Summary: This sermon stresses that we need to be completely honest with God in our worship, our prayer lives, our sin and shortcomings, and our relationship with Him.
Text: 2nd Chronicles 7:14
On the popular tv talk show, Oprah Winfrey,
Dr. Phil stresses confrontational counseling.
He urges people to "get real," and say what they
really need to say, and to not try to "con" him,
or avoid the real needs that they have. He has
been able to help some people see their hidden
problems and needs because of this honest approach.
As I viewed some of this show one day, I couldn’t
help but wonder, "What would happen if the church
’got real’ with God? We have a lot of hypocrisy
and dishonesty in worship and Christian service.
I believe that before true revival can come, or
salvation will ever be experienced, we must "get
real" with God. I believe that that is what God
desires and commands us to do.
Let’s see this stressed in 2nd Chronicles 7:14-
"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
Many times we have prayed for revival, but revival
hasn’t come because we have not been honest with
God. We’ve asked Him to bless us, but we haven’t
been willing to turn from our sins and forsake
them. We’ve worn our masks, and put on our false
fronts, but He knows our hearts; therefore, He re-
fused to send revival when we were hypocritical.
I. If My people, which are called by My Name, shall
Noting quite offends God like the manifestation of
a haughty, proud, arrogant spirit. God resists
the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Look at the attitude of the Pharisee who prayed in
the temple in Luke 18. He exemplifies the haughty,
arrogant, spirit. The Scripture says that Jesus
spoke this to certain ones who trusted in them-
selves, that they were righteous, and despised
others. Hear his prayer-
"God, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are,
extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this
I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all
that I possess.
And the publican would not lift up so much as his
eyes unto heaven, but somte upon his breast, say-
ing, God be merciful to me a sinner.
I tell you(said Jesus), this man went down to his
house justified rather than the other: for every-
one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he
that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
Folks, if we are honest with God, we’ll have to
confess that much in church life seeks to elevate
man instead of God. It seeks to exalt human pride
and human achievement. It’s "God, look how good
we are, Look how much we’ve done."
We’ll never get anywhere with God with an attitude
like that, nor will he bless with His Spirit that
which does not honor Him.
"Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty
spirit before a fall."
In 1st Peter 5:5 Christians are urged to be subject
to one another, and clothed with humility.
II.If My people, which are called by My Name shall
The Pharisees prayed, and prayed regularly and
loud and long, to be heard of others, but Jesus
said that they had all the reward they were going
to get when they sought only the praise of men.
Notice that the Pharisee in Luke 18 really wasn’t
praying to God-he was having a conversation with
himself-about himself, and how wonderful he was!
It was a totally selfish, self-centered prayer.
We need to "get real" with God in our prayer lives,
and pray earnestly, and fervantly, not for a show,
but for His glory and praise.
Matthew 6:5-"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not
be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray
standing in the synagogues and in the corners of
the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily,
I say unto you, thy have their reward."
Matthew 23:5-"But all their works they do for to
be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries
and enlarge the borders of their garments, and
love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief
seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the
markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi."
Sounds like some of those conventions you’ve been
too, doesn’t it?
We can understand, then, why Jesus was so critical
of the Scribes and Pharisees. They were fakes.
They were inwardly corrupt.
III.If My people, which are called by My Name, shall
SEEK MY FACE...
To seek God’s face is to seek fellowship with Him,
and conformity to His will.
The Pharisees wanted their own will to be done,
Matthew 7:10-"For Moses said, Honour thy father