If My People Who Are Called By My Name

     In the midst of this nation’s political and social turmoil, this scripture is timely:

     2 Chronicles 7:14  “If My people who are called by My name will 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.”

     What is it to pray and seek God’s face? Listening for God’s direction first requires self-assessment and intentionally becoming a blank slate. It requires great care to not mistake our own pre-existing opinions, views, and desires with His voice. Let me suggest we go “all in” and forego our opinions and loyalties to people, parties, value systems, and even theologies before we seek Him.
     We can ready our minds to hear Him by saying and meaning:
  • Not my thoughts but Yours.
  • Not my words but Yours.
  • Not my emotions but Yours.
  • Not my actions but Yours.
  • Not my plan but Yours.
  • Not my will but Yours.
     Then we are to listen. Truly listen.
     If we hear nothing, then it’s our responsibility to not substitute that silence with our own or someone else’s thoughts. Until we hear, we need to remain neutral. If we move on before hearing directly from His Holy Spirit to ours, then that impetulance is ours to own.
     Early on, when we don’t know Him yet, or have just begun to know Him, it’s tricky. There are other voices that sometimes impose themselves, posing as the Holy Spirit. Sometimes they aggress as far as overwhelming us with anxiety, fear, or guilt. It’s part of the learning curve — stay determined: The more you know God, the more obvious it is that those cunning “voices” are not of our Father, but from the father of lies.
     It doesn’t end at “hearing from God”. What do we do with information once it has arrived? We have free wills. Do we reject his direction, argue with his knowledge or wisdom, or refuse to believe the gift of discernment He provided? It is always up to us to reject or choose his direction. It is always our choice to disagree or agree with His revelation, but if we continue to be “all in” with his “answers” to our praying and seeking, we can be secure in His truths.
     The same is true of personal growth and change: You are free to do so or not. You can choose to conform to people or to conform to God. Slowly but surely it is to our advantage to be transformed by Him, to be more like Him. Let that be our goal.
     Whether we hear from Him or not, we do ourselves and others a grave disservice by claiming God agrees with our unchanged selves. We undermine and wrong Him by claiming He endorses us as is. When people have safety in numbers, we are prone to forge ahead with our bold ambitions, but He does not endorse us unless we are following Him, not leading Him.
     People are free to proceed without God at any point, while claiming God’s approval. Check out what is happening in the religious world we live in, and see if you can spot them. If you don’t know God, but know only religious law, theology, or cultural values, you are unlikely to discern that God is not there with them as they believe. But if you have invested the hours, days, weeks, months, years, and decades to know Him, you will discern it. You can discern such a mysterious thing as what is true and what is false in the society we live in, because you have done your due diligence; you wanted to know God’s thoughts, not your own; you wanted God’s will only.
     When you’ve lived that life, and have been consistently willing to hear from Him and Him alone, it’s not your first rodeo to find yourself alone against the majority of even Christians — you’ve been there and done that a thousand times; He’s proved his words and revelations to you a thousand times as well. You’re a veteran. You spent the time with Him one-on-one to know Him more and more, so you recognize when groups of people are groundlessly claiming God’s endorsement. Though they disagree with you, a crowd against one, you know theirs is not the God you know. You trust your longtime relationship so much that you let Him alone be God.
     If enough people do THAT — truly seek God and God alone — only then, does He promise to hear from heaven and heal our land.