Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Holiness Is What God Wants From Us?

“…. if My people who are called by My name will 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.” —2 Chronicles 7:14

That verse was shared during a recent meeting I attended.  I was reminded of its prominence some years ago. Michael Card, a Christian musician, released a song called Heal Our Land in 1994 with that verse at its core.  Many Christians, in the United States at least, hoped that a revival or awakening would spread across this land.  Really hoping that the light of Christ would shine and our culture would make a turn towards God and away from darkness. Well, here we are today, 26 years later – and the days seem darker than ever.

I thought it might be helpful to unpack that verse to give perspective. There are several, what I think are, significant points. First – “if my people called by my name” means God’s people which means His spiritual children – not created mankind – but people born again by the Spirit. (1 John 3:1) “will humble themselves” If we need to become humble that would suggest that there is a lack of humbleness among His people. God requires humility from us which requires that we have a heart change – love ourselves less and Him more. (Micah 6:8) (Matthew 22:37-39)  “and pray and seek my face” To pray and seek His face means to seek Him out. To focus on Him as the source – just like Jesus did. (Philippians 4:6-7) “and turn from their wicked ways” What! Isn’t it the country that needs healing? But the lost are not God’s children.  He loves them and sent His Son to save them from their sin, but that does not make them His children. Jesus said this to the Jews ….

Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.” –  John 8:43-45

In the eternal context, there are only two kinds of people in the world – lost and saved. You father is either the god of this world, Satan, or the God of heaven – Jehovah God. And the God of heaven wants his children to not live like the children of the god of this world – Satan. Ouch! So it is not that the lost would turn from their wicked ways – they can only do that by the power of God through faith in Jesus, but that Christians would live be the Spirit and not their old nature – identifying with and accommodating a culture that embraces the darkness. It is then – when our hearts are clean that God will hear us and heal our land – not for our comfort but for His glory out of His love for His creation. Does it bother you that our obedience – the condition of our hearts –  is somehow tied to the darkness in this country?

There is a song – “Take My Life” by Micah Stampley that I first heard in a country church in Alabama. It was that song that was rolling around in my mind as I wrote this devotion this morning

"Take My Life"

Holiness, Holiness Is what I long for

Holiness Is what I need

Holiness, Holiness Is what you want For me

Righteousness, Righteousness Is what I long for

Righteousness Is what I need

Righteousness That's what you want for me


So take my heart And mold it

Take my mind Transform it

Take my will Conform it To yours To yours Oh Lord


Brokenness, Brokeness Is what I long for

Brokeness Is what I need

Brokeness, Brokenness That's what you want For me

For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise..” – Psalm 51:16-17

If we want to see change in this country – the change must start in us.  God wants us to be holy – a bright light in a dark place. So let your light shine Christian.

“…. but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’ And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear” – 1 Peter 1:15-17

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

No comments: