What is it God wants of us?
When all around the world spins on spin, when things keep getting sadder and news keeps getting darker, what can we do? We can complain about the impossible choices we are forced to make, in elections or with our kids. Or we can be proactive. We can bring about a solution God’s way.
Solomon was given a promise for the people of God. When bad things start to happen in the land it is a clue to us that GOD’S PEOPLE HAVE TO GET SERIOUS about several things.
When blight comes upon our land, it is up to the People of God, those called by His Name, Christians, to stand in the gap. [biblegateway passage=”Ezekiel 22:30″] I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.
Remember the story of Abraham interceding on behalf on Sodom and Gomorrah?
Compassion. Fifty people, Lord. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? ([biblegateway passage=”Genesis 18:22″])
How to intercede.
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. God promises to confound the wisdom of the wise ([biblegateway passage=”1 Cor 1″]). Do not come to him sure that you are NOT part of the problem. The only way to know God, to be found acceptable to him, is by hiding behind Christ. On our own power, in our own strength we are nothing. Our good deeds are fit for the trash heap.
In Isaiah 66:2 God says, [biblegateway passage=”Isaiah 66:2″ display=”But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”]
Do you tremble at God’s Word? Do you read your Bible regularly? It is easy to slide, to forget to read, to depend on yesterday’s knowledge, last month’s reading. But the Word of God has power to sanctify you, to make you pleasing to God. Do not neglect so great a salvation.
Prayer requires time. A daily sabbath rest from your important worldly duties. Do you pray?
Samuel said to Israel: [biblegateway passage=”1 Samuel 12:23″ display=”As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you.”] (1 Sam 12:23)
To Samuel, seeking God’s face on behalf of his people was right. Not interceding for them was a sin against the LORD. Pray for those you know who are in difficulty. Pray for your leaders. Pray for your nation and the world.
Seek God*s Face.
How do we find God’s face. His face is mentioned twice in the Aaronic Blessing:
[biblegateway passage=”Numbers 6:24-26″ display=”The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his FACE to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his COUNTENANCE upon you and give you peace.”] (Numbers 6:24-26)
What then is seeking God’s face? It is finding his grace and his peace. To find his grace and peace we put ourselves under the teaching of the church. Paul and Peter used this blessing to start their epistles.
[biblegateway passage=”2 Peter 1:2-3″ display=”To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”] (2 Peter 1:2-3)
It is directly related to knowing God and Jesus. And it came through the prayer and ministry of those apostles whose heart and soul beat for the growth of the Church of Christ.
While it is not impossible to grow outside of church fellowship, the divine injunction is for believers to meet together. When we meet with other Christians, not only is Christ himself with us, but we taste a bit of heaven. We practice for our eternal worship of Christ, and the Holy Spirit meets us in a special way. Practicing for an eternity before the throne of God is seeking God’s face.
Seeking God’s face means walking in obedience so that God is pleased with your efforts. Trying to do the right thing. Hating your sin. Humble, contrite in Spirit, trembling at God’s word. Finding yourself in Christ-honoring service. Happily reaching to obey all of Christ’s commands. This is seeking God’s face.
Finding yourself reading Scripture to KNOW Christ. To KNOW Yahweh. To understand what he said. To know WHO he is and how he refers to himself. And to put into practice the lifestyle he requires of his Children. This is seeking God’s face.
Jesus said, I no longer call you servants, but friends…” And he said, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” [biblegateway passage=”John 15:14-15″ display=”John 15:14-15″] Are you in obedience? This also is seeking God’s face.
Repent of Your Own Sin.
It says in 2 Chronicles that for God to heal our land, we must turn from our own sins. Lot turned and fled. His daughters kept their eyes ahead of them. Lot’s wife turned, looked back at the life she was leaving.
Jesus said to “Remember Lot’s Wife” when we choose our life priorities: [biblegateway passage=”Luke 17:31-33″ display=”In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”] (Luke 17:31-33)
If you have repented of your sin, you will hate it. You won’t regret what you left behind. You will hate your impatience. You will hate your anger-problem. You will hate your deceit, your gossip, your gluttony, your immorality. You will hate it. You will cling to the life Christ called you to. You will eagerly “TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW HIM.” [biblegateway passage=”Matthew 11:30″ display=”For his yoke is easy and his burden is light.”]. (Matthew 11:30)
FRIENDS, Let us press forward to Seek God’s Face. Our land, our nation, our world needs those who call themselves by God’s name to follow the dictates God has given for MAKING THINGS RIGHT. He will heal our land if we humble ourselves, and pray, and seek his face, and turn from our sins. He gives his word.
And if you do not yet know Christ, you have the amazing opportunity in this life to become a child of God. Find yourself a Bible. Read the [biblegateway passage=”John 1″ display=”Book of John”]. Get on your knees and tell God you hate your sin, and you want him to make you righteous like Christ. Take a look at this presentation of the Good News. “To all who received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God.” ([biblegateway passage=”John 1:12″]) Find a Bible-believing church and commit to Knowing God for the rest of your life.
Let us fall on our face before the Father and live and do as he asks us, for the sake of the cross of Jesus. For the sake of the blood shed for us, let us deny ourselves and honor Christ with every breath. While it is still called today.