Shake Us Up, God

Probably one of the best-known verses in the Old Testament is 2 Chronicles 7:14: 

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 and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 

This is God’s promise to Solomon at the dedication of the Temple. The verse has been quoted by many who look at the condition of our culture and long for God to come and “heal our land.”

What is often ignored, though, is the other promise God made to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:19–22:

But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will pluck you up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.

“And at this house, which was exalted, everyone passing by will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore he has brought all this disaster on them.”

God has always promised to bless those whose hearts are turned to Him. And He has promised judgment on those who turn away and worship other gods.
 
Which category fits our nation today? Maybe a better question, a harder, more penetrating question to ask is which category fits the church in America today?
 
I believe our nation is in need of a spiritual awakening, and that this awakening needs to begin with those of us who cry out to God as our Father. When I talk about the need for a spiritual awakening or a revival in our land, here are a few things to keep in mind:
 
1.  A revival is not a series of meetings, although a series of meetings where Christ is exalted may lead to revival.
 
2.  A revival cannot be manufactured and does not follow a formula. It is a special and sovereign work of God.
 
3.  Just because something stirs you emotionally doesn’t mean God is bringing a genuine awakening.
 
4.  If God did bring a spiritual awakening among His people, it would quickly fade unless there is good soil in which the awakening can find root. Therefore, the work of the church is to regularly till the soil so that if God should bring revival, it will take root.
 
5.  Revival can come to an individual, to a family, to a church, to a city, to a country.
 
Alexander MacLaren, the British preacher from the 19th century told his people that they should,

“confidently look for times of blessing, penitently acknowledge that our own faithlessness has hindered the arm of the Lord, earnestly beseech Him to come in His rejoicing strength, and, drawing ever fresh power from constant communion with our dear Lord, use it to its last drop for Him.”

The next time we cry out to God to bring a spiritual awakening and to heal our land, keep in mind that we must be ready for God to start that awakening in us—in our lives, in our families, and in our church. 
 
Perhaps it’s time for us to pray something like this: “Shake us up, God, and begin with me.”

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

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About the Author

Bob Lepine

Bob Lepine

Bob Lepine has been married to Mary Ann since 1979. Together, they have five children. Bob is the Vice President of Content, Chief Creative Officer, and co-host of FamilyLife Today. He's the author of numerous articles and books, serves on the Advisory Board for Revive Our Hearts, and emcees the True Woman Conferences.

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