Summary: This passage names four things God wants from his people. He wants us to humble ourselves, pray, seek his face, and turn from our wicked ways
Four Steps to What God Wants
***Give background of Solomon’s prayer in previous chapter?
How many times have you heard someone say; “Just tell me what you want” Many have made this frustrated exclamation to someone they are trying to please--- and just can’t figure out what it takes to do so. Relatives, employers, employees, and friends all make demands on us that, at times, bring out this kind of a statement.
God never stutters when he tells us what he wants. This passage names four things God wants from his people. He wants us to humble ourselves, pray, seek his face, and turn from our wicked ways
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.
1. Humble yourself.
Jesus told his disciples that "whoever exalts himself will be abased(humbled),
and whoever humbles himself will be exalted" (Matthew 23:12).
Until we admit we cannot live as God intended, we are not in a position to seek his help. Nothing else works until we recognize our frailty and become serious about our complete need for God.
a) How big God is / How small we are
b) We could do nothing without God
c) We cannot even come before him except through Jesus
What is Prayer? Prayer is the link between "I can’t" and "God can."
• Only after admitting that we can’t will we call out in a new attitude of urgency, to the one who can.
• Prayers can be long or short….
3. Seek his face.
This meditative, lingering search for God’s face suggests more than a prayer for help: it calls for a quiet time of seeking after him. God wants a face-to-face relationship with each of his people.
• God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day
• God created mankind for fellowship with him.
• God spoke everything into existence but took time to
form man by hand and breathe life into him.
4. Turn from your wicked ways.
This fourth demand is the tough one for most of us. Priorities, habits, peer pressure and pleasure all pull at us to do what we know we shouldn’t.
*** Only with the first three steps in place can we tackle the fourth. ***
• Do we have wicked ways?
• In day to day life do we think WWJD, then do what he would do
• If Jesus spent the day with you what would you have to hide or change? (music, reading material, talk, friends)
Expound on each of the problems in 4 above.
• Does my schedule reveal God is first in my life?
• Does my checkbook (spending) reveal that God is first in my life?
• Next to my relationship with God, is my relationship with my family, and then church, my highest priority?
• Who or what do others see me value as important in my life?
• Habits can be bad or good
• We must recognize Sin for what it is. If we call sin a
“Mistake,” a “bad habit,” or a “weakness” we will never
escape its grasp
c. Peer Pressure
How many time we have done, or acted in a different way than
We would normally act because our peers were around.
Worldly pleasures, activities that keeps us from God, Many
pleasures are not sinful until we put them before God.
Closing: God Promise To Us
God makes a promise to people who seriously pursue him through humility, prayer, personal relationship and repentance from sin: (2nd part v 14) He promises ...then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.