“The goal of faithfulness is not that we will do work for God, but that He will be free to do His work through us.” Oswald Chambers
The past two weeks’ posts have been about Asa, the King of Judah, and his seven steps to fighting battles (II Chronicles 14:11). Prior to the victory over the Cushites and afterward, Asa relied on God and showed his faithfulness by removing foreign altars and the high places, smashing sacred stones and cutting down the Asherah poles. As a result, God gave them a season of rest. “They sought God eagerly, and He was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side.” (II Chronicles 15:15b) That all changed in Asa’s thirty-sixth year of reign.
I’m not sure what happened. Why did Asa faithfully follow God all those years, trust God to fight his battles and then begin to fight battles in his own strength? Instead of relying on God and experiencing victory, Asa took the matter in his own hands and sent the treasuries from the Lord’s temple to solicit the king of Syria’s help. (II Chronicles 16:1-6) Asa distrusted God and hired foreign troops.
Why did Asa trust God most of his life and towards the end of it, rely on others, instead of remaining faithful to the end? What was it in Asa’s heart that encouraged him to pull away from God? How did King Asa’s perspective on God get skewed? I wonder if he was offended by God when his own expectations weren’t met. Or did Asa only rely on God when He was the only option available?
Realizing King Asa’s relationship with the Lord shifted towards the end of his life, puts a healthy fear of the Lord in me. I want to remain faithful to God all the days of my life. I don’t want circumstances to dictate how I feel about God. I don’t want lies from the enemy to distance my proximity to the Lord. I don’t want my own presumptuous expectations of God to get in the way of my relationship with Him. And I definitely don’t want to rely on human efforts rather than put my trust in God.
The good news is we always choose what our relationship with the Lord will look like. If we choose dependence upon God, then we’re choosing closeness with Him. James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”
In II Chronicles 15:2b, the Spirit of God came upon Azariah and he spoke these words to King Asa: “The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.” Let’s be people who rely on God all the days of our lives and remain faithful to the end.
“To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty, or object of our faith – the Lord Jesus Christ.” Oswald Chambers
Relevant Reflections: 1. Based on the choices you’re making today, how close is your relationship with God? How can you draw near to Him? 2. What steps can you take, to guarantee you will remain faithful to the end?