JOHN GRANT, Week Fifty, 2020
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 (2 Chronicles 7:14).
It is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. I call it the 4/3 test. When the going gets tough, God asks His people to do four things and in turn, He promises to do three.
1. We are called to humble ourselves.
2. We are called to pray.
3. We are called to seek His face.
4. We are called to turn from our wicked ways.
1. He will hear from heaven.
2. He will forgive our sins.
3. He will heal our land.
That’s a pretty simple and easily understood formula…. we do and He does. Those who believe must forsake sins, turn from the life that is centered on self, and yield to God’s word and will. They have to humble themselves and pray and seek His face and turn from their wicked ways, then and only then will the Lord hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
In this confused sinful time, when people are thinking of themselves, God wants us to think outwardly, not inwardly. People are born with an inward perspective naturally wanting to keep what they have and seize what others have. If there is any doubt in your minds about that, just observe a group of interacting two-year old’s in a room of toys. It’s a game of “gimmie.”
This simple formula tells us how to overcome those natural tendencies. It is a battle we have to face over and over again throughout life. Whether it is between nations or individuals the principles are the same. God tells us to pray and turn from our wicked ways, either as nations or individually before He will heal our land.
God wants us to pray like this: I pray to you, pledging my life to your service. Please forgive my sins, my heart, and my ways. I seek your face in prayer and in actions, please help me to be a blessing to those around me.
We all have wicked ways of various types, some more visible than others. We should examine our hearts and ask God to help us reveal and turn from our wicked ways.
As you ask God for guidance and direction, which wicked ways are you willing to turn from?
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
God wants us to be more consistent in life, calling us to be more consistent…
… as a follower of Christ
… as a leader at home and at work and all places in between
… as a husband
… as a father
… in my role as godly father and husband at home
… in helping my family (and friends) go deeper in their faith walk
… in me going deeper in my own faith walk
… in personal fitness and exercise
… even in getting a consistent night’s sleep
… in consistent bedtimes
… in consistent responses
… consistently fighting off sin and evil
… consistently putting on the full armor of God
… consistently taking up my cross (daily) and following Jesus
… which means consistent prayer, consistent reading and memorizing His word, and consistent devotion and accountability.
Striving to be consistent takes consistent effort and dedication.
— o —
John Baillie’s A Diary of Private Prayer is empowering:
Dear Father, take this day’s life into your keeping. Guide all my thoughts and feelings. Direct all my energies. Instruct my mind. Sustain my will. Take my hands and give me the skill to serve you. Take my feet and make them quick to do whatever you ask. Take my eyes and keep them fixed on your everlasting beauty. Take my mouth and give me the words to tell others of your love.
Make this day a day of obedience, a day of spiritual joy and peace. Make this day’s work a little part of the work of the kingdom of my Lord Jesus, in whose name these prayers are said. Amen.
— o —
The new media gives everyone a microphone. The best way to communicate is face-to-face; the worst way is for communication to be anonymous, invisible, and unregulated. But the latter describes the way 3.5 billion people communicate every day. Jim Denison
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
There’s more to life than buying stuff. The Minimalist
Many things are possible for the person who has hope. Even more is possible for the person who has faith. And still more is possible for the person who knows how to love. But everything is possible for the person who practices all three virtues. Brother Lawrence
The good news is that our faith points the way to a better future. Here’s the foundational biblical fact about humans: “God created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:27). As a result, every person I meet today was created by my Father. They are not my competitor for survival but a member of my family. Jim Denison
When last did worshiping Jesus draw you closer to someone with whom you disagree? Jim Denison