All promises of the Word of God are built on conditions. This promise is also built the same. The conditions are outlined here.
Who is God talking to here? “My people” refers to his church. True, he spoke this to King Solomon almost three thousand years ago but the promise is for the church today as the formula for revival in a land is still the same. It is the church that is the fault for the immorality and the vast amount of wholesale sin that runs rampant in our country. It is the church that sat back while the Bible was taken from our children in schools. It was the church that failed to stop the lawful slaughter of babies so that now in some states while 16 year old girls have to get written permission from their parents to go to a tanning bed, they can get an abortion without their parents consent. It is the church who has failed to preach and teach the Word of God so now homosexuality is fast being an accepted life style with same sex marriages being legalized in various states and one day, nationally. It is the church, or “my people” who have loved to be so much like the world that the world has taken over the church. They have become like Laodicea who “are rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;” but are unaware that they, and I should say we, since I’m a part of the church, are unaware that the church in the United States has overall become “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” See Revelations 3:14-20.
“which are called by my name”
This narrows it down as to who is referred to as the church here. This applies to those of us who say that we are Christians. That is pretty clear. I know that someone will say that this is the Old Testament and the church was under law then. That makes no difference as the rule still applies today as I mentioned above.
“shall humble themselves”
Lets be honest with ourselves. We Americans are some proud folk. This has, of course, spilled into the church of Jesus Christ. “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” See 2 Peter 5c. God’s grace for America is fast running out. He will judge this nation and we should not think that we will escape if we are not walking in his light. 1 Peter 4:17 says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” We must humble ourselves and not be caught up on the pride of this world. To humble ourselves means to have an open heart ot the gospel and the Word of God, submitting ourselves to Christ in sincerity and truth, and realizing our dependence on him. Lip service is not enough for God knows our hearts. Another way of humbling ourselves is fasting. This is not something that was just done back in the dark ages but is expected of Christians now. While I could go on at more length with this, it is sufficient to say that fasting is a very important part of the walk with Christ. I love to eat just like everyone else and I don’t claim to be a model faster by any means, but I know it is important in our walk. Through the years I’ve tried to push it back in the background but as this planet streaks closer to judgment and Christ’s return, I realize that it is very important. Fasting is meant by abstaining from food, now something you wear or an activity. It goes hand in hand with prayer. Many Muslims fast during the day on Fridays but we have a hard time just going without a meal!
All the above is of not much avail without prayer. The church in general has forgotten how to pray. The art of intersession is gone. No one “prays through” anymore but instead goes to a counselor who can only give some relief. “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” Jeremiah 6:14 when is the last time you’ve spent more than even fifteen minutes of uninterrupted prayer. How many spend an hour a day? How many full time preachers spend two hours a day at prayer? We in America are so proud that we feel we have it together so we don’t need to pray, but we don’t. We’re loosing the battle and will never prevail until we get back on our knees as a church and realize our dependency on Christ. The church is good at supplying sports teams, suppers, parties, and all other activities, but what about the prayer meeting? Are you aware that the outward battles are only a show as to what is going on in the heavens. We blame the President for problems in Iraq but where does the fault really lie! Ephesians 6:12 says, “12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Underline is mine). “3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 There are other proofs of this such as in Daniel chapter 10, Isaiah chapter 20 and others. Until we learn that as a church, we will never really pray.
“seek my face”
It’s not enough for the church to humble herself and pray, but to also seek God’s face. How is this done? By reading and applying his Word. I have talked to people who have spent their entire lives in church and yet have very little knowledge of the Word of God. The fact that some main line denominations are discussing the option of having homosexual preachers is a telling example. We feel like we’ve become pretty smart and many times know more than God. I’m afraid that church has become as Paul writes in Romans 1:22 writes “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” He also states in 1 Corinthians 3:18 “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.” It takes humbling ourselves and prayer for us to be able to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
“turn from their wicked ways”
This is very simple. We must apply in our lives everyday what we receive from God. Many churches who were once places where the Bible was preached and lived out daily have become nothing but fronts for social concerns and promotion of a socialist society. How did all this happen? By not doing the above. It is not enough to say, “I believe,” but we must apply it in our lives. James 2:18 says, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”
“then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”
God will hear our prayers, will forgive the sin in our lives, and heal the land. It’s just that simple. The country I love is heading for judgment. We can blame the politicians, the judges, or anyone else, but I’m afraid the fault lies in God’s people, the church.
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 Chron. 7:14