I want to start this devotional by first apologizing for my absence this past weekend. I won't even waste your time with excuses so I will just continue with this series.
#2. How are you living? Verse 3 tells us "Trust in the Lord and do good;" and verse 5 say "Commit your ways to the Lord." Often times we go to God living in sin and wonder why it is that he won't honor our requests when it is because we don't deserve it. Although there is nothing that we can do to really deserve God's grace and mercy, (hence why it is grace and mercy; supposed to be unmerited), God does honor our obedience and commitment to His ways. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, "If my people, who 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 sins and heal their land."
I like this verse because it reminds me of a concept I learned in Geometry that I feel applies here. It was the difference between "iff" (if and only if) and "if." Iff denoted any time that there was only one route from the problem to the solution. For instance, x+2=4 iff x=2 or you and I equal saved if and only if we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Well in the case of "if," there can be more than one solution to the problem. An example would 2x<8 if x=1 because x could equal anything right before the number 4, get it? Well 2 Chronicles 7:14 is exactly like the second concept I just discussed, "if." You see, God tells us that humbling ourselves, praying, seeking his face and repenting equals forgiveness, healing and blessings. However, we serve a faithful, merciful and forgiving God who has the tendency to give us his grace even when we do not do any of the things above just because he loves us which means there are other solutions to the problem of our sin and disobedience. Now it's easy to think, "If God shows me grace even amidst my sin, then I don't have to live right," but keep the math problem mentioned above in mind.
God gave us the answer key to all the problems in our life and if we use it, we will excel in our faith test and reap the rewards. If we don't, however, we run the risk of barely passing our way into heaven and leaving many of the blessings assigned to us locked up. If you don't believe me, even David tells us in verse 6 "He will make the righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun."