This week’s events in Dallas, Baton Rouge and St. Paul, have once again set our nation searching for answers to the social issues that are destroying us. The answer to their search was given to us centuries ago, but we consistently make the choice to move the opposite direction.
II Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall 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.
To start with, we need to set up a couple of things about these verses. Today it’s popular for Christian’s to say, “If only the President would humble himself and pray,” or, “If only this leader would humble themselves and pray.” We can make it a little more personal, “If only my spouse would humble himself or herself and pray.”
But what does the verse say? It’s not written to everybody; it’s written to me! I am the one. Each of us individually are the one. God’s people (ME) called by His name!
Humility is one of the biggest struggles we face in life. What does the word humble mean to you?
In the original language, humble is a word picture: It means to hit the floor.
A person who has humbled themselves is totally defenseless, they have no agenda, no resources and no support. If you are a UFC fan, you have seen a fighter go face down on the floor. That is the last thing a fighter wants because they are now totally at the mercy of their opponent.
Humility is recognizing our sinfulness and acknowledging our inability to defend it. Like a fighter face down on the floor, humility reflects total submission to God. This is a far cry from what we consider humility and we suffer because of it.
A lack of humility can be found in many areas of our lives. Three quick ones for this post:
Most Christians will tell you they are too busy to pray. It’s hard to make the time and I am definitely not the model. We make a thousand excuses every day and each excuse reflects a lack of humility on our part.
When we say we are too busy to pray what we are really saying is what we are doing is more important than what God wants to do in us.
[bctt tweet=”What are we doing that is more important than time with God?” username=”michaelkduff”]
What have we missed out on in life? Whose life could we have touched, what blessings did we miss, what loss have we suffered, what needless pain have we endured because a little more sleep was more important than prayer?
What are we doing that is more important than time with God?
We also refuse to humble ourselves because we are afraid we might have to admit we are wrong! How many of us hate, absolutely hate, to admit we are wrong?
We don’t spend a lot of time in prayer because it’s possible if we humble ourselves in prayer before a Holy God, we might not like what He shows us. That’s arrogance!
Our lack of prayer says, “God I am happy the way I am.” We are sitting here on our pile of wood, hay and stubble and we are fine. We don’t want to change, we don’t want to take any risks, and we don’t want to give anything up. We are afraid if we get to close we might not like the results.
Sometimes we are not arrogant – sometimes we are idiots!
A lack of humility is found in our attitude toward prayer.
Sometimes we don’t pray because we feel like we are not good at it. We all know “good prayers”. Is it possible that we hinder our prayer lives through misguided pride? If we get it right, face down on the floor humility, the kind where we realize as sinful creatures we are standing before a Holy God, humility becomes our only response. Humility leaves no room for pride.
When the great prophet Isaiah saw the Glory of God, he fell on his face and said, “Woe unto me, I am undone!”
We ask the question, “Why aren’t my prayers being answered? Why does God feel so distant?” Compare standard, a man face down on the floor before God, to where we are and it becomes very obvious.
The way to revival, blessings and answered prayer is found in the way of humility.