and brokenness of sin. It is sick with the diseases of hatred, division, violence, self-centeredness. It is sick with the disease of blindness of sin. And until Christ comes again, sin will continue to be part of this world. It seems as if we Christians have just accepted that sin is in this world and there’s nothing we can do about it. We stayed quiet over the years as slowly our Christian nation can hardly been separated from the world. Israel’s biggest sin was wanting to be like everyone else and they worshiped the false gods of other nations around them. Standing up and standing out is hard. Conforming is easy.
Our nations are torn, tattered, and sick. They are ravaged by the sickness and brokenness of sin. It is sick with the diseases of hatred, division, violence, self-centeredness. It is sick with the disease of blindness of sin.Tweet
History clearly shows us that when a nation makes God the Lord, that nation is blessed (Psalm 33:12) But not only the nation is blessed, but it’s people are happy. Psalm 144:15 says, “Happy is that people, that is in such as case: yes happy is that people whose God is the Lord. On the other hand, when those nations then turn away from God, they crumble and fall. And that my dear brother and sister is what our nation has to fear. And when the nation crumbles and falls, it will be because the people of God refused to humble themselves, pray, seek the presence of God, and turn from their wicked ways. So suit up, dear Christian, and get on the battlefield.
History shows that when a nation makes God its Lord, it is blessed. But if it turns away from God, it falls because God’s people refused to humble themselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn away from sin. So suit up and get on the battlefield.Tweet
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