Thursday, March 14, 2013

How to Receive God's Best Blessings, part 4

When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among 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, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:13-14

Do I have a wicked ... evil ... wrong ... bad ... no good ... impure way(s)? I have many.  What about you? If getting my prayers answered is dependent upon my meeting the condition of turning from my wicked way(s), then why have I not turned away from them ... some of them ... more of them ... all of them?  One biblical definition of turn away is to repent, and vice-versa.  To repent means to turn away. So why have you not turned away from your wicked way(s)?  Is it hard to do so?  Does it hurt to do so?  Do I want to do so? Do you?

As I write this, I'm reminded of a season of my life during which I smoked.  I actually quite enjoyed smoking.  For a long time, I saw nothing wrong with doing so.  I reasoned that since I was, at some point, going to die, I might as well die while doing something I enjoyed.  Never mind the fact that smoking would bring on death more quickly, a fact I ignored.  Take Romans 12:1, the biblical call to present your body as a living sacrifice.  I ignored the passage as much as possible.  I reasoned again that it wasn't applicable to my smoking habit.  On other occasions, I reasoned as Solomon wrote that we should eat, drink, and be merry, and that we should enjoy life.  Smoking was one way that I enjoyed life. So it must be okay.  I must be okay.  Surely, this little habit was not a bad sin.  I went to church, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  This was not really a wicked way that I was called to turn from.  There were a whole lot more wicked ways that I did not practice at all.  Was I okay? No.  Are you okay? Probably not.

Do I really want God to heal my land?  Do you really want God to heal your land?  Why am I not obedient to God's commands totally and completely?  Why is it so hard to do the right things?  Even when I want to do good, it seems that I can't.  Sometimes I start to turn from my wicked ways, and then turn back.  Probably, I am more the wretched one than I choose to believe.  (See Romans 7:21-24) Even when I want to do good, evil is right there.  Is the command/condition to turn from our wicked ways an impossibility for us?  How important is the promise from God to heal my land? How important is that promise to you? Choose to meet the conditions.  When? Today!!!

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