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Complete Reliance

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"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars” - 2 Chronicles 16:9

 

OBSERVATION

Many are familiar with the first part of this verse about God looking around the whole earth looking for opportunities to strengthen people who trust him. Yet we neglect the context of Asa acting foolishly by not trusting God. Under King Asa’s leadership, the southern kingdom of Judah experienced spiritual renewal and religious reforms. He reigned for 41 years and started really well by courageously removing the idols in the land, repairing the altar of the Lord and leading a national revival back to God. As a result many from Israel recognized God’s hand on Asa and moved to Judah (2 Chron. 15:9) and God himself gave rest and peace to Judah from their enemies (2 Chron 15:15). But he fell to the statistic of leaders in the bible who started well but finished poorly. Asa on the 36th year of his reign succumbed to making alliance with King Aram instead of continuing his alliance (reliance) with God. When King Baasha invaded Judah, Asa panicked took silver and gold from God’s temple and gave it to the King Ben-hadad. He went from reliance on God to defiance to God (taking gold belonging to God’s temple). He broke reliance with King of Kings in order to make alliance with the king of Syria.

 

APPLICATION

Points of Obedience:

 - Strive for faithfulness to the end and finishing well: Don’t get caught up with the hype of immediate results and instant gratification. Run with endurance—it’s a marathon not a sprint. Have “well done good and faithful servant” my end game.

 - Keep in step with spirit: Trust God in every step, moment-by-moment. Full reliance in the beginning, middle and the end. 

 - God is not mocked: There are real consequences to disobedience. God’s word to King Asa through the prophet Azariah was “The LORD will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek Him, you will find Him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you” (2 Chron. 15:2). 

 - Be quick to repent: Especially in the midst of brokenness and judgment, humble myself and repent. Learn from Asa: “In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians” (2 Chron 16:12). Who knows? God could have relented and changed the narrative to Asa’s life but Asa did not seek the LORD but sought help from doctors. 

 

PRAYER

Heavenly Father,

I love you so much! From beginning to the end, you are everything to me. It is definitely with fear and trembling that I’m working out my salvation. I don’t want to succumb to the the statistic of 70% of leaders in the bible who don’t finish well. Holy Spirit, I need you so much. Towards the end of my life, I don’t want to just limp or walk to the finish line but I want to run straight into your arms Jesus. Maranatha!

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The Costly Price of Repentance

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SCRIPTURE

"But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver." - 2 Samuel 24:24

OBSERVATION

The price for genuine repentance is costly. It goes beyond the world sorrow of feeling bad but goes deep into the depths of godly grief. King David wanted to make an altar and offer burnt offerings for his sin of pride in counting his army. He saw a field to build the altar and offered to buy it. Araunah declined and wanted to give it David for free yet David insisted on paying for it. He resolved in his heart that he will not offer an offering to the Lord his God that cost him nothing.

APPLICATION

Sin costs. It cost God his very own son to grant me forgiveness. It cost the Son his very own life: shame, humiliation and being forsaken by the Father. Is there any cost in my repentance that reflects grief over my sin? Or do I genuinely seek repentance or do I simply want forgiveness? Points of Obedience:

  • Grieve over habitual sin by fasting: anger, lust, bitterness, covetousness.

  • Walk in freedom and gratitude: Jesus was crucified so that I don’t have to be. Live out the good news of forgiveness and freedom

  • Live in resurrection power: Jesus died for the penalty of sin and death—he was resurrected to have victory over sin and death. 

PRAYER

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for paying it all on the cross for me. Thank you for the resurrection power that I don’t have to be enslaved to the mastery of sin. I repent and turn away from my old self. May there be depth and weight in my repentance. I love you and desire you more than anything else in the world. Continue to change my desire and heart so that there would be a taste aversion to the allures of the flesh. I love you. Maranatha!

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