Before I became a believer, I dated a young lady who asked me if she could pray for me to be able to "feel God's peace." I said "Sure." Before she prayed she explained a few things about this experience and said "Nolan, I am going to ask God to put His peace on you for three days." All I can say is that I felt like I was floating in invisible water. God's peace came and stayed three days to the minute.
Years later, as I was street witnessing, a guy pulled up in his car. I started sharing the reality of the Holy Spirit with him. I told him about my very first experience with God, when my girlfriend prayed for me. As I was talking to this young man God's Spirit came rushing in. The guy in the car said "holy &*!?%! He is here!" I laughed I was not offended by his language because he was a sinner and that was all he knew! God's Holy Spirit continued to touch him that night as I sowed lasting seeds of salvation with him from God's Word. I have learned that in these last days God wants to pour out His Spirit on all flesh; all we have to do is just get the message out there.
The scriptures say that when the Spirit of God came on Azariah the prophet, he declared these words to Asa the King. "The Lord is with you while you be with Him; and if ye seek Him, He will be found of you; but if ye forsake Him He will forsake you!" (2nd Chronicles 15:2b. KJV)
Far too many of us we live in what I call crisis mode. We live our everyday lives, go to church, sometimes to every service, but we really do not seek God. We seek our own lives, our own financial security, and from there the list continues on. Most of us seek a career, a spouse, a house, a nice car etc. However, we do not seek the Lord diligently. It is true that perhaps we once did when we first were saved out of a very sinful life. "He who is forgiven much loves much." (Luke 7:47 KJV) However, now we only seek the Lord when the next crisis hits our lives. Unfortunately this leaves us spiritually weak and vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. That is why Peter admonishes us; "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour!" (1st Peter 5:8 KJV) In Africa the lions always seek to pick off the weak of the herd. Satan uses the same strategy! First he seeks to weaken you! He is a patient devil! Then he seeks to devour you!
Whether we adhere to the Catholicism or not, our fleshly nature sure prefers the basic footprint of the priesthood. We just love to make our pastors our priests. We want them to go to God for us and to do our praying for us. We want him to be right there in a crisis that we may or may not have self orchestrated. We want him to hear from God for us and tell us on Sunday morning what God is saying.
God actually calls us all out of that under the New Covenant. "...and has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father: To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:6 KJV) We are all called to be God seekers and if you could sum up every effort of every revivalist that ever lived it would be this, "Seek the Lord again with all of your heart!"
Why did Azariah start with the admonition to King Asa to seek the Lord? Because He knew it was the bedrock of all right relationship with God. It's the foundation of communication between us, and the Heavenly Father. When that's right, everything else will eventually fall in place in our spiritual lives.
The writer of Chronicles goes on to say in verse three; "Now for a long season Israel had been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law." It is my deep conviction that this follows a tight parallel to where we are in America right now. Often as I pray for God to send revival to our nation I pray, "Heavenly Father, I ask you to send revival to our nation from sea to shining sea, every city, every town, every village, and every hamlet. Father God show forth Your mercy on this sinful land. Our people have been mis-taught, misinformed, and mis- instructed about who You really are. So please Father God send revival by your abundant grace and mercy in Jesus name amen!"
Overall, I believe that the United States of America has been without the true God for a long time. As our nation grew more self focused and people pleasers increasingly occupied our pulpits, a greatly watered down message began to be preached, and it has just gotten worse and worse as time has gone by. We have created a grandpa God. People are wondering why we are not seeing the answers to prayer and great miracles of other generations. Sin is rampant, and morality has been thrown out the door. I'm not sure which is worse in the eyes of God; the way some women dress today to draw attention to the sexual parts of their bodies, or the way that we as men encourage them to do it more by lusting after them.
We have been without a true teaching priest because all of our hearts have sought the easier way. Our collective doctrines, formed for the convenience of man, all are designed to serve our fleshly indulgences. Most churches today would fire Jesus if He were their pastor after His first sermon. Shockingly we have now most conveniently managed to make non-applicable Gods law!