Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people. (Proverbs 13: 34)
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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (II Chronicles 7: 14)
I love birthdays! Yes, even mine at my ripe young age of….OK, let’s talk about our country’s birthday now. That monumental day was July 4, 1776, and now it’s July 4, 2017. Do the math! The United States of America has been around almost as long as I have!
I love the United States of America!
No doubt about it. Our founding fathers boldly declared our independence and went about hammering out the Constitution that serves as a foundation for our legal principles today. Isn’t it amazing what can happen when diverse people with differing opinions get together and actually discuss and collaborate and negotiate rather than all the negativity and fighting with each other? That was great!
And here we are today, 241 years later. Slogans about greatness have found their way into political campaigns and baseball caps. Arguments across the aisles in our national government demonstrate that a myriad of voices define greatness differently. Debates over immigration and healthcare and you-name-it rage.
However, as I am quiet before God this morning, reflecting on this nation, the Holy Spirit has reminded me of God’s irrefutable plan for healing our land and for becoming great again. It’s found in II Chronicles 7: 14, and what a strategy it is! Every one of us would do well to heed it!
God’s people are called upon to take action with respect to their own lives. God outlines 4 divine secrets that will turn around the fate of any country whose people take God’s instructions seriously. They are meant for everyone from the country’s top brass to you and me, right where we are.
1. Humble yourself. Set aside ego and pride, acknowledge your dependency on God, and spend your life serving other people.
2. Pray. Pray! Pray fervently. Pray for the country “without ceasing” (at least daily!). Lift your country and its leaders up to God’s throne and ask for help!
3. Seek God’s face. When you pray, don’t constantly seek God’s Hand – what He can DO for you. Seek to know Him, relate intimately with Him, become more like Him in how you think and what you do.
4. Turn from sin. Yes, it’s that “old-fashioned” word, sin! Do yourself and your country a big favor. Turn away from nasty thoughts, hateful attitudes, and wrongful actions. Check your priorities lest you’re practicing idolatry by putting everything (or anything) else before God. Ask God to nudge you again about what He has assigned for you to do, but you’ve ignored it or dropped it.
Hold on, big word coming up! THEN! Then God will hear our prayers, forgive our sins individually and collectively, and heal our land! HE will definitely make America great again!
God, my stomach churns when I watch the news. Sometimes I feel like throwing up my hands or my dinner and giving up on our country. But You brought the U.S. into existence for Your purposes, and You’ve achieved so much through us. So I come to you on this July 4, our country’s birthday, and I plead for your help! We cannot turn this around without You. I humbly acknowledge that there is not one of us humans who can do it – certainly not me. O God, I fall on my knees before you, and I commit to pray for our land. I pray now for our land. Lord, I want to know You, and I want to be used by you in my country to make a difference. I seek Your face. I repent of the pride that sometimes creeps in and the other sins of attitude that I allow place in my soul. I also ask You to show me what I’m not doing that You have asked me to do. Holy Spirit, produce diligence in me so that I will continually do my part in praying for our land and modeling Your Loving attitudes in each and every human encounter. I pray, Lord, for our nation’s leaders. Grant them wisdom, and one by one, draw them closer to You. For the United States of America, O God, I humbly and fervently pray!