As I was coming out of a deep sleep this morning, I heard this question “What have you learned?” I had to completely wake up to really start processing what I heard, but the question was clear. Well, I’ve had my morning coffee and I’m still processing how to answer the question I heard. I’ve tried to capture part of my answer in this blog post.
In the past few months we have learned and/or heard so much about COVID-19, a pandemic, social distancing, and racial injustices, just to name a few. In a time when we should become more unified, it appears we are becoming more divided. As I start to put together my answer, I do know this, God is God and He knows how to get our attention. There have been past events that have impacted different parts of the world before, but these recent events of 2020 have captured the attention of the whole world and impacted all of us.
However, in all that has taken place, I don’t think God was necessarily telling me to look at the whole world, as much as He was telling me to look within. Then, He wakes me up this morning and I hear the Holy Spirit asking ” what have you learned?” The teacher is silent and the question is before me waiting on a response. I read II Chronicles 7:14 -15 in the NIV Bible which says “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”
This was one of the first scriptures I was drawn to read once everything started to spiral in late February and early March of this year. If I’ve learned anything, it is that as one of God’s people that I must look within first. I must look within my own heart to remain humble. I must talk to God daily and I must seek Him in all parts of my life. I thought I was doing this before, but it seems different now. Perhaps this is why I heard the question. The scripture in II Chronicles then goes on to say turn from wicked ways, which means I have to get rid of what is unclean and unrighteous in me. I have to seek God’s forgiveness. It doesn’t say I should try to fix others in their uncleanliness first. It says that as one of His people, I have to turn from my own wicked ways. Psalm 139 is one of my favorite Psalms and I often pray verses 23 and 24, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is anything offensive in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
I’ve learned to ask God more to keep me humble, to hear my prayers and to forgive me of my sins. I believe we are in a season where we have to make our relationship with God even more personal than it was before; we have to seek His face. II Chronicles 7:14 to some, can be a suggestion; to some, words of warning, and to some, words of instructions. I’ve learned to use them as daily instructions for me because I want God to hear me from where He is in heaven. I want Him to forgive me and I want Him to heal every part of me and to heal this land we all live in. This land He created just as He created each one of us.
I will definitely continue to pray for others and ask God to help them just as He helps me. However, there has been such a shift in what is going on in the world today that I have to take time to really focus on who I am in Christ and what He wants me to do. He wants me to humble myself, AND pray AND seek His face AND turn from my wicked ways. He wants me to call myself one of His people so that when I speak, He will hear me.
So I ask you the question I heard this morning, “What have you learned?”
Dear Lord, we need You more than ever before. Somewhere along the way we’ve made a mess of things, we’ve missed the mark and we’ve fallen short of what is Your perfect will and perfect way. We ask now that You will help us to stay in a posture of being humble. We pray for You to hear our prayers as we seek to draw closer to You. We pray You forgive us of our sins and You cleanse us from within. We pray Your ears are attentive to our prayers; we pray You hear us, and we pray You heal our land. Thank You, Lord, that Your word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Please have mercy on us and show us the way. We pray this as people who are called by Your name, and we ask this in the mighty name of Jesus!