My heart is heavy. The headline on the news this morning was, America in Crisis. This is evident in the pain, heartache, unrest, and violence on top of a pandemic we continue to face and witness.
With crisis comes fear, anxiety, anger, frustration and even doubts. Can things change, have we as a nation and as a people gone too far now to see a way out?
My first human response would be yes! But as a follower of Jesus, I know the way out is the way up! I know our great God is on the Throne and in Him there is always hope and I believe there is also healing.
I know He is able to work in my life and in the lives of others.
I have not been able to get it out of mind; Lord heal your land! It is a promise from 2 Chronicles 7:14, If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
The last part of this verse is a promise to repair what is broken, to restore back what has been lost and to renew to what can be. We need God’s touch to heal the virus among us but also the violence we witness around us.
Look closely at this promise. God has said very clearly, I will heal their land. But this promise comes with conditions and those conditions bring us to the heart of the matter, the matter of the heart.
Way before a life is taken in anger, a word is spoken in hate or a peaceful protest turns into a violent riot or a virus causes fear to overwhelm our lives, these attitudes and thoughts originated in the heart. Jesus tells us in the New Testament what is in the heart comes out in our words and our deeds.
God says that before I can heal your land, I must heal your heart. How? We must humble ourselves, seek His face and turn from our evil ways. We must let Him touch our hearts before He can ever touch our land. We as the people of God must turn back to Him, let Him work in us so that He might work through us.
This part is so vital. Yes, God by His power can heal, repair, and restore our land but in this promise we see He is speaking to His people about getting their hearts right with Him. I am talking about a revival and a renewal. Both words I know are Church” words, but to be honest, they are so much more, they are biblical words.
Revival means to bring back to life something that was dead and renewal speaks of taking that which was dying and broken then seeing it made alive and placed back together. Not as it was, but even better.
This type of revival and renewal begins with the people of God. Those who are saved, know and love Jesus. For those who do not know Jesus, revival is not what they need, they need to be "vived" to begin with. They need Jesus as savior and Lord.
True biblical revival is when God's people get our hearts right, we are the ones that must turn from our wicked ways and turn our eyes to the only one who can save us, change us, revive us and heal out land – the Lord God Jehovah!!
Once we turn to Him, then God can use us to be His hands and feet and in turn be change-makers! But first, we must be willing to be changed.
It is so easy to say – God, please change this virus, change these riots, change these killings, change the chaos and the crisis. The hard thing is to say first, Lord change me so that you can use me as your instrument of grace and truth in this world.
Remember, the Bible is not a window for us to look through and say, “wow, those people need to change, and that group needs to change.” The Bible is very much a mirror and we must all as God’s people look deep and say, “God I must change, change me. Make me different!”
I am not saying those who are destroying lives, property and our land are not wrong. Wrong is wrong and sin is sin no matter where you were born, color of your skin, male or female or area of the country you live in.
We all must turn back to God, but this promise to heal our land, specially says it starts with us, God’s people!
We hold the key to seeing God healing our land. If is a small but strong word. Are we willing to look at ourselves and not just the virus and the violence and say, Lord, begin with me? Change me, use me, help me to turn back to you! He is able and willing IF we will come to Him.
If we will, He has promised that He will heal our land and heal our lives.
Then we, the body of Christ can truly be the hands and feet of Jesus, which is needed now more than ever!
The more I have studied, prayed and ciphered on our nation in crisis and how God will heal our land, I am convinced that His people, full of God, full of the Holy Spirit, full of Jesus – can’t help but be filled with love, joy, mercy and grace.
We must empty out ourselves, seek His face as this verse says in 2 Chronicles then let Him so fill us with His love that it flows out of us and touches the lives of those around us.
No, you may not can change the entire nation, but with God in us and God through us, we can show the love of God to one person and see their life changed. Then another and another and another. And if all of God’s people did that, we could see a healing in our land.
Paul in Romans 12, goes deeper on the subject of renewal. He says we are not to be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of our mind and then lay out as living sacrifice unto God as is our reasonable service.
He then lays out what that looks like. For me, as I have thought, prayed, studied and ciphered, it is what Paul says next that speaks how we can live out what I am trying to say. It is a lengthy passage, but one that tells us what happens when God's people, as the body of Christ, become the true hands and feet of Jesus and show His love to everyone around us.
Here is the word of God for us I believe in this hour: (Romans 12)
3 Because God has given me a special gift, I have something to say to everyone among you. Do not think you are better than you are. You must decide what you really are by the amount of faith God has given you. 4 Each one of us has a body with many parts, and these parts all have different uses. 5 In the same way, we are many, but in Christ we are all one body. Each one is a part of that body, and each part belongs to all the other parts.
6 We all have different gifts, each of which came because of the grace God gave us. The person who has the gift of prophecy should use that gift in agreement with the faith. 7 Anyone who has the gift of serving should serve. Anyone who has the gift of teaching should teach. 8 Whoever has the gift of encouraging others should encourage. Whoever has the gift of giving to others should give freely. Anyone who has the gift of being a leader should try hard when he leads. Whoever has the gift of showing mercy to others should do so with joy.
9 Your love must be real. Hate what is evil and hold on to what is good. 10 Love each other like brothers and sisters. Give each other more honor than you want for yourselves.
11 Do not be lazy but work hard, serving the Lord with all your heart. 12 Be joyful because you have hope. Be patient when trouble comes and pray at all times. 13 Share with God’s people who need help. Bring strangers in need into your homes.
14 Wish good for those who harm you; wish them well and do not curse them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy and be sad with those who are sad.
16 Live in peace with each other. Do not be proud but make friends with those who seem unimportant. Do not think how smart you are.
17 If someone does wrong to you, do not pay him back by doing wrong to him. Try to do what everyone thinks is right. 18 Do your best to live in peace with everyone.
19 My friends, do not try to punish others when they wrong you, but wait for God to punish them with his anger. It is written: “I will punish those who do wrong; I will repay them,” says the Lord.
20 But you should do this:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him.
if he is thirsty, give him a drink.
Doing this will be like pouring burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not let evil defeat you but defeat evil by doing good.
This passage speaks for itself. May God help us to live out these truths!
The last verse is the most important! Do not let evil defeat you but defeat evil by doing good!
When we do that, we can see God heal our land.
So, see it again. We must turn to God; we must let Him change us. Then, He can use us to be agents of change in our homes, churches, communities, schools, places of work and business and to all we come into contact with.
God's people, filled with God’s love, being God’s hands and feet, showing God’s love, can and must overcome evil with good. May God heal His land and may it start with us!
Amen. Let it be so O Lord!