Everybody wants to see things change… Nonetheless, who is actually responsible for things changing? Most are just waiting for change to happen, sort of wishful thinking or keeping a positive attitude. Yet, is this how it will come? I’m a believer in the Holy Scriptures as a rule and guide for all things; as antiquated as that may sound, it has not failed me yet!
“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
This popular verse is often quoted as an answer to our nation’s woes. It is a good one and if we look closely at the wording it says much more than initially comes to mind.
Notice God says “If my people” He doesn’t say hey everyone! He puts the obligation on His people. It’s true, all people are not God’s people. This is why God makes a distinction here. It is up to the Christians whether this Nation stands or falls, is prosperous or goes bankrupt, has just or unjust laws and lawmakers. I know that this is speaking to Israel many years ago; nevertheless there is a principle here that stands throughout the ages. God has put this world and the rulership of it in “His People’s” hands. Yes Adam lost this authority in the fall; but Jesus Christ turned it back over to His followers when He Defeated the devil and his unholy herd of demons many years ago making a public spectacle of them through the victory won at His cross and resurrection.
“And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
Today, “Called by my name” would be easy enough to understand to mean Christians. We are God’s people of the book; if you believe the whole message from Genesis to Revelation. The word “Called” is also interesting as it refers to those “Called out” which is the exact meaning of the word Church in the original Greek. Called also comes from a root word which interestingly means “to meet’ or happen to ‘encounter”. This could also refer to any situation when a couple of Christian friends come together. When meet together as a Church or a couple friends we should be praying for our country if we expect God to act and change or heal our land. It is good to keep in mind that the original word here translated “pray” also sometimes has the meaning of “Judge or make a judgment of right and wrong” it is so used in 1 Sam. 2:25, Psa. 106:30, Ezk. 16:52 This should warn us of calling right wrong and wrong right so not to be desensitized by the world’s sickness and fall into a trap of praying the wrong way.
This has been God’s mode of operation throughout history. God first calls His people to turn from their own sins, (Get the beam out of your own eye before trying to remove the speck from your neighbor’s eye Matt. 7:3-5) then to join together in praying for Him to act in the hearts and minds of those who are in leadership. Only then will we see the change we desire; it’s not just going to happen by wishful or positive thinking. God is in charge, yes, He has a wonderful plan to restore any situation, yes; but it always calls on and includes us as we work together with and through Him by the Holy Spirit, in the restitution, and reconciliation of the world.
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
(2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV)
“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky””
Then and only then will we see real change.
It’s up to us, God has handed us the baton and said “run with it, I’ve given you the victory in Christ!”
We should remember, John the Baptist proclaimed a similar message to the people of his day, although in much stronger language. He was warning them not to become too comfortable just because they thought they were God’s people. Matt. 3:1-12
Daniel W Isrite