TURNING FROM OUR WICKED WAYS
2Chronicles 7:14 KJV: 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.
Here the God tells us 4 conditions His people need to fulfill for Him to hear their prayers and their land:
1. Humble themselves
3. Seek His face
4. Turn from their wicked ways
We will look at HOW to fulfill ALL these conditions so that God, through our prayers, will heal our land.
Humility is FIRSTLY an INTERNAL ATTITUDE of the heart before it manifests in acts of obedience and meekness.
It is as an ACT OF WILL, deliberately submitting to the will of God when you DON’T FEEL LIKE IT.
It is further empowered by REGULAR FASTING:
Psalms 35:13 KJV: But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
We are to ATTAIN AND MAINTAIN a HUMBLE HEART ATTITUDE.
2. Pray. How do we pray?
Effectually and fervently with ALL KINDS OF PRAYER IN THE SPIRIT, in a state of RIGHT-STANDING WITH GOD HAVING BEEN CLEANSED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS so our prayers will AVAIL MUCH fulfilling
James 5:16 KJV: Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Ephesians 6:18 KJV: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
The DEGREE to which we pray IN THIS MANNER will determine how much our prayers will avail: nothing, little or MUCH!
3. Seek His face. This means, we make TIME to spend QUALITY TIME WITH GOD IN PRAYER AND IN THE WORD. Practically, this means TITHING YOUR TIME: about 2.5 hours of concentrated prayer daily. This will require getting up early during the 4th watch to pray: this requires determination and discipline EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT (Phil. 2.13).
Now, it takes time to get to this level but start with a regular time with God: say 15 minutes daily and then GRADUALLY build it up.
4. Turn from our wicked ways. What are these wicked ways?
Psalms 50:16-17 KJV: But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? (17) Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.
Our wicked ways according to this scripture are hating and ignoring (casting God’s word of instruction behind us) God’s Words of instructions.
For instance, if an airplane pilot is instructed from the control tower as he is coming in to land a plane to drop altitude by say, 10,000 feet and veer 5 degrees east, in order to avoid another plane having engine trouble on a collision course with him; and he, either through negligence, or pride (thinking he knows better than the control tower operator because he has flown the route so many times in the past at his present altitude and bearing) rejects the instruction, and so crashes into the other plane; his act of negligence or disobedience to instruction will be great wickedness because of all the people who would be killed.
Similarly, when God instructs on what to do to heal our land and we neglect the instructions of prophetic and apostolic teachers (1 Cor. 12.28) (symbolizing the control tower operator who has an overview of all planes coming and going out to the airport) because of spiritual laziness, stubbornness or pride (thinking we have done it our way before and got a blessing (Ps.106.15)) and so the land is not healed and many people suffer and die; then our neglect and disobedience to instruction IS WICKEDNESS!
So, in this context, not humbling ourselves with fasting is wickedness; not praying in right-standing by the blood of Jesus, effectually and fervently with all types of prayer in the Spirit is wickedness; not making time to seek God’s face is wickedness!
God has made us WATCHMEN over our nations: IF we PRAY AS WE SHOULD, the nation will be healed and the lives of many men would be enriched and preserved.
Isaiah 62:6-7 KJV: I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, (7) And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
What is a HEALED LAND?
A nation or land God has healed is one that is free from political distress: no outcry in the streets; social distress: a morally upright populace, especially the young men and women; and economic distress: economic and agricultural abundance as described in
Psalms 144:11-15 NKJV: Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of foreigners, Whose mouth speaks lying words, And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood— (12) That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; That our daughters may be as pillars, Sculptured in palace style; (13) That our barns may be full, Supplying all kinds of produce; That our sheep may bring forth thousands And ten thousands in our fields; (14) That our oxen may be well laden; That there be no breaking in or going out; That there be no outcry in our streets. (15) Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!
So, let us humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face AND TURN FROM OUR WICKED WAYS, SO GOD CAN HEAL firstly our nation, Nigeria and then by our example other nations through the prayers of the church in them, so bringing upon them the blessings of the age to come.