Day 2: “Humility and Repentance”
“If My people who are called by My name 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.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
The fact that sinners like us are God’s beloved people should humble us and lead us into repentance for our wickedness and into a deeper dependence on God to transform our lives as well as our city. Because of Jesus, and what He has done to bring us into God’s forever family, we can confidently seek our heavenly Father’s face and see delight and grace instead of anger and disappointment. For the believer in the gospel of grace, repentance isn’t shameful, but rather joyful. How is that possible? How can humility be a joyful thing for us?
When Jesus, the sinless One, who didn’t need to repent of anything, hung on the cross in our place, something amazing and outrageous happened. All of our sin and brokenness was placed on Him, and His righteousness, the very thing we could never achieve for ourselves, our family, or our city, was gifted freely to us (2 Corinthians 5:21). Our biggest issue is that we struggle to really believe this reality. It’s almost too good to be true… But it is true, and it is good, and when we seek the face of YHWH at the foot of the cross where our redemption was purchased, we can’t help but be humbled by the reality of our sin and drawn more into the righteousness of Christ that is already ours. In the shadows of Calvary, our need for a Savior is brought into the light for us to see, but instead of crushing us, it lifts us into the eternal reality of our belovedness and purpose. As we bask in the beauty of this grace, we hear the Father call us “beloved.” We hear Him call our name, and we no longer feel judgment or shame from God, but rather favor and forgiveness. In this place of humble realization of our utter inability in our flesh to please God, we gaze in faith upon our Savior who pleased the Father perfectly in every way, and we receive the pleasure of the Father placed on Him… “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:1) That means none. The gospel says that the Father loves us like He loves His Son, Jesus. As far as the east is from the west, that’s how far He has removed our sin from us… (Psalm 103:12) That means eternal restoration, redemption, reconciliation, and renewal are ours in Christ.
This reality will awaken kingdom prayers for your own life, for other people, and for the places where you inhabit. You will no longer pray in fearful duty hoping “some god up there” might hear you… no, you now delightfully pray in humble yet confident expectation through the Spirit that your loving Father in heaven hears from heaven and WILL heal your land. And then you step out into the world and can’t help but turn from wickedness (because that’s not who you really are) and stand against the injustices in your community and city.
1. Begin by confessing your sin to God and trusting in His forgiveness that He has freely given in Christ. Rest in His righteousness.
2. Write out the sinful tendencies of your heart if you dare, and after confessing them, write forgiven over them.
3. Ask in faith for God to hear from heaven and heal your life as well as your community from the wickedness destroying the Shalom we were designed for.