Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Looking for Rest?

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. 
(Psalm 62:5 )

The great grandson of Solomon, Asa became King in Judah.  A man zealous for the Lord; he command the people to seek the Lord and he himself searched out the heart of God.

“He commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands.  He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him.” (2 Chronicles 14:4-5)

Asa desired to please God.

When trouble came he did not resort to his own strength but, “Asa called to the LORD his God and said, “LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. LORD, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.” (v. 11)

When he was discouraged the Lord himself lifted his countenance by sending Azariah the son of Obed the prophet. “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. “ (2 Chronicles 15:2)

“Be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” (v7)

“They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the LORD gave them rest on every side.” (v15)

What a great testimony about Asa, King of Judah. 
This could very well be me or you.  

Zealous and wanting to please God, we rise up early and seek his face.  
We close our day with a song in our hearts.  
We serve, we help, we grow, we share and our lives are a picture of ‘walking with God.”

Let’s heed the warning from Chronicles 16.

In the last years of Asa’s life, when trouble visited him from surrounding enemies, Asa did not call on the Name of the Lord.  

What happened Asa; did complacency visit you?  
Why put your trust in silver and gold?  Is the arm of your neighbor Ben-Had stronger than God? 

“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9a)

When Fear visits it clouds the memory and challenges the testimony of God in our lives.
When confronted by Hanani the seer, Asa became angry.

Here is where things get dangerous. 

Correction from the Lord is rejected.  Council is dismissed and Pride takes the lead and offers a life of withdrawal from God’s presence and favor.  

In this case, I believe Asa’s heart embraced bitterness.  
The Scriptures read, “ In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians.“ (v12)

Why not call on the Name of the Lord?  Are you still angry, Asa?

"Human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires" (James 1:20b)

Sometimes life’s road take a twist.  There are times the change comes not because of our sin.  Yet often it is our pride that causes us to stumble, to fall, to crash hard!  
We must quickly heed the warning of the Lord.

Sometimes the warning comes through a casual conversation.  God can send a child, a friend to share a word that pricks our hearts giving us the opportunity to re-calibrate and get correct.  He challenges our thinking and convicts our soul.   

Lord, may our hearts never grow callous.  May we be eager to please you and welcome correction. May your council never depart from us.  Help us to embrace the rest we need and you offer when our hearts are surrendered to you. 

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. (Psalm 62:5)

God bless you!~Liz


 Acts 9:32-34 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas,...