Does it feel like our society is declining? Does it feel like we are losing all sense of morality, of right, of absolute truth? Do you sense, as I do, that our nation as it was founded and as we know it is slipping away?
I believe there is a formula for restoring our land. God has given us the answer to bringing health to our nation.
In the past, restoration for "my land" meant the politician needed to clean up their act. Healing required the representative and Congress to make right decisions. Restoration meant the media needed to bring more family friendly values back into the mainstream.
It meant that it was the job of those around me who have "power" to restore my land. But that is not the formula as I now see it. That is not what God has intended as the beginnings to a restorative work.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT)
“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. "
"My people who are called by My name" is not the politician, the representative, Congress, the media, or even the guy next door. This is the church, the body of Christ. Even more personally... this is ME! If you claim to be a Christian then this is You!
Now that we know who this verse is addressing, what does it say to do?
It says "if we humble ourselves". It says "if we pray". It says "if we seek His face". It says "if we turn from OUR wicked ways". It is not demanding that of those outside the body of Christ... it is demanding that of the people called by HIS name. Again, that is ME!
What does this verse promise if we humble ourselves, if we pray, if we seek His face, if we turn from our wicked ways?
It promises that if we do these things... He will hear from heaven. He will forgive our sins. He will restore our land. Other versions use the words "heal our land". Ah, restoration and healing. Doesn't is sound so refreshing and so wonderful?
But where does the responsibility lie?
If I'm reading this correctly, the majority of the responsibility is mine. Am I humbling myself before God? Am I praying? Am I seeking His face? To me, these phrases conjure up more than just a quick two minute recitation and then off to do my day.
These bring to mind visions of being on my knees, no rather, on my face... prostrate before God. These bring a sense of urgency, of desperation, of determination. Is that me? Am I willing to stand in the gap?
Ezekiel 22:30 (NLT)
“I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one. "
Psalm 51:10-12 (Amplified Bible)
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit."
Am I willing to begin the change in me? Am I ready to stop looking around me at who needs to change... and instead change my own heart? Am I ready and willing to turn from my own wicked ways? Am I committed to pursuing righteousness and holiness at its very core? Am I willing to persevere for the very words of God Himself?
This will require a discipline and loyalty. This will require not always being popular. This will demand being set apart from the world and its behaviors. This will demand obedience when to obey doesn't always make sense or seem fair. This will require sacrifice. This will not be easy. This will require accepting the Word of God in its absolute, complete entirety!
Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
No wonder "my formula" wasn't working. "My formula" was looking to the politicians to change. It demanded the representatives and Congress to take action. It required the media to change. It required the government, the school system, society itself to change their ways. It required "them" to do something.
But it does not appear that is God's formula. To begin healing in my land, to once again have restoration in our nation... it must begin with us. It is up to us as His people... called by His Name. It begins with me!
Did you vote? It's our privilege as Americans!