“…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 will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.” (II Chronicles 7:14-15, NKJV)
While this passage is quoted over and over during times such as these, many people fail to acknowledge the cause and affect associated with it. In other words, the great promise that almost everyone focuses on is preceded by a word that holds the true power of this promise…’IF’.
The true power of repentance lies in the actions associated with this conjunction: humbling ourselves, praying and seeking God’s face, and turning from our wicked ways. If and when these actions are conducted from a pure heart, God promises that He will hear from heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land. Furthermore, He assures us that His eyes will be open and His ears will hear our prayers. God made this conditional promise to the people of Israel, and it still holds true for us today.
Unfortunately, we know from the history of Israel that God’s people failed to do any of these things consistently. In fact, their wicked ways worsened with each passing king, and produced the opposite result of this promise.
For us today, there is a hard lesson we must learn from this promise and Israel’s treatment of it. When we acknowledge the criticality of the “if” in a promise of God, and take the necessary action(s) that God requires, we have the absolute assurance that God will honor it and do what He promises.