If I read between the battles and the successes and failures of the kings of Israel and Judah, there is a lot of wisdom, perhaps similar to the book of Proverbs. They read as follows:
The army of Judah won hands down because they trusted God, the God of their ancestors. (2 Chron. 13:18 The Message)
Asa was a good king. He did things right in God’s eyes. (2 Chron. 14:2 The Message)
Asa said to his people,” While we have the chance and the land is quiet, let’s build a solid defense system, fortifying our cities with walls, towers, gates, and bars. We have this peaceful land because we sought God: He has given us rest from all troubles.” So, they built and enjoyed prosperity. (2 Chron. 14: 7 The Message)
Then Asa prayed to God,” O God, you aren’t impressed by numbers or intimidated by a show of force once you decide to help: Help us, O God; we have come out to meet this huge army because we trust in You and who You are. Don’t let mere mortals stand against You! (2 Chron. 14:11 The Message)
Listen carefully, Asa, and listen Judah and Benjamin: God will stick with you as long as you stick with Him. If you look for Him, He will let Himself be found; but if you leave Him, He’ll leave you. (2 Chron. 15:2 The Message)
“But it’s different with you: Be strong. Take heart. Payday is coming!” (2 Chron. 15:7 The Message)
Then he called an assembly for all Judah and Benjamin, including those from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were living there at the time (for many from Israel had left their homes and joined forces with Asa when they saw that God was on his side). (2 Chron. 15:9 The Message)
Then they bound themselves in a covenant to seek God, the God of their fathers, wholeheartedly, holding nothing back. (2 Chron. 15: 12 The Message)
The whole country felt good about the covenant promise—they had given their promise joyfully from the heart. Anticipating the best, they had sought God—and He showed up, ready to be found. God gave them peace within and without—a most peaceable kingdom. (2 Chron. 15: 15 The Message)
What I take from the above is that God is real. You can’t explain it to someone who hasn’t seen it for themselves, but Israel experienced the realness of God. Once they did, and took hold of it, it changed them. Some had to leave their families, or country—their creature comforts to take a stand to live for God, because everyone around them did not believe the same way that they did.
Hearts are as unique as fingerprints. The amount of the fullness of God, love, peace, and dreams it can absorb is infinitely impossible to measure and everyone who seeks God, is at different stages in life, wisdom, maturity, faith and hope. Our experiences also figure in to what is allowed into our heart.
I believe the heart is where it all starts. Not just for faith, but for other decisions I make. As I read through the battles, it was God who won, it did not matter who had the most soldiers, for God is not impressed with what I bring to the table. He is only impressed that I show up at the table with my knees knocking so fiercely together that I can hardly stand.
Below is my interpretations of today’s reading:
What am I giving up because I am too weak to take one step forward, or even a second step forward?
What will God need to take away from me because I treasure it more than Him? What priests am I kicking out so I can create my own, that fit better with what I believe.
My life is constantly up for grabs.
Peace allows me to get a good defense system. If I am experiencing rest on all sides, then I need to be seeking and studying to get to know God better, so that when my next trial pops up, I have the wisdom and courage to draw my sword of faith, and battle with God in the lead.
God is the one who holds my peace and rest. Peace may only be from within me, but if it is from God, it is enough.
There is a difference between when I am serving God or when I am serving myself or others.
Prosperity doesn’t always mean riches. It can be things that I can’t put a price tag on.
God is the one who wins my battles. I need to acknowledge that, and not take the credit for myself. Without God, I am nothing. But with God—all things are possible!!
If I have an open heart, and experience God, I will build my confidence in God, and will trust Him more and more in my everyday battles of life.
God never said I won’t have battles or troubles in my life. But if I seek Him with all my heart, He will walk each step with me. Through some, He might just shield me from the fiery darts, until I get to the other side of the trouble. Others, He will dispel before they begin, and some He will just give me a supernatural rest and peace until I meet Him face to face. Either way I win if I am seeking God and His wisdom.
I should always give to God joyfully from the heart.
I should never go to battle against God!
Payday is coming–I should never lose hope for my life eternal!!
O Great and Mighty God, I am so blessed to know you are for me and not against me. Help me to never work against you, and if I do, quickly, I mean swiftly, help me to see what I am doing and turn my eyes back to you. May my heart be bent towards you forever, for this is my desire. Fill me more and more to overflowing with the goodness that belongs to those who call you LORD! In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!