|Below is a portion of a short Bible study you can do individually or with a group. If you’d like to download the free PDF of the complete Bible study, please feel free to do so. Notes and questions are included for personal reflection or group conversation.|
We’ve read, quoted, and clung to 2 Chronicles 7:14 when the spiritual and moral decline of our country beckons us to beg God to deliver us from ourselves.
But 2 Chronicles 7:14 calls us to do more than just cry out to God for deliverance.
Let’s look at what God is calling us to in 2 Chronicles 7:14…
IF MY PEOPE WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME
This is a direct declaration from God to His people. Not to the world… not the lost… but specifically to His people. In this dispensation of grace, if you have been born again, you are His. The Church is His. So, today, if we are to apply this passage, we need to understand that it is a call to the His people.
SHALL HUMBLE THEMSELVES
Humbling ourselves before God not only means to acknowledge His authority, but to submit to it. Humility is the opposite of pride, and unfortunately, we are a culture of proud people. Arrogance in our own abilities and the need to make a name for ourselves has permeated the church. Our name. Our way. Our rights. Our glory.
We’ve made ourselves our own idols and God is calling us to humble ourselves and submit to God… the only One worthy of all glory. It’s time that we, God’s people, quit idolizing ourselves and humble ourselves before God.
Praying is humbly going to God with petitions as we intercede for ourselves and others. It’s not just saying we are going to pray. It’s not liking a social media meme about prayer. It’s not just praying a fleeting prayer without truly thinking about what we are saying. Oswald Chambers once said, “Prayer is the greatest work.” And E. M. Bounds declared, “God shapes the world by prayer.” If we are going to see God answer prayer, we must first pray.
AND SEEK MY FACE
Seeking God’s face means to strive after, beg for, hunger and thirst for His presence. It’s not a casual kind of seeking that is content with a possible glimpse of God at work in our lives. It is an insatiable appetite that aches for God in such a way that nothing else can satisfy until we know we’ve met with God.
- We have to ask ourselves… When is the last time we really sought God’s face?
AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS
We tend to combine humming ourselves with praying and then cling to that as if that was the promise. But we leave off seeking His face. We totally miss the fact that we have to repent from our wicked ways if we want to see God show up like He promised in 2 Chronicles 7:14.
We need to repent, not just as a nation, but individually. You and I (the church – His people) must turn from our wicked ways. Wicked ways vary from bad, mischievous, disagreeable, to evil, vicious, wicked. We need to repent from all things that God deems wicked.
- What is it that you need to repent from today?
THEN I WILL HEAR FROM HEAVEN
Then I will hear comes from the same word found in Deuteronomy 6. It’s the word shama. It means to give attention to, to listen with the intent to respond.
If we do our part – if we meet God’s conditions as set forth in the beginning of verse 14, God will then do His part to fulfill His promise to His people and respond to the cry of their humble and repentant hearts.
AND WILL FORGIVE THEIR SIN
The issue we have all had to come to grips with is that we are sinners. That’s why Jesus died so that He could save us from our sins. But, as much as we wish it was true, we don’t stop sinning when we get saved. We still get tangled up in selfishness and pride. We still insist on our own ways. We still deal with attitudes and behaviors that are contrary to God’s Word and God’s will.
Positionally, we are fully forgiven. But practically, we need to consistently confess (agree with God about) our sins. 1 John 1:9 reminds us of that need.
When God hears us, He responds with forgiveness… our first need for right fellowship to be restored between us and our Heavenly Father.
We need forgiveness as individuals and as a people before we can ever see healing take place in our land.
- What do you need to confess?
- What are somethings we, the church and our land needs to be forgiven of?
AND WILL HEAL THEIR LAND
To heal means to restore health. It’s the Hebrew word rapha’. The same Hebrew word found in God’s name, YHWH-Rapha (He Is Our Healer).
God, who is our Healer, will heal our land when we do what He calls us to do.
IF we will…
- Humble ourselves.
- Seek His face.
- Turn from our wicked ways.
THEN He will…
- Hear from Heaven.
- Forgive our sin.
- Heal our land.
What are you doing to live out 2 Chronicles 7:14 today?
How can we reach out to the church corporately in a united plea for church-wide humility, prayer, hunger for God’s presence, and repentance?