I have been reading and meditating in Chronicles this morning. I know, not a book of the Bible that one would first think to go to for a devotional time, but it is the book where we find the call to pray, followed by the promise of God to heal our land.
Now, sound familiar?
2 Chronicles 7:14 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.
A few phrases particularly stuck out ot me – humble themselves. First off, what has put our world in such a panic during this recent Pandemic? – a virus! In all our wisdom, intellect, accomplishments, fortitude and the pride that accompanies such things, here we find ourselves stifled and restricted by a microscopic adversary!
It’s not that we have not achieved some great things. It’s just that collectively we have forgotten to give credit and gratitude for those things where it is due – to our God and Heavenly Father, who spoke the very world into existence and gave us the ability to think, create, learn, and reason. Humility, something we need to remember and consistently walk in.
I symbolized this call of humility with a drawing of a ram’s horn in the margin of my Bible. In it I see strength and skill, but with it a reminder that even the strong need to be humble.
Seek my face – what does that mean? As believers isn’t God always near, that I should not have to seek Him? Why are we to seek His face? This refers to a continual mindset on our part. Being ever conscious of His presence and acknowledging Him. Another verse in Chronicles says this:
1 Chronicles 22:19a Now set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God.
Setting our mind is an act of the will and an offering of our time. John Piper says this:
“The setting of our mind is the opposite of mental coasting”
I love that! When we mentally coast, our guard is down and our awareness of God is weak and the enemy can fill our minds with all kinds of things: fear, anxiety, depression…
The portion of the 2 Chronicles passage we often never get to, after the part about God forgiving and healing our land, is this:
2 Chronicles 7:15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.
Wow! His eyes will be opened, His ears attentive! Our posture of humility, in seeking His face stirs our God into action.
2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.
He seeks us out! Not just casually watching over us, but He is in active pursuit. I have the mental picture of a mom who has lost her child – fervently, intensely, seeking with an all-out passion to find, nurture and protect. And to think that my posture of humility and seeking God’s face can elicit such a response from my Father. And, what is God’s purpose as He seeks after us? To give us STRONG support. He will strengthen our hearts!
Doesn’t that just give you encouragement? That’s my prayer today for you and me, to receive strong support today from our God who loves us and sees us and to pass that on to bring those far from God near.
Less mental coasting–
-living in fear
More seeking His face
-Being in the Word
-Utilizing our prayer closets
-distance socializing over social distancing
(reach out, make a phone call, Skype a friend, support a neighbor)
We are His people, and He will heal our land!