When there is a crisis in the land, God, the Great Physician of the human heart and all of creation prescribes four specific actions things that we need to do to change the course of history, heal the land and restore health to those therein.
In case you haven't noticed, America is in crisis and I believe beyond human cure. Yes, there are changes that new leadership needs to make and for that I am engaged and following closely the candidates up for election this fall, but the fact of the matter is no person has the power to impact change on the human heart. That's an inside job that only our Lord can do in response to the prayers of his people.
Our land needs healing. A lot of it. This weekend's horrific shooting, the worst in history is further proof of a deeply broken and divided country that is frankly at war. It's a war of words, ideals and control of the culture. People are angry, hostile and Islamic extremism is a real threat to free societies everywhere. But God has a remedy, it's outlined in his word and it's eternal in its implications.
1) Humble ourselves: Humility means acknowledging our need for our Creator. We were made by and for relationship with our Maker. Apart from him there is no life. We need to acknowledge that we like sheep Isaiah said have all gone astray.
Humility also calls for honesty with where we are at and how we have strayed from the ways of the Lord and transgressed his commands. The Bible says when we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
2) Pray. After we are honest with ourselves and with God we need to return to the Lord in prayer. Prayer is opening our heart and asking for God's help, intervention and his ways to be manifest on Earth. Christ taught his disciples to pray,
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
God has assigned man responsibility for the Earth to care for it, subdue it and pray God's will in heaven to be accomplished on Earth. It's our privilege and opportunity to partner with him in this way.
3) Seek My Face. Going beyond simply asking God to accomplish his plan and purpose, God asks us to seek his face. This calls for a hunger and thirst in the hearts of people who have decided that the greatest joy in life is the pursuit of this God who loves them. This is making Jesus our supreme pursuit, joy and aim of our lives. We are invited into a real relationship with our Creator where we know him and make him known to others through love and service.
4) Turn from our wicked ways. The last step in this holy prescription is true repentance that leads to a life of following God's commandments. The book of Proverbs teaches that there is a way that seems right to a man, but it's end is the way of death. Just as the maker of a car knows exactly how to care for it and what's best for it - i.e. oil, gas, maintenance, so the Lord knows what we need more than we do. That's why he has given us his commandments, not as a burden but as a guide to living life to the fullest, until it overflows. God's goal is your joy and his glory.
This week as we mourn the loss of life in Orlando, remember there is a God whose Name is Jesus, who loves you, died to take away your sins and my sins so that we could live eternally with him.