2 Chronicles 7:14
"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."
Education is conditional. As a teacher there are certain routes of professionalism that can never be breached. One is the reciprocal of grading. It's quite simple: I teach and you put your best foot forward to listen. You submit all requirements, meet testing dates, and come to class. By doing so, you can be rest assured of receiving great compensation, a good grade.
Every so often comes along a student who is in need of mentoring. These students are usually lost, unaware of the life that will follow soon mandating boundaries. Nonetheless, you nurture these few in hope that your goodwill will enable them to be productive adults. You spend extra hours tutoring, reinforcing, and allowing re-submissions papers due to corrections. But, never, never, never do you cross the boundaries of giving good grades in good faith. The student must take the initiative here.
Read the old testament and you'll find God's answers to our prayers are sometimes conditional. Oh, I know it's hard to believe in this sense of entitlement environment we've grown accustomed to, but it's true. In order to receive good things we've got to offer good things. For many of us, it is easy to pray, do well, hope to receive and then move back to our old ways. Then we get frustrated, often holding contempt, as to why God does not keep the smooth flowing waters he once blessed us with. We are in a "feel good society" and it just plain hurts to invite unwelcomed change.
God's word to King Solomon was conditional. He pleaded with the Lord over and over to forgive Israel for future offenses, remind the Lord of his contract - his covenant - with Solomon's father, David. God promised to never fail to have a descendant of David on the throne. Right after 2 Chronicles 7:14 verse God spoke on:
But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a by word and an object of ridicule among all peoples. (verses 19-20)
God's answer to Solomon was conditional. He promised that if the people repented and sought his face, he would hear and forgive them along with their land. He would keep drought away and any other disasters. If the people did not keep up with their part of the bargain he would return his favor.
It's ironic. Some people are just plain unhappy. Nothing in their life seems to amount to much. They move from day to day with a sense of entitlement doing everything they can to please themselves. Then they bore and frustrate others with their never ending parade of unattended needs. On the other hand, others can be ecstatic. They are just plain happy with even the smallest blessings that come their way. It is all in the art of perception. Be faithful and obedient and God promises riches. And God makes it even more simple: continue your faithfulness and understand his word in the Bible by following his laws and God will bless you continually.