Thursday, February 9, 2012

Run Asa Run!

Well, after teaching a lesson on King Asa last night in Awana I knew there was a post to write. Who knew he could teach us so very much? I sure didn't. I must say I had read a little about King Asa over the years, but never really got deep into his life. Well, that has all changed now. I dug in and loved it!

You can read all about King Asa in 2 Chronicles 14-16. One scripture I do want to begin with today is from 2 Chronicles 14:2. It reads, "Asa did good and right in the sight of the Lord his God." Isn't that our hope? It should be, shouldn't it? Oh, how we should want to look good in the sight of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Ya all, it isn't what this world thinks of us that matters. They are not going to be standing in front of us come judgement day. It's going to be the Lord front and center.

King Asa reigned for 41 years. He started his reign on fire for the Lord God. The thing is, he didn't finish so well. He gets busy when he begins his reign and removes all the idols and false worship. He too builds cities and fortifies each one with walls for protection. He had his eyes focused on God! He was all about God. Forty-one years is a long time to reign and many things can happen during that time frame.

King Asa was going into battle with His focus on God. He walked away from the battle in victory because of God, not because of those around him. God was blessing this king for keeping his gaze on Him. As soon as King Asa took his eyes off God things started to go wrong. Instead of Asa going to God for help, he went to other kings. Not the kind of thing God wants us to do.

God sent the prophet Azariah to speak to Asa. Now, if Asa was in right thinking he would have taken his words to heart, but he didn't. In fact, he got mad because this prophet came and tried to lead him in the right way. He put this prophet in prison. Talk about totally telling God, "Hey, I'm gonna do this my way!" Do we really ever think God is okay with that kind of reasoning? God looks at us and says, "Really? Are you sure it's going to go your way? Cause I'm thinking I'm still God!" He has our best interests in His hands. He isn't out to get us. He is out to help us. Lift us. Build us up through Him. He wants us to succeed for His glory and honor.

I can't look at Asa in judgement. Goodness, I too have been there. I think each day is a battle for us. Each day must be a choice of following God or seeking our flesh. It's totally up to us. We just gotta be prepared for the consequences. Our choices not only effect us, but those around us. Our decisions can touch those generations from now. We should be asking ourselves, "What impact do I want to make on this world?" I mean really, we can't have it both ways. It's gotta be God's way or our way and I tell ya, with my record, I'm going to stick with God's will for my life. When I place things in my hand and begin making choices without His consent I mess up in big ways!

I look at this as when I begin a new project I am all gung ho and can't get enough. I start off on fire and then after a while my fire dwindles down to just doing it a little bit and then finally it's off in a box or bag somewhere out of sight. I am then on to my next project that has my attention. We cannot look at our walk with Christ as if it's a project for the moment. It's a journey we must stay with and remain focused. I know that the more of God I have, the more of Him I want. He fills us like nothing else. Look how awesome we feel when we finish a great project at hand. We have put work into it and it's blessings do not just fall upon us, but on others too.

So, Asa's life doesn't end well. He gets a disease in his feet. Yep, those very feet he walks with. Those very feet that carry him with each choice. Do you think it's by chance this disease was in his feet? I don't. I think there is much to learn here. We must be careful of where our feet take us. We must make sure we stay on the path of faith and not steer to the right or to the left. There isn't any such thing as a little wrong. But we can make a U-turn! Praise God for His continual grace as I learn this journey of faith. I don't always make the right choices. But in seeking God, He always brings me back where I am to be. First, I must make sure I have a humble heart so I can hear Him when He says, "Hey Rob, come this way. Follow Me. Get away from that!"

As King Asa dies, his son now takes over. Jehoshaphat now has his work cut out for him. Just think of how things could have been as this young man takes over if his father would have continued in his walk with God? We have the power to bring others to know Christ or to turn them away. Our actions carry lots of weight when it comes to others coming to faith. They see our lives. They are seeing if our words match up with our actions.

Friends, as we run this race, we can run it with God leading us and we can finish with honor. It's all up to us in how we run. We aren't in a sprint. We aren't in a race to hurry and cross that finish line. It's more like a cross country run. We must take our time. Prepare and enjoy the journey. With placing one foot in front of the other and keeping our focus on God, He is sure to lead in the path of righteousness.

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all sun, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified."
1 Corinthians 9:24-27


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