Revival. It’s a good word. It releases joy. It means fresh life. Most Christians would be excited and grateful if revival occurred in their church or in their entire city. I, too, would be grateful for revival but there’s something else beyond revival that I am believing and advocating for. That something else is TRANSFORMATION.
When transformation takes place in a city like Almolonga in Guatemala or a region like Baffin Bay in the eastern Arctic or in a nation like Fiji, spiritual life is certainly revived. But society is also changed with decreased crime and restored relationships. Furthermore, the terrestrial land itself is revived. So is nature. Bumper crops are normal. Fruit trees bear prolifically. Wild game herds and fish populations get replenished. Coral reefs spring back to life. In Part II, in this series, I shared a number of things I’d expect to see if (when) our nation experiences transformation, if God heals our land.
God’s people have the key role in whether or not transformation comes to our nation. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God said, “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, will forgive their sin, and heal their land.”
Since 1973, when Intercessors For America was founded, there has been what I believe is “unprecedented” prayer for our nation. IFA also promotes fasting on the first Friday of each month.
I personally have led and participated in several services of repentance and reconciliation. National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday in May of each year is observed in hundreds if not thousands of communities in our nation.
I believe the most unfulfilled requirement from 2 Chronicles 7:14 is for God’s people to turn from their wicked ways. In this “IF MY PEOPLE…” series we have identified and listed “Fifty-two Wicked Ways of God’s People” looking through the lenses of the Ten Commandments and of Jesus interaction with the Pharisees. Undoubtedly more could be listed. This is a thoughtful start.
As we notice these sins in the lives of others, we want to use the “Mirror Principle”. Ask God to reveal to us that same sin in our life with the intent and willingness to confess it and to turn from that wicked way.
God’s heart is deeply moved by genuine repentance which means turning away from the (wicked) way one was going. We see this clearly in the book of Jonah (Chapter 3) and in Chapters 12 and 15 in the book of 2 Chronicles.
As the cadre of God’s people grows who turn from their wicked ways, we get closer to the number that is needed to move God to heal our land. Will you be numbered in the cadre of God’s people who take action to turn from their wicked ways? I thank you for your commitment. Our nation will be indebted to you.
I encourage you to read the other parts in this series. Go to www.alamotorch.com, click the religion tab and select the “IF MY PEOPLE” articles. The articles are insightful. Many of the graphics are great. Pass the word and the list below to other like-minded people of God.
Let us do our part on the journey to transformation.
“Fifty-two Wicked Ways of God’s People”
- Hobbies (Wrong priority)
- Work (Short-changing marriage and children)
- Pleasure (Gluttony, drugs, entertainment)
- Popularity (Fame)
- Lover of money
- Thinking of ourself more highly than we ought.
- Using God’s name irreverently
- Hypocritical (Talking the talk but not walking the walk)
- Bring dishonor to God’s name by words or actions.
- Lack of Compassion
- Profaning the Sabbath by treating it like any other day
- Forsaking our own assembling together.
- Disobedient to parents
- Disrespectful of parents
- Selfishness (Not cheerfully assisting in times of need)
- Not spending time with parents
- Not receiving all the children God wants to give us
- Voting for pro-abortion candidates
- Letting the sun go down on our anger (thus giving a place to the Devil)
- Unforgiveness (Holding grudges)
- Not seeking to be reconciled to a brother or sister
- Sex before marriage
- Living together before marriage
- Lusting in our hearts
- Wearing immodest clothing
- Showcasing sex in advertising
- Advocating or excusing same-gender sexual relationships
- Succumbing to political correctness re: same-gender sexual relationships
- Not tithing (Robbing God)
- Sharing God’s glory
- Hiding from helping our family
- Cheating on tax return
- Living on welfare entitlements when able to work
- Telling lies
- Not putting the best spin on a person’s words or actions
- Murmuring about a spiritual leader
- Not protecting a person’s name
- Not covering another’s sins with love (1 Peter 4:8)
- Not asking the Holy Spirit to show us how we have violated this commandment
- Being envious
- Being greedy
- Being selfish instead of generous
- Discontent with God’s provision
- Being a lover of money
- Living like our life consists in the abundance of our possessions
- Thinking we can serve both God and mammon
Gerald Ripley is Pastor of Abundant Life Church in northeast San Antonio.