I want Him to find me fully committed to Him
I love to read Scripture and from it, I like you, are able to understand more about God. It provides us with instruction and perspective in order to allow us to love and experience His blessings in our life. Isn’t that what we are all wanting and hoping for in life?
Now I know I do this and you probably do, too. We find a Scripture and we share it in order to encourage one another. Yet as encouraging and helpful as this might be, it is always necessary to consider the context of what is happening around that particular Scripture. Here is an example of something I was going to post recently on my Twitter feed, Facebook page, on Instagram and LinkedIn. Yes, I try to stay socially engaged in order to encourage you. So here is what I was going to post-
“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” Now that is from 2 Chronicles 16:9 and is a great statement about God and how He is actively engaging His people. We read that and get a very warm and comfortable feeling. I am not arguing that, but there is more to the Scripture and when we understand more about Scripture it can provide even more warmth and comfort. You see the rest of the verse says-What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.””
You really need to go read 2 Chronicles 14, 15 and 16 in order to get the context of this verse. Why, you might ask? Here is the reason, because when you do you will find that Asa reigned for 41 years. In the first 35 years, he did really well and followed God. Following God means He is with us and He will keep us. He will be there when we need Him and provide for us. Asa experienced exactly that and Judah prospered because of their faithfulness.
But “In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, King Baasha of Israel invaded Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from entering or leaving King Asa’s territory in Judah.” 2 Chronicles 16:1 NLT.
Your first thought is all will be fine and God will handle the problem that Asa and Judah faced. Well, you would like to think so, but don’t get ahead of yourself and especially don’t get ahead of Scripture. That happens a lot with believers. Getting ahead of God and missing what He really has for us. That is why we are reminded to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6. This particular verse is from Paul’s encouragement to the people in Philippi. Just like they needed encouragement you need it today.
So what did Asa do? “Asa responded by removing the silver and gold from the treasuries of the Temple of the Lord and the royal palace. He sent it to King Ben-hadad of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus, along with this message:” 2 Chronicles 16:2 NLT
What you learn is that he took matters into his own hands. Please, don’t get judgemental with Asa right now. You might say “but he had 35 years of seeing God be faithful and yet he seeks the help of King Ben-hadad of Arab.” I know, you‘re right, he did but that still didn’t stop him from doing what he did. You see anything in this that causes you to think “am I capable of being like Asa?” and the answer is yes. First, you have to have that faith and trust in God and build up that experience of His faithfulness. Then when that moment comes that you decide to go it alone you will be where Asa was.
There is no reason given as to why Asa did what he did. It seems he just decided to go it alone. Maybe he thought he knew enough and he could handle the situation. He remembered things from the past and Scripture supports that idea. However, it was the wrong move. Here is the reason why.
“At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa and told him, “Because you have put your trust in the king of Aram instead of in the Lord your God, you missed your chance to destroy the army of the king of Aram. Don’t you remember what happened to the Ethiopians and Libyans and their vast army, with all of their chariots and charioteers? At that time you relied on the Lord, and he handed them over to you. The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.””
2 Chronicles 16:7-9 NLT
As you read those verses, you see that I put into italics the first we began with and did so for a purpose. That was to remind you as I said earlier-
We find a Scripture and we share it in order to encourage one another. Yet as encouraging and helpful as this might be it is always necessary to consider the context of what is happening around that particular Scripture.
When you consider the context of the Scripture that encourages you like “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him”, you find out how God, who is always there, and how we can wander off and miss Him in our life. If can happen to an Asa, a David, a Solomon and the list goes on, it can happen to you. The chances are good it will because we aren’t perfect and certainly not the spiritual giants we would like to think we are who can never wander.
Asa didn’t repent and get right with God. Read the end of the story and you will see that being confronted with his mistakes he threw Hanani in prison and for the last few years of his life he had health issues. He certainly did not end well. I don’t know about you, but the older I get the more I am committing myself to end well. So as “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” I want Him to find me fully committed to Him.
A thought to ponder,