“...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.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
When it comes to familiar verses in the Bible, this definitely ranks up there as a familiar one. Most of the time when we hear this verse it is on the National Day of Prayer. The National Day of Prayer is a pretty solid day to break this verse out, but I do not think we do the application of the verse justice if we confine it to just one day out of the year.
If we really think about it, the reality of this verse is pretty daunting. We like to focus on the part of God hearing us from heaven, the fact He will forgive us of our sin and the hope of having our land healed. All of these are some great promises, and we should certainly take note. But, we often are guilty of skipping over what is required of us because it is not easy.
Included in this verse are crucial steps we can take in order to represent Jesus well to the people around us. We are challenged to humble ourselves, to pray, to seek God’s face and to turn from our wicked ways. I do not know about you, but I certainly struggle with each of these challenges on a pretty regular basis.
I struggle with humbling myself because I try to convince myself I can take care of my own life. I attempt to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders without any help from God, essentially trying to show off my pride.
I struggle with praying sometimes. I allow the noise and busyness of life to keep me from seeking the stillness of God’s presence by just talking to Him. Yet, for those who know me, I talk all the time to others!
I struggle with seeking God’s face. I am one to quickly tell others how beautiful Jesus is and how wonderful it is to be in awe of Him, yet seeking His face is something that can fall to the back of my list so quickly. I get so caught up at looking at the things around me, or even what is in the future, rather than being present with God.
I struggle with turning from my wicked ways sometimes. I have been walking with Jesus for almost 13 years now and I still am amazed at what makes me stumble. After a stumble I always sit and wonder how I let something so temporary and unfulfilling take the place of the goodness of Jesus.
I guess to boil it down, I just straight up struggle to be a Christ follower sometimes. I am one who certainly wants to enjoy the promises in this verse, but I often try to convince myself I cannot because I do not “meet” the requirements.
As the voice of unmet requirements repeats in my ears, another voice begins to breakthrough. I begin to hear the words Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:4-8:
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
This is the reality we live in. We do not have to meet requirements because Jesus came and did what only Jesus could do. Now we have access to grace and the promises in these verses because of what Jesus did, and because of who Jesus is.
God always keeps His promises. I can imagine God has some incredible way of healing our land, whether it is in this life, or the life we spend with Him in heaven, but I believe God needs to heal His people first. For those of us who believe in Jesus our sins have been forgiven. In the unfathomable way grace works we no longer are in debt of our sins. The grace of Jesus covered all and any sin, and we get to receive forgiveness. Thanks be to Jesus we are no longer bound to meet requirements, rather we can live free in grace.
Do you feel as though you live through life as trying to meet requirements such as humbling yourself, praying, seeking God’s face and turning from your wicked ways?
What are some potential requirements you feel you have to meet as a Christ-follower?
What would it look like to live in grace rather than what you feel are requirements? Take the time each day to read Ephesians 2:4-8 to remind yourself of the grace Jesus has for you!
Father, thank you for Your promises. I am so thankful for the reality of living free in grace rather than having to meet certain requirements. I pray You teach my heart to receive the grace You have for me, and as I live in grace, I know others will have the chance to see You. I am undeserving but so thankful for Your love Father. I pray in Your holy name, Amen.
PC3 writer Davy Nance wrote today’s devotional.