Be Humble, Pray, Seek, and Turn

2 Chronicles 7:13-15 ESV

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name 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. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.”

When He Shuts up the Heavens

God doesn’t always send sunshine. He doesn’t always send rain when needed. There is not always peace on the earth and perfect harmony among all living things. Life on this earth is not perfect. We have troubles. We have heartaches. Natural disasters happen such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, severe storms, floods, and tsunamis. Land catches on fire and crops are ruined by pestilence. This is life on earth.

So, why do these things happen? Why does God allow natural disasters, plagues, disease, drought, fires and floods, etc.? Well, the earth is under a curse because of sin, is it not? And we are all under a curse because of sin which can only be removed by God’s saving grace and by faith in Jesus Christ. But are there other possible reasons for why God allows such things to happen and why he does not prevent them from happening?

The first thing that comes to my mind is to draw all people to him. For, when things are going well, humans have a tendency to forget God or to ignore him and to go their own way. It can even happen to those who make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. They may even follow the Lord for a time and then one day something new is introduced into their lives and so they go after the things of this world, and God gets put on the shelf.

I believe Scripture also teaches that God allows us to go through trials and difficulties and tribulations to produce endurance in us and godly character, and steadfastness, and to try our faith, and to teach us to rely on God and not on ourselves, and so we may share God’s holiness, and so that it might yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness in us who have been trained by it, and/or to lead us to repentance and to renewed faith in Jesus Christ.

[Rom 5:3-5; Php 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 1 Thes 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Matt 5:10-12; Lu 21:12-19; 2 Co 1:3-11; 2 Co 4:17; Heb 12:3-12; Rev 3:19]

If My People

Who are God’s covenant people today? They are not the Jewish nation, for the nation has rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah, the Christ, who was to come and now has come. Instead, they are all people who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord (owner-master) and Savior of their lives, whether Jew or Gentile by physical birth, who have died with Christ to sin and who are living to him and to his righteousness.

For Jesus Christ, God the Son, is the promised seed of Abraham through whom all nations are being blessed. It is not those who are merely physical descendants of Abraham who are God’s children, but it is those who are the children of promise, and they are only those who belong to Christ, by genuine faith in Jesus Christ. For Jesus destroyed the barrier between Jew and Gentile and he made us both one in Christ, by faith in Christ.

And this faith in Jesus Christ is not a mere acknowledgment of him or of what he did for us on that cross, and it is not mere physical words that we repeat after someone else in a prayer, and it is not just acceptance of his love and grace and forgiveness. This faith is of God, it is gifted to us by God, and therefore it submits to Christ as Lord, forsakes sin, and follows Jesus Christ in obedience to his ways, to his will, and to his commands.

[Gal 3:16, 26-29; Rom 9:4-8; Gal 4:22-31; Eph 2:14-18; 1 Jn 2:22; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23]

Be Humble, Pray, Seek, Turn

So, this is evidence that one of God’s purposes in allowing disasters, trials, and tribulations in our lives is to get us to humble ourselves, where obviously we need to be humbled. And this means to empty ourselves of ourselves, to cease with pride, and to see ourselves as God sees us, but not in a confession of “who you are in Christ.” For God sees when we sin. And he sees what is going on deep down within our hearts.

So, we need to own up to whatever he shows us that is wrong and that needs to be corrected. And we need to do whatever it is that he requires in order to make it right. And it may be something different for each situation. But what is common is that we need to deny self, die to sin, and follow our Lord Jesus in obedience. We need to call on God IN TRUTH and agree with him about our sin, and turn from the sin, and turn to follow him.

For, if we don’t, and if we continue in our wicked ways, in pride, and we insist on living in sin and in doing what we want to do, then we must know that the Scriptures teach that if we do not repent and turn from our sins and walk in obedience to our Lord that we are going to die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God no matter what we confess with our lips or think we believe in our hearts.

[Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:1-17; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27]

Forgiveness and Healing

Please understand here that many are teaching a cheap grace gospel (or easy believism) which requires no such humility, repentance, seeking of God’s face, turning from their wicked ways, and walks of obedience to the Lord Jesus as required for forgiveness of sins, spiritual healing, and eternal life with God. For they say that is works-based salvation. But please read the posted Scripture references here and you will see that is a lie from hell.

If we want to come after Christ, we must deny self, die daily to sin and to self, and follow him in obedience. We must walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, and we must sow to please the Spirit and not sow to please the flesh, and sin must not be what we practice, but righteousness and holiness and obedience are to be what we practice or we don’t have salvation from sin nor eternal life with God, but hell will be our eternal destiny.

So, if you are still living in sin, convinced that you are saved from your sins and that heaven is your eternal destiny, please take the time to read these Scriptures referenced here for they do not teach that. If you make sin your practice, you will not be saved from your sins nor will you inherit eternal life with God. Many are going to come before the Lord one day and say, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and he is going to say that he never knew them and that they are to depart from him. So, please don’t be one of those. Please repent and obey.

The Prayer

Written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager,
Alberto Testa and Tony Renis

I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

I pray we’ll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When the stars go out each night
Remind us where you are.

Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

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P.S. This is not an endorsement of the singers other than as musicians

7 thoughts on “Be Humble, Pray, Seek, and Turn

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