In light of the recent Independence Day celebrations, I thought it would be fitting to write a short blog about our independence as a country and how we actually need dependence upon God now more than ever. The United States was founded on principles of life, liberty, and happiness, with its root factor being the independence of its people. However, the in kingdom of God, people obtain life, liberty, and happiness not through independence, but through dependence on His word.
We all know that there are various trials, problems, and difficult situations that our nation is facing right now, and perhaps the reason for this is our desire to be independent from God, rather than turning our faces toward Him. It is easy to point our fingers at the problems, yet no one seems to be able to find a solution. I submit to you that there is a much simpler solution than we dare to recognize. It comes back to my favorite Scripture in the Bible, 2 Chronicles 7:14, 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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.
The solution outlined here seems so simple, yet it is so difficult to enact. Let me briefly break it down for you a little bit. The first part of the verse says, “If My people who are called by My name.” This means that God has entrusted the nation to the care of His people. The verse does not call for the unsaved and unbelieving to pray and repent. Often, we try to push the responsibility on “those people” when the reality is that God is calling upon His followers, His own people, to repent and seek His face. The church must take responsibility for the actions of the nation.
The next part of the verse says, “Will humble themselves.” God is looking for a people who are filled with humility. Humility requires dependence on God, for it requires people to recognize that they literally cannot go on without Him. Independence does not mix with humility. Additionally, the Bible often equates humility with fasting. There is such a spiritual significance to fasting, and I believe that an important part of humility is the denial of one’s own wants and desires by abstaining from those things for a period of time. We need more fasting in the American church.
The verse continues to say, “And pray and seek My face.” This component is the heart of the matter. God is always looking for intercessors—for people who will stand in the gap on behalf of those whom they are crying out for. But God doesn’t just want intercessors of any kind; He wants intercessors who are madly in love with Him. He wants a group of believers who will intercede and seek His face in the process, for whoever seeks Him will find Him.
The final component is: “And turn from their wicked ways.” This turning around represents repentance. Again, I remind you that this call to repentance is for the people of God. Often, God’s people think they have no more need of repentance—that they did that once and for all at the point of salvation. However, I believe part of taking up our cross daily and following Christ is living a daily lifestyle of repentance in which we constantly redirect our path toward God and His righteousness. The moment we think we have no need to repent is probably the moment in which we need to repent the most.
The church in the United States must grasp this concept on a widespread scale. As God’s people, we must be dependent upon God through humility and fasting, we must intercede as a people madly in love with Him, and we must remember that we are not past the need for repentance. If we do these things, this is what the Lord promises will happen: “Then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” If we want to have God’s ear, we must recognize our total dependency on Him. If we want His forgiveness, we must repent of our sins. If we want His healing, we must pray and intercede, seeking His face above all else.
Lord, hear our prayer for the United States of America. Awaken us to our desperate need for You. Let us not live our lives by ourselves or for ourselves, but let us live for Your glory. We are dependent on You, not independent. Lord, forgive us our sins as our hearts awaken and run to You. Come and heal our land, we pray. Amen.