IF MY PEOPLE
“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” II Chronicles 7:14
Many, many years ago when God hear Solomon’s prayer and answered him with these words, He knew that we would also need to hear them today. Solomon had been building the Temple of the Lord and had finished it along with the royal palace. He and all of Israel had just completed 7 days of celebration and scarifying to God. Solomon had completed everything he had planned to do.
Then one night God appeared to Solomon and said, “I have heard your prayer and I have chosen this Temple as the place for making sacrifices. At times I might shut the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy – a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.” II Chronicles 7: 14-16
Can I make a suggestion about these verses? We always seem to look at them and immediately think about our nation and all that is going on, but let’s look at them as if God is talking to us personally.
#1: You are God’s Temple. In I Corinthians 6:19 Paul tells us, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” Take II Chronicles 7:14-16 to heart. Are you being the Temple God built you to be?
#2: You are going to have uncertain times. In John 16: 33 Jesus tells us, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace with me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” At times you may feel like heaven has shut its doors. When this happens maybe God is trying to get your attention or maybe God is using your witness to get someone else’s attention.
#3: Pray and seek God’s face in ALL things. Colossians 4: 2 says, “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” Pray about even the simplest thing and then be ready to hear from God. Hebrews 11: 6b tells us, “and He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.” The key word here is sincerely. We can look and seek all day long but if we are not sincerely trying to find God, He will not be found.
#4: God wants to speak to you. We are told in Jeremiah 33: 3 that God said, “Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.” You are God’s child. He is your Father. He wants a relationship with you.
#5 God chose you. In Isaiah 43:1b God says, “Do not be afraid for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.” Isn’t this an awesome thought – God picked you. He calls you by your name. You belong to Him. Can I get an AMEN!
Now let’s reread these verses and paraphrase. “I have heard your prayer (insert your name here) and I have chosen this Temple (which is you) as the place for making sacrifices (living for me). At times I might shut the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you (bad things may happen). Then if you who are called by my name will humble yourselves and pray and seek my face and turn from your wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive your sins and restore your land (life). My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made by you. For I have chosen this Temple (you) and have set you apart to be holy – a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over you, for you are dear to my heart.” II Chronicles 7: 14-16
A very wise woman once told me that for the world to change it must start with one person and that person is me.
Lord, help me to continually pray and seek your face and your face only. When hard times come, let me keep seeking. When good times come, let me keep seeking. When I don’t feel like I am hearing from you, let me keep seeking. I am humbled that you have chosen me as your child. I am humbled that you know my name. I stand amazed that you will always watch over me and that you hold me close to your heart. Lord, burn in my heart the desire to be with you for I am your child and you are my Father. Amen and Amen