Then Will I Hear 2 Chr. 7:14 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
We have heard much preaching on 2 Chr 7:14. The part of the verse I like is… then will I hear. God said that, if they do four things, then will I hear. The four things are these: humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways.
The verse is specifically aimed at Israel. Notice that the end of the verse says, “and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” First, the sins of Christians are forgiven when we are saved. Second, we don’t have land that must be healed; our home is in heaven. Israel, on the other hand, has a new covenant, yet to be fulfilled at the second coming of Jesus, at which time their sins will be forgiven [Heb 8:10-13] and their land will be healed.
Nevertheless, despite the doctrinal application to Israel, we can glean a tremendous spiritual blessing from this verse. The spiritual blessing involves the assurance that our prayers are being heard by God when we approach him the way he instructed Israel to approach him. God says, then will I hear:
When you humble yourself. Don’t ask God to humble you. Humble yourself [1 Pet 5:6]. You do that by your posture. Kneel. Solomon started his prayer of dedication for the temple standing and finished upon his knees [1 Ki 8:22; 2 Chr 6:13]. The night Jesus was betrayed, he started praying with his eyes lifted to heaven [Jn 17:1], then he moved to the garden of Gethsemane and prayed kneeling [Lk 22:41], then on the ground [Mk 14:35], and then on his face [Matt 26:39].
You also humble yourself by making God big and making yourself little [Jn 3:30]. Jesus made himself of no reputation [Phil 2:7] and instead glorified his Father [Jn 17:4]. God will hear when you humble yourself.
When you pray. Prayer is basically an undistracted, uninterrupted conversation with God. A great example is Jesus’ prayer to his Father in Jn 17. Jesus presented his petition before his Father and didn’t stop until he reached the end of his prayer. Then he went out to Gethsemane with his disciples and when he was alone, he resumed praying. There were times when Jesus prayed all night long [Lk 6:12]. At other times, his prayers were just a few words [Lk 23:34]. It’s not how big your prayers are [Matt 6:7b], it’s how big our God is to whom you are praying.
When you seek God’s face. We are told to seek the Lord’s face [1 Chr 16:11]. But no man has seen his face [Jn 1:18]. If you think about it, we know that the Bible describes God with anthropomorphic characteristics. He has a nose and mouth and eyes and ears. So, when you pray, present yourself as a sweet savor unto God [2 Cor 2:15]. Hear the words of his mouth [Prov 8:8]. Hide nothing from his eyes [Heb 4:13]. And speak into his ears [Ps 19:14]. In this way, you can seek his face and he will hear your prayer.
When you turn from your wicked ways. The psalmist said in Ps 119:59, “I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.” This turning is simply what it says. You turn. So, imagine that you are driving and make a wrong turn. 15 miles down the road, you realize that you are going the wrong direction. When you make the U-turn, you are still 15 miles from the right road. You must retrace your route until you get back to where you went the wrong way. By the same token, when you turn from your wicked ways, depending on where you got off track with God, you still have a lot of ground to recover. Most people expect that, when they turn, God will reach down and deliver them back to where they need to be. He doesn’t. And for this reason, many people just keep on going the wrong way away from God.
Listen, if you will turn, God will hear you. And he will help you as you recover your lost ground. It is important to know that God will be in the equation now. He will help you as you pray. He doesn’t expect you to get back on your own.
Conclusion: these four things ought to be fresh on your mind when you approach God. And take great confidence in the fact that he is listening and he does answer [1 Jn 5:14-15].