Tag Archives: failure

2 Kings 13-14; 2 Chronicles 25; Psalm 53; Matthew 12

Nobody’s perfect, right? But what exactly does it mean to follow God with an imperfect heart? Perhaps choosing not to be an enemy, but maintaining a cool and indifferent attitude toward what is contrary to one’s beliefs and practices describes how we have become dulled to the voice of God. King Amaziah had this problem according to the record of his reign recorded in 2 Chronicles 25.  Amaziah “did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not with a loyal heart.” (v.2)  He appeared to believe in God, was instrumental in keeping the temple service going, and commanded the Jewish people to practice Judaism in his kingdom; yet Amaziah embraced the foreign gods, lifted himself up in pride after God granted him victory over his enemies, and warred with Israel’s sister, Judah, against the will of God. It seems that Amaziah could not turn his back on the God of his fathers, yet he wanted what he wanted and swatted away divine contradiction to his heart’s desire.

Another king’s behaviors exemplify how even godly compassion can exist in a disloyal heart. (2 Kings 13:14) “Now Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he died. Jehoash king of Israel went down to see him and wept over him.” A king who honored the great prophet, Elisha, honored him with tears, yet lacked faith in a big God who could bring victory in his life beyond his puny faith.

At some point we can become just as disloyal to God’s love and power as Amaziah and Jehoash. That point can be reached through sorrow, ambition, weariness, pride, and a host of other emotions or thinking errors. The result is behaviors that look more like the status quo than the peculiar, set-apart members of God’s kingdom we have been dubbed. For example, I’ve experienced going through the motions – speaking rightly, attending church weekly, and defending my faith during the day only to question myself in the late night hours when sleep refuses to come. My thoughts ruminate over things I said and whether or not I believe those words or if the spoken platitudes or argued point came from a pure heart of mercy instead of the uncertainty of my own fears of failure or my need to be right.

The saving grace that brings peace to my mind is the truth that I cling to in these times – the truth that God desires mercy more than sacrifice (Matthew 12:7 “If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.”) That is, I do not have to condemn myself. Being imperfect in an age of grace saves us from the fall.  Without this understanding, I would be lost.

Lord, thank You for Your gift of salvation that supersedes even my petty wanderings into complicating grace. Do not separate me from Your loyal love. Forgive me for my imperfect faith, for “unto Thee O Lord, do I lift up my soul.”

Psalm 25




Filed under 2 Chronicles, 2 Kings, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

1 Kings 10-11; 2 Chronicles 9; 1 Timothy 6

I admit reading of Solomon’s riches and feasts and wisdom left me longing. But then two things:

When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, which brought honor to the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions. 1 Kings 10:1, NLT.

And, regarding his many wives–especially those the Lord said not to marry because they’d turn his heart away from God:

And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord. 1 Kings 11:2b, NLT.

1. His fame brought honor to the Lord.

2. And even a man so wise could go down a wrong path.

I’ve been overwhelmed to a crashing point when all the responsibilities I thought I could carry (and somehow balance) fell down around me after weeks of a child’s health issue got heaped on top. I’ve felt the pressure, too, to have a good attitude while this is going on–but at the end of every day, I’m acutely aware of my failure.

Every day: failure.

It has brought me low, for sure, and I find myself asking: Who am I in the midst of chaos? And who do I want to be?

So, reading of Solomon’s wealth and parties and abundance, at first glance, didn’t help me much where I am under a variety of pressures. But 1 Timothy 6 did.

But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. 13 And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 15 For,

At just the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. 16 He alone can never die, and he lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him. No human eye has ever seen him, nor ever will. All honor and power to him forever! Amen.

17 Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.

20 Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge. 21 Some people have wandered from the faith by following such foolishness. 1 Timothy 6:11-21, NLT.

Pursue. Fight. Hold tightly. Guard.

Lord, today my trust is in you. Thank you for your word, your strength and your provision. Thank you for loving me, especially on my worst days.

Courtney (66books365)

(I did go back and read the Old Testament scriptures more thoroughly and appreciated the pairing of Solomon’s wealth with the New Testament reminder of true riches. Sadly, Solomon’s wealth and wisdom didn’t prevent him from making choices that led him away from God. Paul’s instructions to Timothy were exactly the reminder I needed of who I am–a woman of God–and what to pursue. I can easily be distracted by the demands in my life and judge my success/failure by my ability to perform, but Paul reminds to pursue a godly life [as in God-focused life, not a flawless life as I sometimes dupe myself into thinking]. I look to God for the strength and provision to get through this and get done what needs to be done. He carries me, and always has.)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan