Happy Monday #teamawakening family!
This Sunday was the beginning of our new, two-week series titled—“If My People…” This week he message was “We Cry Out”. Before we started into worship, we played “NINJA, COWBOY, BEAR”. This is a spin off of “ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS” where ninja beats cowboy, cowboy beats bear, and bear beats ninja. It’s pretty entertaining to see the youth take their position and imitate whatever character they choose!
The scripture we looked at for the message was 2 Chronicles 7:13-16NIV,
13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
These four verses are God’s response to King Solomon’s prayer in 2 Chronicles 6. Solomon prayed to God as they were dedicating the new temple and asked that God would hear their prayers from heaven, heal/restore their land, and forgive the sin of the people. God’s response in verse 14 begins with a BIG “if”.
The word “if” is a conditional word. “You can go with your friends IF you clean your room. You can go to the game IF you do well on your test. You can have a friend over IF you get along with your siblings, etc. God sets the stage for his response in verse thirteen by saying that when things get really crazy, he’s will bring us though IF…
God says “if my people…” We are God’s “people” called by his name. His name is the most powerful name the world has ever known. In his name demons flee, the dead have been raised from the dead, people can receive freedom and victory, etc. That is the name we are called by! God gives us four things to do to receive the benefits that await us on the other side of the “if”.
1. Humble Ourselves
Humbling ourselves isn’t fun or easy. Humbling ourselves basically means that we aren’t thinking of ourselves more highly than we should, and that we aren’t thinking of ourselves better than others. Jesus was the perfect example of what it means to humble ourselves. Jesus was God in human form. He lowered himself to live and walk among us here on earth before dying on the cross for our benefit: a relationship with him. Just as Jesus humbled himself, we are called to humble ourselves to glorify him before others so that they may experience the very same relationship.
We aren’t just talking about praying to ask God to give us the things we want. We are talking about praying to God that we will glorify him before others, that his heart will become our heart, and praying that his will be done in our lives and generation.
3. Seek His Face
This means that we are seeking to know God and understand him more. Think of playing hide n’ go seek. The seeker looks under things, on top of things, and inside of things to find those that are hiding from them. This is what it means to seek God’s face. We intentionally look to discover where God is leading us and what he is calling us to do.
4. Turn From Our Wicked Ways
This seems a little weird. You may be saying, “I don’t have any wicked ways!”. The truth is— whatever we have in our lives that is not of God and is keeping us from drawing closer to him fits into this category. Some examples are: being controlled by fear, finding our self-worth in the approval of others, being controlled by anger, etc.
When we commit to doing these four things, God promises to hear us from heaven, heal our land, and forgive our sins (not just our individual sins, but the sins of the generation), and heal our land.
The solution to drug problems, sex problems, self-harm problems, abuse problems, addiction problems, etc. that has become so prevalent in today’s culture all begins with, “If My People…”
We closed out the message by claiming the promises of verses 15-16 believing that God has chosen and set apart Awakening Youth Ministries to be a part of making his name and presence known to others!We truly believe that God has some CRAZY big things in store for the upcoming year, and it too all begins with, “If My People…”!
“We Cry Out” for God to hear our prayer, forgive our sins, and heal our land/generation!
Be Blessed and don’t miss the final part, “Becoming a 122 Generation”, next week!