God promises in scripture that He will heal our nation but it requires action on our part: "(if) My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
1. We must humble ourselves before God and acknowledge that He is in control. Our way hasn't worked. The Lord never commands us to do anything because he wants to spoil our fun. It is always for our protection. When we go our own way, pridefully thinking we know better or can somehow avoid the consequences, we end up in a pit that we have to be rescued from.
2. We must pray. Pray for help, pray for forgiveness (both for personal sin and our nation's sins), pray for the courage to make the tough choices that others may ridicule us for, pray in acknowledgment of who God is. Pray in a way that doesn't seek our will but His. On Thursday, we have an opportunity to join with other believers in doing this.
3. God says to seek his face but what does that mean? We are told to do that many times in scripture. The obvious meaning would be to simply turn from ourselves to him, but to take it further it would mean to seek his will instead of our own; to seek what is important to Him, where He is leading, to face the same direction He is facing instead of looking back at our own plan. It is to seek his wisdom, his guidance, instead of our own or that of our leaders.
4. The final instruction is probably the hardest: "turn from their wicked ways." This is where it really gets uncomfortable. Outside of the obvious things that we know God has clearly said "thou shall not", we each need to seek his face to know what else we are harboring in our lives that separate us from his blessing and healing. Maybe things like:
What we watch on t.v. or at the movies.
Where we go on the Internet.
How we spend our time and money.
How we treat others.
How we gossip.
Times when we should speak up against what our leaders allow but don't.
Things that we let pass as acceptable that God calls sin because we don't want to offend anyone and instead justify it as being politically correct.
Doing these things aren't easy. Obedience never is. But, look what God promises if we do:
"I will hear from heaven."
"I will forgive their sins."
"I will heal their land."
If we will, He will.
I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." I Timothy 2:1-4
"Don't put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. ... (The Lord) is the one who keeps every promise forever." - Psalm 146:3,6
"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." Proverbs 14:34
"The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes." - Proverbs 21:1