Monday, June 30, 2008

Obedience leads to Peace

2 Chronicles 14:1-6
1 When Abijah died, he was buried in the City of David. Then his son Asa became the next king. There was peace in the land for ten years. 2 Asa did what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God. 3 He removed the foreign altars and the pagan shrines. He smashed the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah poles. 4 He commanded the people of Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his law and his commands. 5 Asa also removed the pagan shrines, as well as the incense altars from every one of Judah’s towns. So Asa’s kingdom enjoyed a period of peace. 6 During those peaceful years, he was able to build up the fortified towns throughout Judah. No one tried to make war against him at this time, for the Lord was giving him rest from his enemies.

What I see here, is that obedience can lead us to peace... a time of rest in the Lord from our enemies. In today's world... who or what is our enemy? I guess it could be whatever or whoever you think, but for me, the enemy is anything that takes away my focus from "walking in the spirit." Today at work I was talking to another co-worker, I shared that it seems to me that more and more people I know are not happy at what they do or what they have. Everyone has issues! It doesn't matter what jobs we have or what positions we hold... we're not happy! It doesn't matter where we live or what we have... we're not happy! The grass always look greener on the other side of the fence and it seems we want to go there so badly, yet when we get there, if we get there, there's nothing but more of the same issues and often it's even worse than where we were in the first place. Wouldn't you like to just be content and satisfied with your life. Able to slow down a bit and enjoy a peaceful lifestyle for a change. I know I would.

Now I'm not saying that if only we do what is pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord, that we'll have the same kind of peace that King Asa did. But look at what he did to have this kind of peace!

  1. He removed foreign alters and pagan shrines. (What kind of alters have we created in our life that take our focus off of our Lord God) You tell me. I thought about listing all the false idols and foreign alters we hold dear, but I think it's best that you think for yourself on this one.

  2. He removed the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah poles. (Like Asa, we must be actively removing anything that is offensive to God. If we want God's peace then we must eliminate sinful practices from our lives. We should continually ask God to help us remove any source of temptation from our lives.)

  3. He commanded everyone in Judah to seek the Lord and obey his laws and commands. (How do we do as individuals in this area, do we obey His laws and commands? What about our family. Do we expect them to seek the Lord and be obedient as well?)

Verse 5... So Asa's kingdom enjoyed a period of peace. Verse 6... The Lord was giving him rest. Maybe the peace we seek is simply found in these verses. What if we did remove things that take our focus off of God? What is we did ask God to help us walk away from sinful temptation and not fall victim to it? What if we did read His word and follow his laws and commands as He wants us to? I imagine we would experience a time of peace unlike any other. Maybe instead of running from place to place, job to job, or trying to find peace in other places than where we are at right now. Maybe we simply need to practice what Asa did. I've always believed that we're usually right where God wants us anyway. We just might not like it. I think we may be able to adapt better if only we had the peace that only God can give us. I know it worked for King Asa.


Jayna said...

We can find an application for today in the scriptures of both Chronicles and Kings. We should remove those "high" places as well. What I mean is that we all have secret sin. Everybody does. To be like Jesus, we have to ask God to help us stay clear of those idols we all hold close. Then, we can truly be blessed by the Lord.

Anonymous said...

There is no question that following God can lead to a peace of mind ressulting from knowing that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing. However, following God does not always lead to peaceful circumstances. In fact, I would say that frequently that is not the case. Jeremiah might be a good example of my assertion. Verse 6 says that God gave Asa peace from his enemies. That could be construed to mean that it was a gift, not payment due for good deeds.

With God, A + B = C does not always apply.