I wanted to write a devotion this month about spring. I wanted to talk about how the season of spring is about new life, new beginnings. Those are the things I wanted to write about, but the right words wouldn’t come. Instead, I have been moved to write to you about healing. As I look around, I see so much sickness; sickness of the body and of the soul. The enemy seems to be having a field day not only in the world at large, but in the lives of the children of God as well.
I have read and recited 2 Chronicles 7:14 many times. Each year on the National Day Of Prayer, I turn to this verse as a reminder of God’s promise. I have always looked at this verse in light of the healing of a nation, and indeed, it is relevant to our country and our world. But, until just now, I have never given much thought to how this promise might extend to each of our lives.
I invite you to take a few moments and look out over your “land”. Where do you need healing? Your marriage, your children, your job, your finances? Is there an addiction, a physical illness, an emotional struggle, a broken heart?
The LORD has given us very specific instruction on what we are to do. (You will want to give special attention to the order of God’s instruction, it’s important).
- Submit The first step to healing is submission, humbling ourselves before God. Now, that’s a hard one; being submissive to the authority of another, even when it’s God, goes against our grain because we want to be in control. Of course, if we remind ourselves that doing it our own way is how we got to this point in the first place, submitting shouldn’t be so difficult. As we humble ourselves before the Lord, as we bow low in His presence, the healing will begin and we will find relief as the weight of our burden is lifted.
- Pray Next we must seek God’s face. So often, our prayers are a laundry list of our needs – “Here’s what’s wrong God, this is what I want and this is how I want you to do it.” Sound familiar? The Hebrew word for seek is bâqash (baw-kash’). It means to search out, to beg, to plead. Seeking the face of God is not some nice little meek, gentle petition we offer up on the off-chance that God might find favor with us. To seek God’s face is to beg Him to show us His mind, His will, His desires, His way. Seeking God’s face is what Jacob did in Genesis 32 when he wrestled with God and would not let go until God blessed him – and the blessing was given. Jabez was seeking the face of God in 1 Chronicles 4:10 when he cried out to Him “enlarge my border, be with me and keep me from harm” – and God granted his request. The blind man of Luke 18:38 was seeking the face of God when he would not be silenced, but continued to cry out to Jesus for mercy – and Jesus heard him and healed him.
They kept on wrestling until the man said, “Let go of me! It’s almost daylight.” “You can’t go until you bless me,” Jacob replied. (Genesis 32:26)
- Repent Finally, we must repent. Notice, the scripture doesn’t say “tell God you’re sorry”. True repentance isn’t simply a matter of apologizing. Repentance is turning back, laying down; it is a broken heart caused by our sin against a loving God. It’s all well and good to say I’m sorry, but repentance requires change, otherwise all you have are words that mean nothing.
Our having done these things, what does God promise? He promises He will hear us, forgive us, and heal us. He will restore us and make us whole. The healing may take some time, complete healing always does, A wound must heal from the inside out. Imagine you have a cut on your finger. After a few days, the cut may seem to be well ,but if you were to peel back the scab you would see that the wound underneath is still red and raw. You wouldn’t say “guess this is never going to get well, I might as well cut my finger off”, you would continue to nurse the cut until it was completely healed. That’s how it is with the wounds in our lives. We must allow God to heal them from the inside out, layer by layer restoring the damaged tissue.
Whatever in your land needs healing, put your trust in God. Ask Him to be your Jehova Rapha – The Lord Who heals.
to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ (Acts 26:18)
Maybe I was wrong, maybe this is a story of spring after all. Spring is about new life, new beginnings, and isn’t that what God promises us throughout His word?