Devotion for the Week...
Author Lysa Terkeurst lives in North Carolina, which has been in the news this past week because of riots and protests that erupted in Charlotte after a black man was shot by a police officer. Lysa posted on Instagram one day last week, "God says, 'if MY people'...Not those people...But '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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.' (2 Chronicles7:14)"
I haven't been able to get that IG post out of my mind. I knew that verse from 2 Chronicles. King Solomon had finished dedicating the newly completed temple of the Lord and when he was at home at night the Lord appeared to him. God promised Solomon that whenever things went wrong in the land, then if the Isrealites (His people) turned to him, then He would hear and would heal their land (Israel).
But Lysa's post made me think about it differently. God's people today are the Christians, those of us who believe that Jesus came to offer salvation to the world. We don't have one nation that we call our own. Instead, we are scattered throughout the world, so "their land" in the context of today would mean the whole world.
Well, there is no denying that our world is in desperate need of healing. Terrorism, racism, the refugee crisis, economic crises, gun violence, poverty...there are so many things wrong with the world. Even thinking about how to fix just one of those problems is mind-boggling. We look to governments, police forces, armies and organizations to make things better, but it doesn't really seem to be working.
Maybe that's because we're not doing what we're supposed to be doing. Maybe we're not supposed to be paying attention only to what other people are doing, blaming them for all the problems in the world. Maybe we're also supposed to be humbling ourselves, praying, seeking God's face and turning from our wicked ways. And maybe that's the most important thing we're supposed to be doing.
I have to confess that I don't know how that works. After all, we are not the terrorists. We are not the smugglers, packing desperate refugees onto boats that are hardly able to contain them, let alone get them safely to their destination. But, as Lysa pointed out, the Bible doesn't say the land will be healed when those who aren't God's people change their ways. The land will be healed when God's people turn towards Him, seeking Him with their whole hearts.
It is time to stop waiting for governments, police forces, armies and organizations to make things better. God is the one who will heal the land, but first His people must seek Him with their whole hearts.