2 Chronicles 7:12-14
There is no rain.
Locusts are devouring.
There are plagues.
REMIND THIS TRIBE…
You are My People
You are identified by My Name
You are different
IF MY PEOPLE WILL…
“…not think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think ‘soberly’ as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3—NKJV).
“Don’t think you are better than you are Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us” (Romans 12:3b—TLT).
A few more words about humility.
Humble yourselves before the LORD, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10).
Whatever else is said, our stance before God is always to be humility. Humans are warned against exalting themselves against God—satan is our model of that behavior. He assumed equality. That is called rebellion. As important: When God says, “humble yourself” He is not pushing your face into the dirt just because He can or because He is insecure. The Father is all about—“He will lift you up.”
Humbling oneself is about self-perception and how we view God. It is about recognizing our place in the universe—He is God; I am not. It is recognizing and celebrating our place in the Kingdom. These words from 2 Chronicles have been like spiritual earwigs: God is not belittling, but calling us to correctly see ourselves in His sight and then living that vision. “I am God’s, therefore…!” God is declaring “THEREFORE!”
“This is KLUB Radio’s exclusive interview with Michael Jordan.
“Mr. Jordan, you have been called one of history’s greatest basketball players. What is your opinion?”
“Oh…I’m okay—if I’m having a game day. Most NBA players are better than me, even some high schoolers….”
I don’t think so! That is not humility! To “humble” oneself is not self-diminishment, debasement or denial of gifts, talents or abilities.
“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves…” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Humbling oneself in the context of those words does not mean—“Oh, I’m nothing, not worthy of being the third verse in an old song. I deserve nothing…I am nothing…just crumbs and dregs.”
I can imagine the Holy Spirit smiling and responding, “Hey, Dude! You need to start a new group—Crumbs and Dregs. You could get your stage apparel at Missionary Barrel. Org.”
Let’s hear God’s words—“If MY people, called by MY NAME….”
Not many people I know have a problem of thinking too highly of themselves. Mental self-hatred and self-bashing is common. Paul’s words “measure of faith” in the Romans’ verses, before and after, are related to spiritual gifts—the gift(s) God has placed in you. Measure yourself against that. How can we live with our face in the dirt given who we are—God’s People with His royal blood in our spiritual veins? An honest evaluation of ourselves! (If that is possible outside of Jesus’ view and investment.)
If you are a Prosperity Gospel Vigilante, you may want to get off this wagon, now. This conversation between Yahweh and Solomon takes place in the shadow of the luxurious Temple that had just been dedicated as God’s house. God is about to give Israel an assignment and a lifestyle. It all grows out of who they are and how they see themselves: “MY PEOPLE—MY NAME.” With that established, The LORD says, “If…will humble themselves and pray.”
(I wonder if “Turn from their wicked ways,” includes His people thinking it is about them? It is about Him! Perception is all there is! If God’s People perceive they are mere mites with no more value to Him or their world than a dead mosquito, they are flirting with blasphemy.)
If it is about Him, “Humble themselves and pray” is looking for what God is wanting to do and then praying in sync. If we are in alignment with His intent, then there is no need to plead with Him to answer. My spirit and soul jumped in response to a teacher’s statement: “I’ve been doing a lot of loosing and binding!” That praying is clearing any and all blockage that keeps God’s plan from being accomplished. Praying is speaking to principalities and powers on behalf of our Lord—“Let My people go!” We speak God’s words to the universe and all powers that are within our sphere of influence–all within the sound of our loosing and binding.
18“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:18-20)
A twist: Find what Heaven wants bound, then bind it on earth in prayer. Our battle is not to convince God, but to battle in prayer against all and anything that resists God’s intent. It is difficult to speak in abstractions. So we look at protests and anarchy through the lens of “Thy will be done!” How does God view stealing, killing, destroying? How does the Bible picture Deity’s view of the oppressed, poor, and abused? The neglected? How does He define those terms? How does God view governments, leadership, property owners, wealth, police, military and wealth-building? Let’s add education, media/creative arts, family, finances and business. Much of the Bible says God demands stewardship, generosity and grace in relationships. God is rather insistent on how those with no voice are treated. The themes and statements above have a predominant place in God’s Word, but none any more than personal responsibility.
Once those are defined and understood, then the praying is focused and militant. I am being urged to take care to whom and what I am taking a knee. To God only, not to what is soaking into our souls from the TV images. My praying will be negative or positive, hope/faith filled or fearful as a result. Praying will envision and express our “Therefore….”
Humble & Praying
© 2020 D. Dean Benton
Website—https://deanbenton.org/ Benton Books, Blogs, Blurbs
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