This morning I started reading 2 Chronicles in my quiet time. For the past 20 or so years, I have read thru the Bible every year. I don't start in Genesis and end with Revelation. I usually start with the Psalms or maybe Genesis and then just go from there.
Its also the time of the year when I spend a LONG time (long because I am still doing it) looking for verses to pray for each family member for a year. There are years when I won't stop looking for the verses until I have all of us covered. Or there are years like this one, when I have so many books of the Bible left to read by December, that I keep reading and keep looking for the verses as the days wear on.
Then, I sometimes hurry thru the books of the Bible because either : 1) there are alot of names that mean nothing to me (altho I know they mean something to God or they wouldn't be there!) or 2) I still have alot of books to read.
Today was one of those days. And after reading 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 Kings and 2 Kings and 1 Chronicles, I feel like I know the story to some degree.
This morning I encountered a King of Judah named Asa.
In 2 Chronicles 14 it says: " Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God"
And in chapter 15 it adds: "Asa's heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life".
Isn't that what we would like to be said of us? That we were fully committed to the LORD all our lives? That we did what was right and good in the eyes of God?? That is my heart's desire, it really is. I know I blow it -probably alot, but my desire doesn't waiver-just my stubborn selfish self waivers.
Asa throughout most of his reign as king, continually sought the LORD and relied on God's direction and obeyed His leading. And then comes chapter 16 and Asa starts to falter. He becomes scared for some reason of the King of Aram. And Asa forms an alliance with him so that they will not war with each other. He has never done this before and its as if he has a brain freeze. Asa seems to have forgotten how the LORD has fought his battles (and his wars) and provided him with victory. Asa always went to the LORD first, up until now. And then as his life nears its end and he becomes sick with a severe disease, he first consults physicians, and never sought help from the LORD.
I know you may be questioning my logic here. Aren't we supposed to go to physicians when we are sick? Yes of course. But if you have spent your life going to the LORD first, why would you change it when you probably need Him most??
This caused me to really wonder and ponder this morning.
WHY do we not go to God first?
WHY does this happen? Especially to people who have followed Christ so closely throughout their lives? Why would we go to others before Jesus??
Yes they are "physically" there, but can they uphold us, strengthen us, encourage us like the ONE who created us? I think not.
HOW does this happen?
Albeit very slowly. Little by little we become "too busy".
Too busy to take the time to spend with the LORD.
Too busy because work is so busy.
Too busy to go to the bible study we have been going to.
Too busy to hang out with fellow followers of Christ because we have too much to do.
Too busy to go to church. Because we were out too late the night before or we don't feel well or we can't find a church that we like. We have alot of reasons.
HOW it happens is that we let "life" get in the way of us seeking OUR LORD.
Busyness is really a tool of God's enemy.
Satan would do anything to get us to slip gradually away from God.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't let the lies and schemes and offers of better things from the enemy get you off track with Jesus.
MAKE THE TIME to be with Jesus.
GO to church-even if its not the "perfect" church-none of them are.
GO to your bible study or small group.
GO be with other believers.
And if you don't have friends that follow Jesus, ask HIM to bring you them.
Check out bible studies at your church or small groups.
If you don't have a church body to fellowship and worship at, ask God to help you find one and THEN GO.
NOTHING is more important than your relationship with Christ. NOTHING.
2 Chronicles 16:9 says:
"For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him".
Don't let life and whatever is going on with you keep you from being committed to the LORD. This verse above promises us that He will strengthen us for whatever we are going thru.