Week 4: Obedience Before Blessing

2 Chronicles 7:14-15 (NIV)

“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. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the; prayers offered in this place.”  

God has a specific plan for your life.  But sometimes it may seem as if your prayers are hitting the ceiling, and everything you do seems to fail or go wrong.  Your car is broken down, bills are behind, and all of your relationships seem to be going south.  Your relationship with Christ is not what you want it to be and you know you could be doing more.  However, for some reason, putting one foot in front of the other only seems to trip you up, so what’s the deal?

I feel a lot of us can relate to this in one way or another.  It can be quite amusing how often we tend to blame God for all of these things going wrong.  Maybe not directly, but is it possible you find yourself saying things like, “If you would have just done this, God,” or “for once in my life, can you just…?”  However, maybe if we took a step back and re-examine our lives, it would come to our attention some things do not add up.  2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “IF my people, who are called by my name, WILL humble themselves… pray… seek… and turn from their wicked ways… THEN I will hear from heaven… forgive their sins… heal their lands.”  

Too many times God is given the blame for things going bad in our lives.  Maybe the problem isn’t God, but us.  Perhaps it isn’t a God problem, but an obedience problem… more specifically, a sin problem.  Since God is absolutely holy, he cannot take part in sin.  The simple fact of the matter is, our prayers and spiritual blessings are often hindered by our tolerance of on going, perpetual indulgent, festering sin.  God cannot be apart of it.  Like James 3:11 says, “Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” NO!  So, our holy God cannot share the heart of a person who has given half of it over to lingering sin.  I know this verse is used to illustrate how cursing and praise should not come out of the same mouth, however, it seems to fit this just fine.  It is the idea that we cannot be both part of the Gods kingdom and part of the worlds kingdom.  Curses and praises should not come out of the same mouth.  With God, it is all or nothing.  Total control or no control.  

We are never gong to be perfect humans, I am not referring to a stumble on your walk with Christ.  I am referring to the on going sin you may be allowing in your life, whether it be: pornography, gossiping, sexual immorality, over indulgence (of any kind), idolatry, hate, envy, pride, etc.  It is because of these things that keep God from pouring out blessings in our lives, both physically and spiritually.    

Obedience comes before the blessing.  Take time this week to examine your life and heart.  What perpetual sin have you allowed to have an extended stay?  Ask God to show you where you may be falling short, how to give it up, and how to put yourself in position to receive his blessing.  He is waiting, desiring, and ready to pour out in your life.  If sin isn’t the culprit, keep pursing God and never stop, even if you don’t feel his presence.  He is always with you, provision is on the way!


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