I was driving into work this morning and noticed the church's billboard - "If my people will Pray Seek Turn". I immediately recognized the scripture as 2 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 their land" (KJV).
As I began to speak to God about the scripture, what stood out was that 3 actions were required - pray, seek, knock. Before God can move, we have to move.
Pray. Humbling ourselves before God acknowledges our need for Him. It's not that God doesn't know what we need. Of course He does. He knows everything. As a parent, I get this. I know there are times when my child will need me to do something for him. Its not that I don't want to rush in and do it, but doing that can ruin the situation. Here's what I mean. Not to long ago, Taron's car began to leak radiator fluid. My immediate thought was take off work and go get the work done. God stopped me and made me realize that jumping in won't get him to his next - complete adulthood. If I had jumped in and taken care of it, then what would have happened after Taron moved out into his own place and had another car issue? What would he have learned from the experience? Nothing outside of, my mom got it. Nope. This is one that baby boy had to learn on his own. Thankfully, the work was done and the car is fine. God wants us to come to Him and ask Him what He wants of us in every situation. Taron came to me and we discussed how to best fix his car. See the correlation? When we go to the Father, He gives us the best path to fix, walk in, speak on a situation. But, we have to talk to Him. This is done in prayer.
Seek. There are times when we go looking for something. A new job, new house, new friends, a relationship, more money, etc. We are searching for something to fill a void or empty space. I recently took on a part time job to help pay off bills and build my savings account. I went seeking a new source of income to meet my needs. God wants us to seek Him in every situation. Seek out what He wants us to do, seek out not just any path but His path. By allowing Him to guide us, we are telling Him of His importance to us on this journey called life. We are allowing the Creator of us to tell His creation what will be when we follow His path. He has told us that He knows the plans that He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11). But, how can you know these plans if you don't take the time and seek them out. The only way to get access is to ask the planner. How crazy would it be for a building contractor to go and build a multi-functional building without the blueprint? When we don't seek God, that's what we are doing - building with no blueprint.
Turn. Now, this one here, this one is a doozy. This actually takes us giving something up. Turning away from that which could bring us joy and happiness but has no place in our lives. I am reminded of a relationship from years ago. I really liked this guy, but he was so wounded from his previous relationship that he could not see me for me. We would laugh and talk and the more time I spent around him, the more I could see the wounds of his past. (Note: men do get hurt in relationships. Women aren't the only ones with emotional baggage.) I enjoyed our time together, the laughs and the feelings of security that he brought into the relationship. But, his past kept him from seeing me. I thought if I stuck it out, he would eventually see me. Nope! Now, some may ask what was so wicked about that. Here it is - I was outside God's will. I was dating someone whom had no place in his life for me. I was becoming emotionally dependent on him. I was willing to compromise me to be with him. Most people see wickedness in the form of certain sins - cursing, sex, drugs, alcohol, etc. But, don't you know being outside God's will in any form is a sin; thereby it's wicked. I had to let him go and although it was emotional to do so, my heart healed and my soul prospered as I no longer holding onto someone (and something in the form of hope) that wasn't meant to be mine.
We have to take these 3 actions before God even moves. You may say you repent, but have you taken the steps above? Maybe God wants you to fast as a outward sign of your repentance. Maybe you have to remove people from your life. Maybe just having a conversation with a repentant heart is enough. Whatever God calls you to do, do it so that He can move on your behalf. But, in all things, do them from the heart. Move with an accepting heart that God has heard you and wants to move on your behalf. He wants to move! He really wants to move. But, have you done your part so that He can?