America is reeling from yet another murderous shooting spree—the most devastating since 2012—which left 14 dead and 17 injured in San Bernardino, California yesterday. New York’s Daily News posted this provocative headline: “GOD ISN’T FIXING THIS!” and intimated that the response of “Our thoughts and prayers are with you” made by various politicians was just meaningless platitudes and “not enough”…as Barak Obama declared two months ago after the shootings in Oregon. Both the Daily News and Obama are pushing gun legislation as their proposed answer, but L.A. and Chicago—areas with some of the toughest gun laws in our country—haven’t solved the problem through legislation, so even though tighter gun control might help, it’s not going to end mass murders. People intent on evil will always find some method for their madness.
This poses two questions in my mind: “Why isn’t God fixing this?” and, “If thoughts and prayers are not enough, what would be enough?” The scriptures are pretty clear that God is available to help if we will ask: “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” (2 Chronicles 7:14). So, if God isn’t fixing things for us, where’s the rub? The rub is in our need for national repentance and faith, because God’s requirements for prayers to be answered are huge! He’s not our personal genie, ascending out of a bottle to do our bidding any time we pray. God is the potentate of the universe who requires our undivided love and obedience. “If my people, which are called by my name” (we—as a people—must belong to Him), “shall humble themselves” (admitting our inability to change things ourselves), “and pray, and seek my face” (that sounds like very earnest, on-your-face prayer, not just a 5 second plea), and turn from their wicked ways” (ah, here’s the rub; we have to individually reject sin in our own lives and live holy lives); “then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin (after we’ve confessed and forsaken it), “and will heal their land” (national healing follows individual faith and healing).
Friends, Romans, countrymen—Mr. President and politicians—lend me your ears! Do you want our broken country and our broken world fixed? We can’t just legislate morality; we have to live it too. Ultimately, effective gun control will only occur when there has been heart change in people so that they desire peace and not war, and only God can change our hearts from the inside out. Gun control is just a cop out for what we really need, which is God control. God requires us to take up our cross and follow him daily. We have to believe, pray, repent, forsake sin, and live holy lives…and not just one or two of us, but we the people: “If my people.” Let’s not be discouraged because the world has become dystopian, and let’s not be weary in the well doing of praying to the only One who truly can fix things!