April 20, 2016

2 Chronicles 7:14 “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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Over 35 years ago Rock Church of Virginia Beach was leading a push with this verse, seeking to get America to repent, but had very little success. The problem was that very few Christians, even, realized that the land was in a spiritual drought and was being consumed by spiritual locusts. Today the situation is a bit more obvious, and dire, and thankfully some people are waking up. As I read this just now I noticed a difference between the English and the Japanese that may hold the key to our applying this verse successfully. Where the English says, “who are called by My name,” the Japanese says, “who call on My name.” There are many people today who have the label “Christian,” or even “evangelical,” but who ignore God and fail to call on Him. This is evident in the presidential election when so many supposedly evangelical voters are ignoring Biblical principles in whom they support. The problem is that these are self-identified evangelicals, rather than people whose lifestyles reflect the Bible. We cannot force others to repent, but we must examine ourselves and repent personally, as well as for the nation. It is perhaps ironic that those who have the least to repent of are most likely to repent, but it has always been this way. Daniel is a prime example, when he repented for the sins of Israel even though he was personally righteous. As a result, God restored the nation of Israel through Ezra and Nehemiah. I don’t know who they were, but I’m sure there were people who repented for the Jewish people before the re-creation of the nation of Israel in 1948 (the year I was born). The point is, even a few people who genuinely seek God can bring His redemption to the whole nation. That is the challenge and the hope right now.

I find myself very involved, even though I am not physically in the US. Actually, Japan is in the same need, though the number of people who even self-identify as Christian is a very small percentage of the population. In America the need is moral and political disaster, and Japan has had repeated physical/natural disasters. In both places the believers, the true Christians, need to wake up, get up, get on their faces before God, and then get to work as He directs. That applies to me for both nations! If I get active and try to accomplish things on my own, without having gotten on my face and repented before God first, then nothing I do will have any lasting good effect. However, if I am humble as David and Daniel were, then I will be available for God to work His will through me. There are some who seem surprised that this church isn’t actively involved in relief efforts after the earthquakes, but there are assorted restraints on that. There are no restraints, however, on prayer! I am to lead this church in prayer that is rooted in humility and faith, so that God will be able to use His Word through us to accomplish what He desires, for the salvation of many and for His glory.

Father, thank You for what You are doing in every part of the Body of Christ. Thank You that we are included in that. Help me not miss anything You are saying, but be instantly obedient on all levels. I know from experience that I can’t do that on my own, so I ask You to work it in and through me, for Your pleasure and glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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