“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.”
– 2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV
The song “Start Right Here” doesn’t pull punches. It is my candid re- sponse to what I see happening in the Church today. It is meant not as criticism but as a loving reminder from an accountability partner. It is no coincidence that the first two sections of the first verse and the chorus all begin with the words, “We want….” That pretty much sums up the attitude of Americans today. I’m afraid it has permeated Christ’s Church.
While we drift further away from what Church is supposed to be, it seems we’re getting more involved in what we think the world is supposed to be.
We fire out opinions and convictions in tweets and posts, and we take a stand on everything that’s happening somewhere else. It’s amazing how many of us have an opinion on a major issue until that issue shows up in our family. It’s so much easier to throw a rock at somebody far away. We take our stands on things that don’t cost us. When it doesn’t cost us to take a stand on something, maybe we don’t need to say what we’re about to say. Maybe that’s for someone else to take a stand on—someone who is actually in the trenches in that particular problem or heartache.
I’ve learned the hard way that when we throw our words, we rarely hit the people we’re aiming at; we almost always hit someone else. We feel like we’re close to a lot of the controversial topics of our day just because they’re on a social media app on our phones. Instead of letting our voices be heard, sometimes we need to be willing to listen to the hearts of others and let our love be seen. Biblical Christianity is personal, not impersonal. It’s an invitation, not a condemnation.
We want politicians to take care of everything. We want our pet causes at the forefront. We want all the right laws passed. I’m all for voting our scripturally informed conscience, but no president is going to save our country. No president is going to save our families. He or she does not exist. One Person will.
We want laws to take care of all the bad stuff for us. The tyrants that we want to kneel and the walls that we want to see fall down? We can’t legislate that. But 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “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.”
That’s an if-then statement. There’s not even a way to mess up that verse. There’s no way to read it wrong. It starts with the Church. In our heart of hearts, we really do want the walls that divide us to fall down and the land to be healed, but when we examine where the Church is headed, it’s not going anywhere near the direction of 2 Chronicles 7:14.
While we always know exactly what everyone else needs to do get right, God seems to always want to talk to me about my own heart. Every single time.
If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and turn from their wicked ways….
It doesn’t really matter what we want to start happening in the world out there. If we want anything eternal to happen, it has to start with us. It has to start right here.
Have you ever said or posted something for which you originally thought you had good intentions but later realized you acted in the wrong spirit? What did you learn that now informs your actions and responses?
If God wants us to “start right here,” what does that look like for you? With all of the turmoil in our world today, what is the Lord impressing upon your heart when you read 2 Chronicles 7:14?