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Nothing Taken For Granted

God is sovereign! This will always be true and a source of great comfort to us all. We are not in charge. He is!

But it doesn’t mean our lives are on autopilot, and that we can push back our seats, put up our feet, and wait for a heavenly landing. This sovereign God has invited us to seek Him for the unveiling and fulfillment of His Kingdom plans for our lives, our families, and our ministries.

The Christian life is anything but living on spiritual autopilot.

Azariah was directed by the Spirit of God, to meet King Asa, returning from victory over Ethiopian aggression, with the words, “The Lord is with you WHILE you are with Him” (2 Chronicles 15:2a). While you are with Him?

No automatic pilot here. Nothing taken for granted. Asa’s role in God’s unfolding plans for Judah was to seek and trust the Lord.

In the previous chapter, we are given a snap shot of King Asa’s heart while facing the Ethiopian hordes, “And Asa cried to the Lord his God, ‘…help us O Lord our God for we rely on You!’ (2 Chronicles 14:11) In fact, Asa had just given Judah a state-of-the-union address, in which he had said, “The land is still ours BECAUSE we have sought the Lord our God.” (2 Chronicles 14:7)

Nothing taken for granted.

Asa did not rely on the size of his army in the battle with the encroaching Ethiopians. In fact, they were outnumbered 2 to 1. He did not rely on his leadership skills. There is no reference to Asa’s use of some tested military strategy, nor any alliance with neighboring nations. Asa sought the Lord, led Israel in seeking the Lord, and God gave them the victory.

Nothing taken for granted.

Asa’s story provides a lesson on the character of the God we seek even today. “…the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” (2 Chronicles 16:9) God is searching the earth in our day for the same kind of people.

Seeking the Lord is still the process, ordained by God, whereby I align myself with His purposes and receive His grace and provision for the battles in my life. God remains sovereign, but by the Holy Spirit I am able to cry out, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done in my life and circumstances, as it is done in heaven.”

Nothing taken for granted.

I will never forget the challenge Pastor Jim Cymbala gave at a pastors’ conference hosted by Church Awakening, in Spokane, Washington, a few years ago. He challenged us not to just adopt the ministry strategies offered by so many conferences as the answer to the needs of our churches. After all, Jim said, Jesus wrote seven letters to seven different churches, each identifying different challenges and solutions.

The letter to Smyrna would have made no sense delivered to Philadelphia. Each pastor and church had a specific word from the Lord. Our challenge today is to seek and hear from the Lord, like King Asa, to discover what He is saying to our church and region, not what seems to be successful in some church in Baton Rouge or Toronto. My job is to seek the Lord for Westgate Chapel and Edmonds, Washington.

Nothing taken for granted.

Unfortunately, Asa’s life didn’t end well. Somewhere along the way fear crept in, and the methods and strategies of the age became more attractive than seeking and trusting the Lord. The next major battle he faced, he struck an alliance with the Syrians to bail him out, even used the treasures of the house of the Lord in the process. And when he came to the end of his life, battling a serious illness, he relied on physicians and “did not seek the Lord.” (2 Chronicles 16:12)

Great lessons to learn from King Asa. Start and finish strong with a heart totally devoted to the Lord, seeking and trusting Him alone for my life, my family and ministry.

Nothing taken for granted.

One thought on “Nothing Taken For Granted

  1. Well said, Pastor. Last night at prayer, I was thinking of Jeremiah 29:13: You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I see verse 14 continues; I will be found by you… What a blessed promise and assurance of its fulfillment! But it IS conditional. But even as i say that, I hasten to add, I like to think of God’s words in these types of scriptures as prophetic, meaning that God is looking into the future and he has foreseen- ALREADY seen us doing this in the (our) future and Him being found. I can’t express the joy of knowing God’s foreknowledge where the best possible outcome, the highest, most noble aspiration, the greatest blessing and reward any being could ever ask for or imagine, is spoken by God to be His will for us/me, and foretold by God himself to actually come to pass! “I will be found by you.” Oh,my! This morning those just sound like the sweetest words I’ve ever heard!

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