By Christina Lowery, Co-Lead Pastor
“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this Temple as the place for making sacrifices. At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy—a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart." - 2 Chronicles 7:12-16
This passage is one of my favorites in the Bible because it is so rich in promise. I read these words as if God had written them for me...and those of you in my faith community. So as I pondered on what I would share this week as we focus on church-wide breakthrough, this verse came to mind immediately.
This statement, made by God to King Solomon shortly after the Temple was built and dedicated for worship, is a defining moment for Solomon and the Israelite nation. God lays out a roadmap for Solomon to lead his people into the days that lied ahead...and I believe that we, Crossroads, may also accept this roadmap to guide us as we also move forward in the direction that He is leading us as a church.
The defining moment for Israel came when God forked their road by making the statement, "IF my people will...THEN I will...." Crossroads, this goes for us too! If we will....then He will:
If we will
.....humble ourselves (as in...perhaps a church-wide 21 day period of fasting and prayer?)
.....pray and seek His face (meaning we're asking for more of Him rather than just His provision)
.....turn from our wicked ways (or even distractions that keep us sidetracked - away from Him)
Then He will
.....hear from Heaven (His ears perk up when humility engulfs our prayers! He is magnetized to our need!)
.....forgive our sins (He's gracious, compassionate; slow to anger and rich in love! Psalm 145:8, NIV)
.....restore our land (What we've lost, what we mourn for, all that has been depleted...He will restore!)
I believe, Crossroads, that we can expect MUCH from God in response to our humility, prayers, seeking Him and turning away from our sins during this 21-day fast! And as He restores and heals our land, we become fertile for growth and will bear much fruit...fruit that will taste pleasant and be nourishing to our community and the world!
Questions for Reflection: