Seeking God Every Day
Recently I was reading 2 Chronicles, and I was struck by a very familiar passage, “If my people who are called by my name 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” (2 Chronicles 7:14, ESV). The challenge with well-known Scriptures is that we can easily miss their significance and overlook their practical application for our lives.
I was encouraged by the Holy Spirit to look closely at this passage and consider what it would look like for me to follow these four instructions DAILY! Here is what I discovered:
Humility is a key component of a close relationship with God and people. Pride causes us to operate in our own strength, focus on the wrong things, ignore our own sin, and have an inaccurate view of others. So, how can we humble ourselves daily?
- Take time every day to remember everything you are, everything you have, everything you accomplish is by HIS HAND, not yours. Daily expressing your gratitude for every good thing in your life is a simple but effective way to foster humility—it keeps our hearts and thoughts fixed on God and His continual activity in our lives.
- Secondly, think of others more than you think of yourself. Treat everyone kindly. Look to serve and meet the needs of others. Serving, especially those we are around every day, is a great way to humble ourselves.
Prayer is an extension of humility—it reveals our dependence on God and our faith in His response. God wants us to cry out to Him and to rely on Him. In 2 Chronicles 13:18, we read, “the men of Judah prevailed because they relied on the Lord.” Throughout the books of Chronicles, when the people relied on the Lord, He was faithful to respond.
So let’s be diligent to pray daily, denouncing our reliance on anything but HIM!
Seek His Face
“Seeking His face” speaks of getting to know God. David told Solomon, “Now set your heart and mind to seek the Lord your God. If you seek Him He will be found by you.”
Josiah is a beautiful example of one who sought the Lord. We are told when he was 16 years old, he began to seek the Lord. A priest then found the book of Law, and God faithfully revealed Himself through His Word. Josiah assembled everyone to hear the Word of God. He made a covenant to walk after the Lord and seek Him with all of his heart.
We also have examples of those who didn’t seek the Lord. Listen to what is said of Rehoboam, “And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the Lord.” Friends, when we don’t set our hearts to seek the Lord, evil follows. Seeking Him is a decision and commitment. David said to Solomon, “Now set your heart and mind to seeking the Lord.”
How can we seek His face daily? Get in the WORD and seek to know God, really know Him. Make it a daily priority! Don’t let it slip.
Turn From Wicked Ways
I love the story of Hezekiah! He tells the people, “For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you if you return to him.” And Hezekiah prayed for those who humbled themselves, “May the good Lord pardon everyone who sets his heart to seek the Lord.” “And the Lord heard Hezekiah’s prayer and healed the people.” God always responds to true repentance.
We see so clearly in 2 Chronicles how God brought peace when the people turned from wickedness. So, How can we turn from wickedness daily?
We can be quick to respond to the nudges of the Holy Spirit.
- God is faithful to speak—through His Word. As we daily read His Word, we can invite the Holy Spirit to show us those things that don’t please Him. We can be quick to repent and stop the thoughts, attitudes, or behaviors that are sinful.
- Secondly, God also uses people and situations to refine us. We can be submissive to the prompting of the Lord through those we trust and through situations outside of our control. (Like the impatience that is revealed when we have to sit on hold for 15 minutes. J)
How does God say He will respond when we humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from wickedness? First of all, He says HE WILL HEAR! Wow! He hears and responds to the humble, to those who seek His face, and to those who turn from wickedness.
In 2 Chronicles 6, Solomon lists several scenarios, and he tells us that God hears and He:
- Fights for us, and
Oh friends, let’s be faithful to respond to these 2 Chronicles instructions from God every day. Let’s be diligent to: humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and be quick to repent. We can be assured that He will hear and respond, for He is good, and His steadfast love endures forever.