You would think the world would be a much better place if only all the notorious sinners would just quit sinning! But I was looking at 2 Chronicles 7:14 the other day and it dawned upon me that the responsibility for the condition of the land rest with the people of God! Look at the text! The KJV renders it: “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.” Do you see what I saw? Look at what the text didn’t say! It didn’t say that God would heal the land if all the dope-boys came off the corner! It didn’t say that God would heal the land if all the sinners joined the church! It didn’t say that God would heal the land if the government did justly! NO! It said: “If my people. . .” Who are your people Lord? The Lord says: “The ones which are called by my name! If they would just do right! If they would just acknowledge their need for me and sincerely pray! If they would just seek my presence and turn from their wickedness, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land!”
Now there is a principle throughout the scripture that suggests that God honors the saving or preserving effect of the righteous. As evil and corrupt as Sodom and Gomorrah was, God would have spared them if there had been only ten (10) righteous in the land (See Genesis 18:32)! The last post prior to this one (See “Get Jonah Off Your Ship”) suggests the presence of certain people in our lives may be the reason for some of our troubles. But on the other hand, the presence of certain other people in our lives could very well be the source of some of our blessings! Genesis 39:4-5 says; “So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, [Potiphar] and he [Potiphar] made him [Joseph] overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had, in house and field.” (ESV) Wow! Do you see that? That’s what Jesus was talking about when he said to his disciples in Matthew 5:13-14, “You are the salt of the earth. . . . You are the light of the world!” Our calling is to be salt and light; to be preservatives and sources of divine insight!
Notice in the Chronicles passage that the Lord said: “If my people would. . . .Seek my face!” From much of the preaching and teaching I am hearing today, there are not many who are seeking His face! In the Bible, the phrase “to seek (my, his) face” means to seek the presence of God. But many, who claim to be Christians in America today, are not really seeking His presence because they are too busy seeking His presents! They don’t really want the face of God; they just want the favor of God! They are like a man who has a hard time looking in the face of a woman who is wearing a blouse with a revealing cleavage! They don’t seek the face of God because they are too preoccupied with seeking the favor of God! Little do they know; there is no real favor without His face!
But the key to the welfare of any society or community is the spiritual fidelity and maturity of the people who are called by His name! So, my brothers and sisters, don’t get so upset with “sinners,” they are just doing what they do! The real power for change is in the hands of those of us who are called by His name! When we get ourselves together and quit “playing church,” take God and His word seriously, and seek first the Kingdom of God and His/Its righteousness, all the things we need will be added unto us and God will heal our land!