Monday, November 28, 2011

When God's Children Cry Out

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) “….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.” 

Luke 18:7-8 (The Message) “So what makes you think God won’t step in and work justice for his chosen people, who continue to cry out for help? Won’t he stick up for them? 8 I assure you, he will. He will not drag his feet. But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns?”

Economics, politics, health care, poverty, famine, war, violence, and anything else that touches the lives of so many.  We are facing this and much more!  On a personal level, there is pain, hurt, anger, resentment, bitterness, sorrow, agony, despair, and the list goes on and on. 

At this time of year, no one wants to hear about the deep dark blemishes in society.  No one likes to talk about the impoverished unless they are sending their monetary gift to a child they have never seen before.  (I am not speaking against these programs.  They have helped thousands of children and have been a source of the Gospel to many who may not have heard.)  What about the ones two doors down that struggle from day to day trying to make something happen but doesn’t know how?  What about the person you see every Sunday at church, who may be hurting and in pain, waiting for someone to simply show that they care?  What about the mother struggling to handle her children because she didn’t have the best example of who a mother should be… are you lovingly assisting her or judging how poor her parenting skills are with the shake of the head and “the glance” as we walk away. 

Perhaps you are not the spectator.  Maybe you are the person screaming on the inside for someone to notice… someone to simply acknowledge that they are more than who they think they are.  Either way… It’s time to cry out.

Here it is… quite simply.  I know it sometimes takes a lot for us to step off of our pedestal of pride to allow someone, including God, to help us.  But, 2 Chronicles 7:14 says “….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.”  Hurt, wounded, aching, we cry out.  Desperate, we turn to God.  Why does it take us so long?  Why didn’t we do this so long ago? 
The first part of 2nd Chronicles says “My people who are called by My name”.  A hard pill to swallow but the question that no one can deny is simply this… Are you His?  Have you become a Child of God?  Or are you simply a reunion crasher.
My grandfather told me a story so long ago about when he and his brother crashed a family reunion at a local park in order to get lunch.  They walked up to the buffet line, after everyone had gone through and most were not paying attention, and made themselves plates.  Someone looked at him and said “You must be so n’ so’s boy”.  My grandfather looked at him and said “Yup!” 
This is so true today.  The person you sit next to on Sunday may very well be a reunion crasher.  Do we turn them away?  Certainly not!  Take them to the father for adoption.  Bring them into the family legitimately. 
Once the first qualification is complete then we must move on to the second.  Humility.  If we, as God’s children, cannot move beyond humility, face to the floor and admit that I cannot save myself…I can’t even sustain myself & I need Him more than anything… then there is nothing God can do for us.  Why, because He will not force Himself into a place where He is not welcome.  Look at the things we have done so far?  Are they the best?  Are they the absolute optimal for you?  That is what God wants for His children… the BEST.  And yet we keep telling Him that we don’t need Him to intervene! 
Pray and seek God’s face go hand in hand.  If you are communing and conversing with God, you will begin to seek His face because as you pray, God will reveal things to you and your spirit will begin to awaken!  The hunger begins to return, and the fire that you never thought could be rekindled, will be lit!  You no longer want to sin, rebel by doing things our way & living in the absence of God!
What happens next is God’s response to our obedience!  “…then I will hear from heaven”  God says that He will hear us.  I remember my mother telling me about this, and sometimes I do it to.  When children are nagging and begging and whining and we are in the middle of fixing dinner, or shopping, or even reading a magazine or book, and we tune out all external stimuli.  We don’t hear a thing.  Especially someone else’s kids!  God is the same way.  He will not respond to someone else’s kids, and definitely does not respond to pride, arrogance and selfishness!  BUT, when we have God’s ear… Even the Israelites knew to call daddy when the big kids started to pick on them and He rose up a warrior to save them.  Consider Judges 3:9, Judges 10:10, and Psalms 107:6.  Each time, the Lord’s chosen people would get back on track and in line with God.  But then, before long, they would begin to get too big for their britches and start doing things their own way.  They would forget how God had to save them the last time from their messes.  So, sitting in slavery, poverty, and utter ruin, they would cry out to God.  “GOD, SAVE US!”  They would have to consecrate and get back in line and then God would deliver them once again!
Not only does God hear us, He forgives our sin because we have turned from our former ways.  Remember the mentality, “My way or the highway.”  This is what we must turn from.  God’s ways are higher and better than ours.  He can see the flaws and the mistakes in our plans and says “there’s a better way.”  He promises to forgive us for our pride and arrogance.  This takes true humility but it can be done.  And, OH the joy and peace and rest that comes from the very last part.  When God heals our land, and we are at peace and one with Him, we begin to walk in the fullness of all that He has for us.  No good thing is withheld as His will becomes ours.  Just as children, we want to please Him and He wants to please us as our heavenly father!

I challenge you to begin to take time to seek God’s face and humble yourself before Him.  That is what December 1st is all about.  7:14pm, all over the world, for one hour, there will be thousands upon thousands of people coming together… IN UNITY to pray for God to heal our land.  Not just our city, or state, or country, but the whole world!  To seek God’s face and a might move and outpour of the Holy Spirit as in Joel 2!  If you need prayer, there will be plenty of people there to stand with you, in love, and pray for you!
Don’t let pride and fear stand in the way of being in the best and most important relationship of your life!!!

7:14 on Facebook or on Twitter @7_fourteen          7:14 - Fort Wayne - Facebook event!  Click to find out more!
7:14 Fort Wayne will be held at Freimann Square, December 1st @  7:14pm – 8:14pm.  Please come and join in with many other brothers and sisters in Christ as we seek His face!!!

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