BY REV. JAN WHITEMAN -- LANGDON UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
In the Second Book of Chronicles there is the account of King Asa of Judah. Asa was a king that did good and right in the eyes of God. When he became king after the death of his father, King Abijah, he destroyed foreign altars, cut down Asherah poles and rid the cities of high places built for worshipping pagan gods. He instituted many religious reforms.
The Spirit of God sent a man named Azariah with a message for Asa: "Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The LORD is with you while 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- ESV) Asa had a heart that was loyal to God and soon learned that God surely was with him.
Did you know that if your heart is loyal to God, you don't have to look for Him? God is already looking for you. 2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us, "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." (ESV)
God told Asa that he was continually watching for those who are unwavering in their commitment to Him. And when God finds them, He makes His presence known to them in mighty ways.
King Asa experienced God's power when he came up against a mighty army from Ethiopia. God gave Asa the victory over this very large, menacing army -- in spite of the fact that Asa's army was very small in comparison. Judah faced overwhelming odds, but with God, victory was his.
Even though Asa experienced this great miracle of God, the next time Asa faced an enemy, he failed to put his trust in the Lord. And even though the army that he faced this time was smaller than the Ethiopian army he had conquered, Asa's faith in God faltered and he relied on the king of Syria instead. Because of this failure, the Syrian army escaped him. From then on, Asa and Judah experienced wars. Asa stubbornly refused to turn back to the Lord, and even as his body became full of severe disease, he relied on the physicians of the day instead of God. Such a sad and unnecessary end to a man who started out with such a loyal heart. (Read the account of King Asa in 2nd Chronicles 14-16.)
God had encouraged Asa (and encourages us today) to take courage in knowing that God never sleeps or rests and is always with those who trust in Him. God is never distracted. He is constantly seeking people whose hearts are completely committed to Him.
Life's challenges sometimes seem impossible. We sometimes feel that we're too weak to fight the battles that surround us. But let us be encouraged -- don't give up. Keep your heart faithful and loyal to God. He constantly watches over you and has a very strong desire to display His strength in your life. Know that God is willing and extremely capable of giving you success over your current challenges, just as He has always been with those who have trusted Him in the past.
We don't need to question whether God is seeking His people -- more importantly, are God's people seeking Him?
Seek God! Trust God! Be faithful! Remember that God has promised to watch over you -- God wants you to be victorious. And don't forget to give God the honor and glory when He does. Shalom.