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Four Things God Looks For

"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." (2nd Chronicles 7:14) 

Before we begin I want you to notice to whom God is speaking, or rather to whom this message is addressed.  It is "My people which are called by My name", that is God's people.  This message isn't addressed to the unsaved, but to the saved.  Keep this in mind as we go through this verse, then test it against the rest of Scripture to see its validity.

The next thing I want us to look at is what happens if we obey these words, "... then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land."  I want you to see these first, because they frequently get overlooked.  This is the beginning and the end of one statement, and they are tied together.  Between these are four things that God is looking for, not in people in general, but in His people.  That is the point I want to make.  Have you ever wondered why it seems that God doesn't hear you when you pray?  Maybe He doesn't, for part of this promise is that once you meet those four needs THEN He will hear, not before.  That's not saying He doesn't hear everything we say, think or imagine.  What it does mean is it's the only time He is paying attention to us.  God takes this further by saying He will forgive our sins.  Now remember, God isn't talking to the sinner, He's talking to His own people.  He knows His people have allowed sin to enter into their lives, but they must rid themselves of this sin.  The only way they can do that is by fulfilling the four requirements that come before this.  As if this weren't enough, God says that once we have fulfilled our place in Him then He will also heal our land.  Think for a moment.  One of the first things that happened after the original sin was that the ground was cursed.  It was and has been under a curse ever since, but God has the power to heal even that.  He has the power to make it rain when rain is needed, to stop the rains that would erode, to calm the rumblings of earthquakes and volcanoes, to still the violent winds of tornadoes and hurricanes.  All we have to do is be faithful to Him, to meet four requirements.  These things that God is looking for are not the requirements of a church, but the requirements of the Father for those children living in His house.  Hear now the word of the Lord.

Humble yourselves.  God is not looking for a proud people, but a humble people.  The "Good Samaritan" could not be useful if he were not humble.  Neither can the Christian be of much use to God if they are not humble.  This is a hard thing to do, but you must be humbled before God.  Either you will do it, or He will humble you Himself.  Chosing to humble yourselves is God's will for your life.

Pray!  There is not enough that can be said about prayer.  It is our lifeline to God.  We should remember there are many different facets to prayer, many ways in which to pray.  We may pray in the Spirit.  We may make intercession.  We may offer up praises.  We may pray for healing or for some other miracle, but one of the things that we need to do is foster an ATTITUDE of prayer.  Paul tells us to "Pray without ceasing."  Now obviously he doesn't mean to stay down at the altar until we waste away from lack of food and water.  No, Paul means to live your life in prayer.  It is the air you breath, the very thing that keeps you alive.  When God made man He first formed him, but he was just a lump of molded dirt.  Then God breathed into him "and man became a living soul".  That is what prayer is my friend.  It is when these vessels of clay humbly place themselves at God's disposal, to listen for His voice as well as to talk to Him.  For then God breathes life into these clay vessels making us "living stones" in His temple.

Seek His Face!  This is a specific form of prayer, in addition to simply praying.  For this prayer is to put our lives in His hands in such a way that only His will matters to us.  We read the words "Seek His face" and are sometimes overwhelmed with the impossibility of that very thing.  "For no one has seen God at any time."  Yet this isn't what God is saying.  He's not asking for us to find His physical face and look at it.  He's asking for us to get close enough to Him that we might know what He wants us to do for Him.

Turn from your wicked ways.  Some will say, "But I'm a Christian."  Others will take that even further saying Christians cannot sin.  There are those who will tell us that once you are saved that salvation is eternally secure.  Notice here that all of those statements are false.  God is, as I've said, not talking to the sinner, but to His own house.  In current times He was talking to the House of Israel.  They were His chosen people.  They still ARE His chosen people, but through the blood of Jesus God has taken us, who were afar off, and brought us near, joining us together with those who were of the former covenant making in Himself "one new man".  Jesus DID die for the sins of all.  He especially died for the sins of those in the household of God.  Yet we are told to 'turn from our wicked ways."  If you have little doubt about the possibility of the loss of so great a salvation continue on and consider what I brought up earlier.  It is only THEN that God will forgive your sins.  We know that no sin shall come before our Heavenly Father.  Therefore let us strive to do as He has commanded.

What does this mean to me?  If you're a Christian it means to check your daily walk.  God isn't really impressed with how many times you go to church a week (or month or year), or how you dress, nor is He moved by what you say.  You see, God isn't the one who has to move.  He's already perfect.  He's calling us to perfection and showing us how to do it.  First He gave this promise to King Solomon, then He became a man and in the person of Jesus SHOWED us how to do it.  If you are not meeting His requirements your are either; 1) having trouble in your Christian walk, 2) not a Christian, or 3) have lost your salvation and are in danger of sharing eternity with the devil and his angels.  The apostle Paul tells us how hard he worked so that what he preached and what was received by others would not be lost to him, that after proclaiming so great a salvation he might in the end find himself lost.  Think about it.  If the apostle Paul thought his spiritual walk needed to be tended so carefully, don't we also need to tend to our Christian walk?  Walk therefore as children of the Light, even as He is of the light.  Walk in the power and strength of His Spirit.  This we can only find in one place, at the feet of Jesus, humbly praying, seeking His face, and repenting of our sins.

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