II Chronicles 7:14 “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.”
I love America. I love its flag – the beautiful red, white, and blue. I love singing the Star-Spangled Banner. I love what America was founded upon and what she has stood for, for hundreds of years: one nation under God, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. One nation founded upon the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s GOD.” I love the brave men that stood and died to preserve this nation. George Washington, the first president of our country, once said, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”
As troubling as these days may seem for America’s future, I have found comfort in God’s Word. I often ponder the future of America during my devotions and prayer time. What will she become? What will she look like 10 years from now? What type of America will my children and grandchildren be introduced to? As I would think on these questions, my mind would always be reminded of the passage in II Chronicles. As familiar as it is, it does not change the fact that it is still the answer and remedy for a nation. We understand that God is addressing His people in this passage, so let us look at the outline of His directions to us.
It is humorous to me how the definition of this attribute has changed over time in dictionaries. I love how Webster defined it in 1828: freedom from pride and arrogance… a deep sense of one’s own unworthiness in the sight of God. Humility is not self-pity or a pathetic being. I tire of seeing men in our day and age who claim “humility” but in reality, they are just passive men not willing to take a stand. God intended men to be humble and meek (strength under control), not these pathetic, feminine representations of men that movies, media, and entertainment have portrayed. I believe the closer we get to God the more we see how unworthy we are. When we acknowledge that we need God’s help in every area of our lives, that is when we are tapping into the humility God intended for us.
I know I have not lived very long, but I have been in church my whole life, and I have almost always found that humble people pray often and understand the importance of it. It amazes me how the qualities that God desires to be in us are all related to each other. When we are humble, we ask for help. Often it takes us being humbled for us to realize that we need help. Prayer is communication with God, but a sub-category of prayer is asking God for help. If there was ever a time where we need God’s help in our personal lives or in the life of our country, it is now. I hope these peculiar times have drawn us to our knees. I truly hope that we are praying for personal revival.
God wants us to seek Him. I have found a huge difference between simply just reading Scripture opposed to reading with a “seeking” attitude. When I intently search for what God has for me in Scripture, God almost always gives me something incredible and so relatable to my life, but let’s not stop there. God said to seek His face. Our face is an interesting part of our being, is it not? When we think of a person, we often think of their face. Our face and our expressions are also a vital source of communication. As I meditated on this verse, I came to the conclusion that God is telling us to seek Him and find Him intimately and as closely as possible. He wants to be, in a sense, face-to-face with us. I love spending time with my one-year old daughter, and one thing I enjoy is being face-to-face with her. I catch her every expression, every breath, and every word. I can see the joy in her eyes, and she can see the love in mine. We understand that we can’t physically be face-to-face with God, but He does desire to be so close to us in a spiritual sense. Wow, what a thought that God wants us to be close to us! Are you seeking after God? Are you seeking a personal, deep closeness with Him?
As I write this and ponder the previous points, this thought comes to my mind: How can you not turn from wickedness if you are doing the previous three points? Sadly, it is our wicked ways that keep us from a wonderful relationship with the Lord. What is it in your life that you need to turn from that is separating you from God? I guarantee you, it is not worth holding on to in comparison to a relationship with the One who loves you more than you can comprehend. May we as God’s people turn from wickedness, pursue righteousness, and seek after our loving God.
In 1917, during World War I, Martin Treptow, a Private in the United States Army was killed on the western front of France. On his body was found a diary. On the first page in his diary he wrote a heading titled “My Pledge”. Below this heading he wrote these powerful words: “America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.” I believe America is standing on the brink of one of two things: destruction or revival. May we do our utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on us as Christians.
We are to be an example not only to the believer but also to the non-believer.
Believing without seeing, taking God at His Word, having confidence in God.