Heard a message from a guest speaker last night (our church tries to budget one conference a year for our pastor). He did a fine job – in the course of the message, he referenced the pretty well known 2 Chron 7:14:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Many Christians I know shudder at how America has changed and would like America to be right again, and even pray for the country (all of which is fine).
But last night, I noticed something that may be lacking: God told His people to turn from their wicked ways; I think that has been lost a bit. We mentally acknowledge that we are sinners, but we excuse our actions as “not as bad as X”, where X can be a neighbor, a politician on television, a fellow church member. As long as we don’t consider our own ways “wicked”, we may not turn from them (as God has commanded), and we certainly won’t consider them wicked. “It’s harmless”, I say, excusing my sin. I can get this right with God, because He is merciful and full of loving-kindness. But if Christians want the land “healed”, we must stop thinking of “them out there” as the problem. The problem is the sin within ourselves.