“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT
What does it mean to humble oneself?
In ancient Israel, the Jews would wear sackcloth – an unelegant and uncomfortable garment – and put ashes on themselves and sit before the Lord to show their deep grief. This could be done at times of mourning and/or repentance.
How do we humble ourselves today? It always begins with true, from-the-heart repentance. It may or may not include fasting, but always involves inner evaluation and turning from sin. Is there pride lurking in some recess of the heart? Is there a stronghold I haven’t been willing to turn over to God? Have I made something or someone an idol in my life? Have I accepted what my culture says about something God has already spoken to, denying Jesus by my actions and/or attitudes? When I realize my failure, will I “go out and weep bitterly” as Peter did preceding Jesus’ crucifixion?
It is first personal, and then corporate. America must fall on her face before God, whom we have deeply offended. He will certainly judge us if we don’t. I pray we will have the wisdom to meet this requisite now.
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?
Matthew 16:26 NLT