In 2 Chronicles chapter 14, King Asa was off to a good start. He did what “was good and right in the sight of the LORD his God.” He removed the idols, commanded Judah to seek God and keep His commands, and defeated the Ethiopian army who was twice as large as him because he cried out to the LORD.
In chapter 15 Asa honored a prophet by bringing certain reforms such as restoring the altar of the LORD before the vestibule, offering sacrifices, and making a covenant to seek the LORD their God with all their heart and soul. Judah rejoiced at the oath, God was found by them, and He gave them rest. Asa brought into the house of the LORD the gold and silver utensils that he and his father had dedicated. It was good times.
In chapter 16, trouble arises in the form of King Baasha. Instead of seeking the LORD as Asa had done with the Ethiopians, he takes the silver and gold from the treasuries of the LORD’s house and the king’s house to pay another king to take care of it. Of course it’s more involved than that but you’ll have to read it yourself to get all the details.
Hanani, a seer, basically told Asa that because he did not rely on the LORD he would have wars; gone was the rest and the good times. Did Asa take this as an occasion to repent? No. He threw Hanani in prison and “oppressed some of the people the same time.” After this, Asa became diseased in his feet, a terrible malady. Yet in all of his suffering, “he sought not to the LORD.” My Bible makes this pitiful note: “To his shame, Asa is known as one who did not seek the LORD.”
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 KJV
God’s not an ogre. I think He sent Hanani hoping that Asa would remember how good He had been to him, and that he’d repent, and seek Him, so that He could bless him again. Sadly, Asa did not.
Another note in my Bible, at least in part, says that “partial devotion to God results in spiritual mediocrity and sporadic communion with the LORD.”
“Sporadic communion” I get, and my self-check showed me that I’ve been guilty of it. There are times when I have wonderful fellowship with the LORD and times when it’s not so grande. I’m not necessarily sure what my note would include as “spiritual mediocrity”, but I was kind of thinking it was along the lines of what separates a believer from an unbeliever and how obvious a difference it is to those looking on. To be of a truth, I was feeling slightly defeated.
Then something happened. I felt prompted to take something to the car hours before it was time for us to go. While I was outside, our elderly neighbor came home with a trunk load of groceries. I carried them into the house for her. Had I been inside at that time, I never would have known that she was gone let alone come home and was struggling to get her purchases inside. She thanked me profusely.
When I came back into my own house, I heard the Spirit say, “You do hear Me.”
Sometimes we make this walk with God too difficult. It’s not about following a bunch of guidelines or rules. Yes, I have a preferred physical place and time in which I like to meet with the LORD, and I would recommend that to everyone, but we can get caught up in routine and go stale. I think that’s what was happening to me. That’s why it meant so much to me when the LORD let me know that I did hear Him, and by following that simple tiny prompting, I was blessing Him and my neighbor. Guess what? I didn’t hear that in my corner in the morning; I heard it while I was going about my day.
I’ll give you another example about seeking and heeding the LORD. Beth had saved tithe money. There were several people that she wanted to bless who are in “small” ministries who do not receive pay or recognition. She wanted to encourage them that God sees but she also knew that they would not receive money from her because she tried that before. Suddenly it came to her to order homemade soaps from a woman at church and give those instead of the cash.
“Is it wrong, Mum, to buy soap with the tithe to bless people?”
“I don’t think so.”
She placed her order. Not only were the recipients blessed by her gifts of soap and the handwritten notes that she enclosed, but the woman who crafted the soaps was extremely blessed. She was literally crying out to God, asking if she’d heard Him correctly about doing her small business because she wasn’t getting any orders when Beth contacted her and placed a rather large order. What if I had been rigid with Beth and said, “No, all of the tithes must go to the church”?
Let’s not make our relationship with the LORD difficult. Let’s seek the LORD, listen to Him, and be available. Let’s be present in our bodies, souls (mind, will, emotions), and spirits. We can do this. Join me in keeping that place and that time, yes, keep those “set appointments”, but then let us continue with that mindset of fellowship throughout the day, letting Holy Spirit direct us as He will. It’s so rewarding.
God bless you all!