Looking for an "S" Word
“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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” —2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV.
I keep waiting for the words every time someone shares their testimony: “I realized I had sinned against God.” Those words, or something similar, are rare finds these days. Perhaps they are no longer “politically correct.” Perhaps we have tried so hard to be sensitive to a world that doesn’t understand even a christianese word like “sin” that we avoid its use. We wouldn't want to damage anyone's psyche by mentioned that they might be "bad." Perhaps we are too proud. Perhaps we’ve forgotten that without repentance there is no forgiveness. Perhaps some people never knew that, when they came to God for help with their troubles, without repentance there was no forgiveness.
Repentance is implicit in this verse from Chronicles, and it is certainly in “your face” throughout the rest of Scripture. For example, Jesus said in Luke 13:3: “…unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
This verse is also foundational to revival. Every revival begins on the knees of prayer with a plea for forgiveness. Do we wonder why great revivals elude us today? Perhaps it is because we no longer speak the language of repentance nor demonstrate the humility found on our knees before God.
Until we do, there is no forgiveness and there is no healing.