Posts Tagged 2 Chronicles 15: 2

The Prophet Speaks

2 Chronicles 15: 2

Listen to me . . . the Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.

The backstory here is that Asa, the king of Judah, called upon the Lord when Judah was confronted by a million man Ethiopian army. Judah had only 300,00 soldiers. God hearkened to the voice of Asa and routed Ethiopia. It was after this event that the prophet Azariah spoke to Asa.

Azariah knew the history of the people. When they sought God, they prevailed, but time and time again, the people turned away from God. When they did, disaster resulted. Azariah went to Asa with a word from the Lord. In effect, this was a heads-up. Asa had just experienced the victory that belongs to those who continually seek the Lord. The word of warning to him, and ultimately to us, is to maintain that which made you successful. Do not cease to seek the Lord daily.

When things are bad, most of us find it easy to call upon God. We are in deep need, that need drives us to His throne room. After the battle is over, we need to heed this word of caution because sometimes we slip away a little. We begin to enjoy the peace and forget who it is who is still at work providing that peace. After awhile we can even begin to think we had something to do with our success. That is when things really go badly for us, so we must continue to search God’s heart and mind for daily life.

Another thing that is note worthy in this verse is the idea that God will forsake you if you forsake Him. Isn’t that contrary to what you have heard before. Hebrews 13: 5 reads, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.” I also love these words from Nehemiah 9: 31, “In Your great compassion You did not make an end of them or forsake them, for You are a gracious and compassionate God.” So, what gives?

It really turns out to be quite simple. You are in command of your relationship with God. The Almighty God whom we think of as sovereign in everything has actually relinquished His power to you in this regard. Therefore, you can think of these verses as saying, He will not forsake you as long as you don’t kick Him out. Of His own volition, God will never leave you nor forsake you, but you have the power to turn Him out. Then, He has no choice.

Hearty Seeking

1 Chronicles 22: 19

Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God.

If you want to know the secret to living victoriously in Christ I believe this is it. I remember how dramatically my life changed when I resolutely and determinedly sought God. Now I have entered a new phase of seeking where all of me is more fully engaged in seeking Him.

It is interesting to me that the scripture says to set our hearts and souls to seeking God. I spent many, many years seeking Him with my mind. That was not a completely empty pursuit but it sure was not fulfilling. I loved God and sought His wisdom but when I began to pursue Him with all of me, life changed.

For me the big difference was getting out of my intellect and into my heart. I found this difficult because I interfaced with the world through intellect and reasoning. I didn’t “feel” my way through life. I listened to people talk about connecting with God in their hearts and honestly, I couldn’t even feel my heart when I meditated. It was pretty humbling. And I don’t claim to have laid hold of the prize yet but I do know that an intellectual relationship with God is not what He sent His son to the cross for. Intellectual relationships are what we have with professors and with books. It is not the basis for a relationship with our resurrected Lord, he who gave his life for us. We are intended to be as close to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as we are to our spouses and children. It really is a matter of the heart. How satisfied would your spouse be if your relationship was solely intellectual? Boring!

Here is a bit of good news though. Father says that if we will seek Him, He will be found by us (2 Chronicles 15: 2). But what does this really mean, to seek Him with our heart and soul? It seems that we must not only abandon the pursuit of our minds but that we must also turn our perspective in so that we connect first with our own hearts and souls. Then as an exercise of our inner person we engage the Father. When we were born again the Father, Son and Holy Spirit came to live inside of us. They have taken up residence in us. Therefore, if we wish to find the Father we need not search the heavens or the air about us. We need only turn our attention inward. Unfortunately, many of us have divorced ourselves from an internal life. We were either deceived about the primacy of the intellect or we closed off our hearts because we had not the strength to endure. Often it might have been a bit of both. But we are not cowards. There is nothing in our hearts that Jesus can’t handle. In fact, he has already healed all of our wounds. He is the salve that coats and heals. Therefore, we needn’t be afraid any longer. Our Lord is bigger than our fear, bigger than any past injuries. No matter how badly we may have been injured nor how long we have made it a practice to cordon off our hearts, he is greater than those obstacles. He can restore to us a tender heart which is our divine right and our divine construction. We were made to be tender and when we really understand who we are in Christ we will also appreciate that there is no weakness in tenderness. A tender and compassionate heart is what gave Jesus the strength to go to the cross.

If we want to live in Christian victory; if we want to have all that Jesus came to give us; then we must live our lives integrated with him. We must set our hearts and souls to seeking him and he will be found by us. We must have an impressionable and open heart in order to succeed. Jesus is our perfect way and He has provided for us strength and security. Fear not! Seek the Lord with all that you are and you will find great joy and victory in him.

I Have The Power

2 Chronicles 15: 2

“Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the LORD is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.”

You are in charge of your relationship with God. Did you realize that? You can be as close as you want or as distant. It is your call. In fact, did you know that God cannot breakup with you? What power that is. If you decide you do not wish to have a relationship with God then that is your call but He cannot make the same election. He has given all power over your union with Him to you.

In the verse for today we see Asa, King of Judah, being given this same message. The Lord is with you when you choose to be with Him and have Him with you. He is found when you Seek Him and His face will only be hidden from you when your turn away. God has given us power and a free will. He will even let you go to hell if you choose to. In fact, He cannot prevent it if you so choose. He has given us ultimate power in choosing how to live our lives because He wanted children, not robots. He wants to have a meaningful relationship with beings He could actually even call “friend.”

But as Spiderman says, “With great power comes great responsibility.” That is the part which some of us struggle with because if we do not have the relationship with God that we want the responsibility lies with us. Now, that is not what I wanted to hear; still don’t sometimes, but there is something very empowering in that statement because it also means that I can affect the relationship. I can choose whether God will be found by me or not. All I have to do is seek. He has no choice but to be found. I like that. If I choose to be with God, or if you choose to be with Him, then He has no choice but to be with us. You see, God is omnipotent but that does not actually mean He can do all things. He has hemmed Himself in by His own rules. He actually hasn’t the power in some things because He has given that power away. It was His choice. We certainly didn’t make Him do anything He didn’t want to do but once He makes a rule it binds Him as much as it does anyone else. He will not violate His laws. So, if you want to kick Him out of your life, then you are fully able. On the other hand, if you seek Him He cannot help but be found by you.

From my personal experience I can also testify that this is true. I did blame God for our relationship not being all that I wanted and I put Him on notice that I was going to hunt Him down. And hunt Him I did. After years and years of living in the desert I found that there was an oasis right over the near dune and that it was He. He was calling to me, “Come; come to the cool water and drink. I am here. I am awaiting you. He was there all along, right in front of my face but the noise in my head was too loud for me to hear. My heart was anesthetized and unable to hear. But brother when I opened my eyes and ears and went searching for Him He exploded on the scene. He was waiting for me and met me with such vibrancy that my body, soul and spirit have been pulsating ever since. And I know that I will never live in the desert again. I think about all those wasted years roaming around in the desert lost when He was right there all along trying to be seen by me.

Don’t be a fool like I was. Open your ears and eyes right now. Let God know that you intend to find Him and when you open your eyes you will find Him standing right in front of you. The power is yours. Determine what kind of relationship you want with God and make it so.