Are you tired? Worn out from fighting battles that you think will never end?
King Asa (Judah) faced a battle against King Baasha (Israel). He had a choice to make on how he would fight it. Would he rely on God, or would he figure out another plan that made sense to him? Let’s see how it turned out.
At the beginning of his reign, Asa and the people of Judah made a covenant with God to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and soul (2 Chronicles 15:12). Why would they do this? Well, God had made Asa a promise: The LORD is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you (2 Chronicles 15:2).
Asa took God at His word and set out to rule the kingdom in the right way. He would seek God, and trust that God had his back in all endeavors. And for a time, this was the happy circumstances of His time on the throne, as the LORD gave them rest on every side (15:15). Asa removed both the idols and the idol-worshippers from his kingdom and restored the proper Temple worship.
Late in life, however, something changed. Perhaps ease brought apathy. When King Baasha threatened war, Asa turned to “the enemy of his enemy” to support him. He forgot to ask for God’s advice or help and relied on his own battle plan. He made an alliance with the king of Aram, which did indeed give a temporary reprieve against Baasha. It seemed his plan had worked.
Well, it did…but it didn’t.
God sends word by a prophet to Asa, rebuking him for relying on a foreign king instead of relying on God. Asa’s plan to defeat one enemy has simply given another enemy entry into his life, and in the future, there would be more wars. Asa isn’t as spiritually mature as we’d like to think. The news makes him angry, and in the last years of his life, he wastes away with disease, refusing to call on the LORD for help and instead trusted his physicians who couldn’t heal him. He ruled for 41 years but is remembered for wasting the last five.
What battles are you fighting with your own plans? How’s it working out for you? As a Christ-follower, God is for you, and is willing and able to step in and do battle on your behalf. But according to His words to Asa, He waits for us to ask. He desires our dependence. He is looking for us to acknowledge Him and seek Him out. He wants to know that He has our whole heart, that we are not just in a dysfunctional relationship whereby we do life on our own terms until we’re so desperate we have to cry out to Him.
For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His (2 Chronicles 16:9).
If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you (2 Chronicles 15:2).
As New Testament believers, our salvation is secure. We are in Christ, and nothing can separate us from the love of God. Jesus marked our sin debt “paid in full” and we are destined for heaven when we leave this world. But how we live while we remain in these fleshly bodies is up to us. We can seek God with a whole heart and a willing mind, and live in victory, or we can do life on our own strength and human plans and get no rest at all. We will live in a perpetual state of battle. The choice is up to us.
Two practical thoughts. To “seek God” is to pursue knowing Him. The Hebrew word is dāraš, and means “to resort to, to frequent or tread a place (i.e. ‘beat a path to’); to consult, inquire of; to seek in prayer and worship; to investigate, ask for; to require or demand (i.e. ‘can’t live without Him’); to practice, study, follow; to seek with care.” Do you get the idea? Seeking God means that we are fully focused on knowing, following, and obeying Him, and consulting Him in every part of our lives.
Also, you will notice I intentionally capitalized “LORD” in referencing the verses, just as it is written in my Bible. This is the name of God, Jehovah, or Yahweh. It means “the self-existing One.” It is the name He used when He told Moses to refer to Him as “I AM.”
Whatever battle you are facing, “HE IS.”
Do you need peace for your anxiety? He is peace.
Do you need wisdom to raise your kids? He is wisdom.
Do you need power to overcome addiction? He is power.
Do you need courage to stand firm? He is courage.
Do you need healing of any kind? He is healing.
Do you need hope for today? He is hope.
Do you need forgiveness for your sin? He is forgiveness.
Whatever your battle is, stop plotting and planning and figuring things out on your own. Seek the LORD with all your heart and soul. He is looking for those whose heart is completely His, that He may strongly support you.