[God says,] “If my people, who bear my name, humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
It is the people of God who can truly shape a nation. Generally, politicians and governments cannot restore a nation once it is on a downward slide. While leaders and governments can influence a nation, there is no group of people who can determine the future of a nation like God’s people.
As go the people of God, so goes the redemption of the world. God is therefore working mightily among his own. We are closer to either revival or judgment than we have ever been. There is no alternative between these two. Either God’s people return to him with all of their hearts, or God will judge our nation. We do not have to guess how that judgment will look or how thorough it will be. The Bible indicates how God judges his people. Any nation that turns away from God comes under his judgment. When God judged the Northern Kingdom of Israel, he annihilated them. When God judged Judah, the Southern Kingdom, he destroyed Jerusalem, decimated the temple, and exiled the people for 70 years. God also took the people in Jesus’ day and scattered them so thoroughly that they did not join together as a nation again for 1,900 years, just as Jesus predicted.
If we look at the history of God’s dealings with his people, it ought to cause us to tremble. It is the loss of the fear of God that characterizes God’s people in America today. We have redefined revival in our day as something different from how Scripture defines it. We have adjusted the definition to be more palatable to our tastes. We have changed God into our image. We have altered, for application in our own lives, nearly every commandment of God.
We must be reoriented back to God at every level of life.
Remember when the priests were cleaning the temple in Josiah’s day and they found the Scriptures? The Bible says, “Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, that he tore his clothes” (2 Kings 22:11-13). The Spirit of God, who was upon him to enable him to function as king, pierced his heart. He put on sackcloth and ashes and called for the people to repent. Josiah realized that God meant what He said. He understood there were no exceptions. He realized they were standing on the edge of destruction.
What happens when you come face to face with the Word of God? Do you tremble when God speaks? Isaiah 66:2 says, “But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my word.” When was the last time you were confronted by God in his Word and you shook like a leaf?
When you do not fear God, you will not fear sin. There is a direct relationship between a high view of God and a high view of sin. We are moving ever closer to a devastating confrontation with a holy God who makes no exceptions.
If there is any area where God’s people are disoriented in their walk with God, it is in the matter of repentance. God is shouting at his people saying, It is not only the lost who need to repent—it is God’s people who need to repent! We are the ones who have moved away from the Lord.
Revival waits on the holiness of God’s people. May God grant you a quickened heart that you may seek holiness with every fiber of your being.
The above article is excerpted from The Solomon Promise: The Key to Healing America and Ourselves by Henry Blackaby with Richard Blackaby. Copyright © 2021 by Thomas Nelson. Published by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com. All rights reserved.
The Solomon Promise is published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the parent company of Bible Gateway.
Bio: Henry and Marilynn Blackaby served in several churches in California before relocating to Saskatchewan, Canada, to lead a struggling congregation that had dwindled to only 10 members. During their 18 years in Canada, they saw God work in miraculous ways, helped plant numerous churches, and reared their five children. Through those experiences, God taught the Blackabys truths about himself that became the basis for the bestselling book, Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God.
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