If My People
by Danna Appleby
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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. 2 Chronicles 7:14
When the tiny word “if” is spoken in a sentence it gives the meaning that something "could" happen. “If” is strictly a word based on a condition or stipulation. Here in this part of the country, we might say if we do “thus and so” then “this and that” just might happen!
But as far as God is concerned, there’s a lot hinging upon the little word “if.” God says that if His people will humble themselves in prayer, seek His face and turn from their wicked ways, He will forgive their sins and their land will be healed. All of a sudden, the little word “if” seems to have graduated from a tiny word to a big stipulation.
Beloved, the floodgates of heaven are bursting at the seams, but our nation must come to repentance before great things can happen. Repentance has to be done before this land can be healed and blessings to flow. To put it in simple terms, the slates of our hearts must be wiped clean and it can only be done through humbling ourselves before Almighty God. Our nation needs to repent because our sins are many.
What is repentance? It’s simply asking God for forgiveness from all sins and wrongdoing. It takes only simple, uncomplicated words that even a child can say. Repentance is not a suggestion, but a command. In fact, Jesus preached repentance on a regular basis. (Matt. 4:17)
Romans 10:9-10 gives us instructions on repentance:
(9) That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (10) For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
Repentance is the first step to take at the time of salvation. Without it, trying to be a Believer, will not and cannot happen. Believing with your heart brings justification, and then confessing with your mouth that you are indeed saved and that you believe it.
One religion teaches that as long as you do good works it makes up for all wrong deeds. There’s another religion that says you must fast to make up for all sin, but we can look at Scripture and see clearly what God’s way is and that we're not saved by our own works, but by grace.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. Eph. 2:8-9
We must go to the Father and ask for forgiveness and He will be faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 Jn. 1:9)
Have you ever thought how repulsive sin truly is? Are you appalled by the sin and evil that is so evident in our nation? Evil is increasing in our land on a daily basis and seems to be more rampant as time goes by. The newspapers and newscasts are full of one report after another of murders, child molestations, rapes, robberies and many other crimes.
Sin tastes terrible. It smells disgusting. It looks despicable. Nothing feels good about it. Nothing “is” good about it. Sin has an allurement for a season and from there spirals down into darkness. The enemy will set a trap to snag his prey. If we could see from a spiritual standpoint how sordid sin truly is, we would never touch it and would be so repulsed by it, that we would run from it every time it rears its ugly head. Scripture tells us we're to avoid every type of evil. (1 Thess. 5:22)
The Apostle Paul said to turn to God in repentance and have faith in the Lord Jesus. (Acts 20:21) We must turn away from all evil and seek God to help us walk down the path of righteousness, doing our best for Him every day.
For me personally, I want the Master Potter to mold and shape me like never before. In order for the Holy Spirit to do that, He must reveal my secret sins. If I feel the wooing of the Holy Spirit revealing things He sees in my heart not pleasing to Him, I must confess them. If I hold off and do not humble myself before God, I will not go further in my experience with him. I could become cold and possibly lose out with God. With that thought, I have to say as the Apostle Paul did: “God forbid!”
It’s important to remember that we must not quench the Spirit when sin is pointed out to us. (1 Thess. 5:19) Never think for a moment that the Holy Spirit stands over us with a whip, but gently in His infinite love, points to those things not pleasing. When that happens in my life, I’ll have an overflow of tears. Those times usually come in quiet moments when it’s just God and me.
We have a High Priest, Jesus Christ, who sits at the right hand of the Father, waiting to hear us call upon His name in prayer. He longs for us to come, humbling ourselves in repentance so He can cleanse us and make us pure. If you have never done so, run into His arms now! He is waiting for you.
May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thess. 5:23
Father, we come to You humbly repenting of our sins. We sometimes do things, have thoughts and say things that are not what Christ would do or say. Cleanse us and make us pure and holy in Your sight. Make us into the one You want us to be as we look full in Your wonderful face. Father, purify us so that we can serve You with our whole heart. We give ourselves totally to You and run into Your arms this moment and are grateful for Your forgiveness and mercy. Where would we be without it? Heal our land now Father, heal our land. We cry for mercy and ask that you forgive this nation for sins that are overtaking us and ask You to change the hearts of our people. Help our nation to turn back to God. In Your Son’s name. Amen.
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Good message...I remember when I was in the 8th grade, and we had to memorize that poem "If"...that has stuck with me over the years...such a little word but full of meaning. Yes, we need to earnestly seek the Lord for the healing of our land. Thnaks for sharing! Be blessed, Irvin