THE MEANING OF IF
2 Chron. 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.”
I have been hearing this verse quoted for years. It is an encouraging passage because it lets us know that God is concerned for His people and that, under the right conditions, He will intervene in their behalf. He will bring the healing and the restoration that they need. He will heal their land.
It is a great promise, but did you notice that the promise isn’t for everybody? It is specifically for those God calls “my people.” It is for those who are called (i.e., known or identified) by His name. Friends, you and I are known by His name because we are Christians . . . the promise is for us.
But it is easy to hear this passage, or even read it, and miss the most important word; the first word. That word is “if.” Here, as in many other places in the Bible, God’s promise is conditional. God’s forgiveness and healing depend on something . . . He will act, but only in response to some things that we do. God says, “IF my people, who are called by my name will:
1. Humble themselves enough to pray and seek me,
2. Turn from their wicked ways,
THEN I will hear and forgive and bring healing to their land.”
To the Church in America I have to ask, are we humble enough to pray and seek God. Are we willing to quit trying to create a man-made heaven on earth and instead trust the Lord of the heaven that already is? Is America ready to quit bowing at the altar of celebrity and political power and instead, bend the knee of our hearts before the true and living God who is actually able to heal our land? Are we willing to stop pretending that wickedness is a valid “lifestyle choice” or a “necessary evil” and stand for righteousness and godliness?
If the answer is yes, then stand back, because God is about to do something unexpected and wonderful in America. If the answer is no, then God will continue to humble us until we become humble enough to turn to Him. The words of Joshua continue to echo; “choose this day who you will serve . . .”
Pastor Keith Andrews