If….Then

2 Chronicles 7:14 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.

The promises of God in him are yea and amen (2 Corinthians 1:29) but what we fail to realize is that many of the promises of God come in the if-then format.

Back in the dark ages when I was in college there was a new technology coming out called computers. I was on the cutting edge learning how to program in an archaic language called BASIC. One of the important things we had to do to write a program was to flow chart it first. One of the more important functions was the if-then functions. If the value was x then y was to happen, otherwise either nothing happened (that was a result of poor programming) or the program would go off in a different direction to get you back to the right result (sometimes called a “correction loop” if I recall correctly but it has been almost thirty years).but the same principle still applies, if we want the “then” the we must deal with the “if.” We want God to hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land but we want Him to do this on our terms and not His. He should do this for us just because we want Him to no matter what condition we happen to be in spiritually. That is not how it works. If God gives a prescription on how to get something, we must fill it, and in this verse there are five ‘IF” statements for us to deal with:

  1. If my people which are called by my name. This was discussed last time. If there is going to be godly change God does not expect the heathen to initiate it, but those who are called by His name. In the Old Testament that was Israel but in the New Testament that is the Christian (a word literally meaning “little Christ.) and I am not talking about casual Christianity that is so common. I am talking about people who have had a life changing encounter, being “born again” (see John 3:3 literally born from above)
  2. Shall humble themselves. The literal translation of this word means to bend the knee, to humiliate, to vanquish. We cannot hope to accomplish anything in our own strength. We need to realize that we are not enough, that we NEED God. We will not pray to God, seek God, turn from our wickedness until we recognize the fact that He is God and we have no hope without Him. Right now we all do what seems right to us in our own eyes because we have not recognized God for who He is: God, Our Creator, and Our Saviour. We need to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God that He might exalt us in due time.
  3. Pray, to rush headlong towards and make a wish. Like a child running towards their daddy with a need, we need to come to God with our troubles, concerns, problems, and request.
  4. To seek His Face. To search out His presence. Psalm 100 instructs us this comes through praise.(we enter His courts with praise. The court is where the King sits).
  5. To turn from our wicked ways. We cannot truly enter the presence of the Living God with sin unconfused, unrepeated. God is not talking about the great sins of our nation here, though we need to be praying for them, but we as the church need to turn from our wicked ways. Our petty sins, the jealousy, the strife among brethren, taking the name of God in vain (like claiming to be Christian but living like the world). God is talking to the church here and not the unsaved world.

The ball is in our court, we as the Church of the Living God, followers of Jesus must take the reasonability. Because the sad truth of the matter is that if we do not, nobody will, and there are too many lives at stake to allow this to happen.

Next time I will wrap up my thoughts on this by looking at a Biblical example of how this works. Till next time, God bless.

PT

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