Unless you live in a hole, I’d imagine you’re aware of the general unrest, unease, discontent, and over all agitation of the “church” these days. There are no shortage of topics to get one “up in arms” about, to get one tweeting and pinning and Facebooking up a storm about the latest issue or “problem.”
Amidst all of it, one of the familiar prayers heard is from 2 Chronicles 7:14:
“If My people who are called by My name will humbled themselves, and pay 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.”
Yes, and amen!
However, often when this verse is quoted, it is in such a way as looking out at our nation, as if everyone therein were “My people” or “called by My name.” Friends, that’s not so. This verse was written to the children of Israel, God’s chosen people, and thanks be to Jesus and the promises of the New Covenant, those of us who have been grafted into that vine by the grace of God, through faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross! Amen?
What’s the point, you ask? The point is this: we pray for change, we pray for revival even, and yet even as we do so, we are looking at everyone around us, instead of looking at ourselves! The verse quoted above clearly says “If MY people…” Before you start pointing the finger at everyone else, maybe we should take a good hard look in the mirror.
In Psalm 80, titled in my Bible as “An Appeal for Israel’s Repentance”, we read:
“Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you! O Israel, if you will listen to Me! There shall be no foreign god among you; nor shall you worship any foreign god. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”
I fear that there are many “foreign gods” in the temple of our hearts, the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Search your heart. You know the little idols that abide there. And yet we sit in judgment of the lost? In judgment of those who do not know the Truth of the Gospel, all the while we bow the knee to our little gods?
Forgive us, Lord!
Christian…beliver…follower of Jesus…it’s time to quit playing church, to quit going through the motions on Sunday and Wednesday, all the while living in a way that is no different from the world. WE must return to the Lord! WE must repent of our sin, our complacency, our love for this world. We must ask the Lord to purify our hearts first!
Yes, pray for revival! Pray for a fresh move of the Holy Spirit in our land! Pray for God to come and “do it again, Lord!” But pray that it would begin with us! Pray that He would begin with our hearts! Our homes! Our churches! Our towns!
Let’s get on our knees and off our soapboxes.