Daily D – 2 Chronicles 16:9
“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 16:9 (NLT)
Few good decisions are made once and only once. Most good decisions require repetition. Good habits are formed when we repeatedly making good decisions. Good habits maximize our lives just like bad habits wither our vitality.
A buddy of mine loves to joke about why he does not lift weights. He said he tried once but they were heavy. A quarter of a century ago, I received monthly cassette tapes on leadership development from a well-known organization. One of the first tapes was about addiction to adrenaline. It included wise instruction on healthy approaches to work and rest. It stressed the importance of regular physical exercise throughout the week, and not on weekends alone. The focus was on creating positive, life-giving habits.
Habits are those things we repeatedly do. Among the most life-giving habits we can form is learning to trust God from the bottom of our hearts (Prov. 3:5, 6 The Message). Lean on him morning by morning and all day long. Moving from a Sunday by Sunday faith to a daily walk with God is transformative. This habit carries us from victory to victory and through the darkest valleys.
There is a strong temptation to believe that since God once intervened in our lives in an unmistakable manner that he will always do so. It is as if we think we are special and God sees things the way we do and he will do what we want when we want. Our prayers sound like, “My will be done.”
We like the first half of today’s verse. We cannot ignore the second half, however. Two chapters before this event, we find King Asa in a spot of bother. What did he do? He did the right thing. He turned his attention to God and told him what was on his heart.
Then Asa cried out to the LORD his God, “O LORD, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O LORD our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come against this vast horde. O LORD, you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against you!”
2 Chron. 14:11
That was a good move. Things went well, spectacularly so. Then God spoke through Azariah:
“Listen to me, Asa!” he shouted. “Listen, all you people of Judah and Benjamin! The LORD will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you.”
2 Chron. 15:1, 2
It was only a few verses later when Azariah continued by saying, “But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded,” (v. 7).
Years later, Asa no doubt remembered what God had done for him. However, he appears to have forgotten how to pray. He did what he thought he should do without seeking God’s guidance. When Hanani spoke the words of today’s verse, Asa threw him in jail. He took out his anger on a lot of innocent people. So ends Asa’s story.
Like Asa, we have the choice day by day to do what we want to do when and how we want to do it. We also have the choice to do what Asa did years earlier and live in dependence on God and what only he can do. God is looking for someone to bless today. Are you and I living the kinds of lives he can bless?
Asa lived a life God could bless early on. He received God’s promise that he would continue blessing him as long as he trusted him. Everything went downhill fast when he stopped trusting God. His early practice of dependent prayer did not turn into a habit. His bad habit of not turning to God led to his failures.
What observations and applications do you make from Asa’s story? How will your story differ?
I will live a life fully committed to God.
Our Father, I want what you want. That’s all I want. What you want is better than what I want. What you provide is better than anything I could desire. My trust is in you alone. Amen.
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Genesis 26:26-31 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Genesis 22:13, 14 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.
Genesis 21:1-3 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.