THEN WILL I HEAR FROM HEAVEN: My message to the Church of Christ for 2018

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall 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 7:14)

It is good for us to speak to one another as often as possible for edification, reprove, rebuke, exhortation and more. In 2018 I earnestly hope we come of out of the confusion we have tagged Christianity. We must return to the orderliness of the Holy Ghost and align our ways to the Holy Scriptures. This is when we would be living up to the calling of our most holy faith. I wish to share to us the way to that blessedness.

Need For Sincerity In Obedience

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall 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 7:14)

Many preachers quote the scripture above, but as is the way of many who profess Christianity in this age where we are fast losing our identity, is to carry out God’s command with a dubious heart. For long people have been praying, claiming to obey that scripture, but it is with an insincere heart. That the prayer has been long prayed without result shows us to what extent we are pretentious in keeping God’s commands. In Nigeria, many preachers keep holding prayer meetings with this verse as their focus text, but till today Nigeria remains a land of untold hardship, confusion, and no guarantee for tomorrow. Let us note the word, “then,” in this verse. It means when we meet the conditions listed we reap the fruit of gaining God’s attention, forgiveness of sin, and the healing of our lands. The healing of our land is the only manifestly seen of the three benefits listed and it is the evidence of the other two. However, if we have been playing our part in keeping this command, is God being unfaithful that the land remains sick? I wish to share with us in this article the things I’ve noticed about how we have been trying to keep this command, and point us to the right direction where we may find healing for our lands.

Humility

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves…” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

First we skip this very important aspect of the command and jump to where it says, “pray,” because we are so full of what to tell God and have no time for introspective reflection, contemplation, and self examination. So we love where it says pray, but we omit the command to humble ourselves.

This is hard to judge externally but we can see that in the lives of many professing Christians we can’t see the marks of true humility. All we see is still haughtiness, pride, and self justification, and all these while seeking healing for our lands from God. Humbling ourselves has to do with getting off our illusionary lofty state to the shame of our reality.

Such a state is marked by contrition, weeping, and earnest seeking of the face of God. In describing this, James wrote, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” But insted of mourning, weeping, and being heavy for the shame of our reality, we are dancing, happy, laughing, and celebrating victory in a state of defeat. So where’s the humility?

If God must hear us in 2018, we must humble ourselves. We mustn’t skip the commandment. We must get of our illusionary excellence and wake to the shame of our reality. If we do this in 2018, there’re abundant of promises for us but one I love so much is this, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10). We shall be lifted to true lofty heights of conspicous excellence, not by our own power, for we needn’t stress ourselves or make any effort at it, but he, by his own mighty power, shall lift us up from any depth to which we have fallen.

Seek The Face Of God

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall… seek my face…” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

We skip humility, jump to prayer, and forget the rest. God wants us to seek his face. If we sought the face of God our practices shouldn’t have been so diametrically opposed to scriptures. In which of your congregations don’t you find women talking contrary to (1 Corinthians 14:34-38 and 1 Timothy 2:11-15. But we seek God’s face. We delight in denominations forgeting that it is one of the Lord’s chiefest will that his church be united in one. We fold our hands and close our mouths to watch new churches springing up every day dividing the church of Christ into bits and pieces. But we do seek his face. The list of our errors goes on and on. I won’t enumerate them here. But he who seeks God’s face must of necessity have his life in absolute agreement with the word of God. Our ways being so opposed to the scriptures and our delight in this erroneous ways is a clear indication of how little we really seek God.

We don’t seek him, we just want to do what we like. We select the parts of the Bible we wish to obey and leave the others. There shall be no healing with such a mind set. We must seek him in truth if we want him to hear us and heal our lands.

Turn Away From Our Wicked Ways

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall… turn from their wicked ways…” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

So we must turn from our wicked ways. First of all, the most wicked ways to turn away from is the dubiousness with which we seek God. We seek God insincerely. We love him, praise him, follow him, etc. with dubious heart and not in truth.

Next, church founders must close down their churches and push for a united church that bears the name of Christ alone. If we scatter the church Christ is trying to gather have we not taken a stance against him. Did he not tell us that people who do such are against him. Listen to what he says, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” (Matthew 12:30). Why then do people hypocritically open new churches here and there and claim to be doing such in the service of God only to scatter abroad his sheep? Let church founders stop their hypocrisy, close down their churches, and push for one united church. Failure to do this is to maintain a stance against Jesus.

As I don’t expect obedience here, though it be the word of God that commands us so, therefore I must say to the rest of professing Christians that should these founders fail to close down their churches, then you have to choose between your “leaders” and Christ. If your leaders could save you, stick by them. But if you know that Christ only can save you, then you had better take a stance with Christ against these church founders. But remember that it is Jesus who says, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” If you choose your church founders above Christ, you show how ungrateful you are to the redeemer.

We must go back to scriptures and align our ways to his own way. If we could do these things, he shall hear us and heal our lands. If we fail, we should not expect any favour from him.

Pray

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall… pray…” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

I decided to speak about this last of all because the other things is what gives bearing to this one. Also, we are already doing this very well, it is only that we are doing it amiss. Why? As it stands the prayers we’ve been praying are just like tinkling of cymbal. There’s no meaning to it. God promised that if we do our part of humility, seeking his face, and turning from our wicked ways, he will heal our land. But because we ignore these other things our prayer is just constant “heal our Land.” When he promises, you needn’t pray again for him to heal your land. He’s not a fool that promised. He said what he meant and meant what he said. You just do your part and he’d do his.

If we humble ourselves then shall our prayer have more meaning. So our prayer should reflect our humility, we should rather seek his face in prayer than telling what we want him to do. We should rather seek for grace to repent in prayer both for ourselves and other members of the church of Christ. This is what we should be praying about. And when we pray in faith, we must do our part to make that faith fruitful, for faith without works is dead (James 2:20).

All the commands should bring us to the point of prayer. If you wonder how the church could be united and what your part could be in ensuring this, bring it here to the place of prayer. It is here that you’d seek God’s face to ask him what he would have you do in uniting his church. It is here you’d ask him for forgiveness and grace to do his will. It is here you can get strength to do his will. It is when we as a people by means of other things commanded in this verse we come to God in sincere prayer that he would heal our land. That is a guarantee.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for ushering us into this amazing year of 2018. Thank you for all your boundless Goodness in the past years. Father, today we wish to request that you give us the grace to be humble, to seek your face, and to turn from our wicked ways in truth. Grant us this we pray in Jesus’ most powerful name. Amen.

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