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Do you recall how our CRE lessons were organized to help us memorize facts such as the Ten Commandments, the parables, and the Twelve Disciples, among other truths? However, I’m uncertain if my school covered the topic of Kings thoroughly, as I only seem to remember a few details, unlike the other teachings.

Much as I enjoy reading books collectively in my Bible Study, I love breaking down studies. Being in positions of leadership made it crucial for me to examine the lives of certain leaders. I highlighted the factors that contributed to the success of these great men appointed by God and also took note of the mistakes that led to their downfall.

Ironically, out of all the Kings who reigned, only six did what was right before God’s eyes. King Asa starts us off on this admirable journey and here are a few lessons I picked from his reign.

  • Son of Abijah, who did evil in the Lord’s eyes
  • Third King of Judah
  • Reigned for 41 years; His reign spanned the reign of 7 Kings of Israel

1. Family History is not an excuse for bad behavior

We don’t choose where we are born nor do we have a choice which families we are born into, yet this does not always leave us helpless to the existing patterns of those who came before us. King Asa is a true example. Not even blood relations made him relent from cleaning up and restoring the rightful worship of the Lord, God. His grandfather, Rehoboam did evil and didn’t set his heart to seek the Lord, and his father Abijah as well; his devotion to God is not highlighted. Maacah his mother who made a detestable image was removed and the image she had made was crushed. Asa broke away from the mold.

2 Chronicles 15:16 “Even Maacah, his mother, King Asa removed from being queen mother because she had made a detestable image, Asherah…

Certain family expectations surround us, yet these should not be reasons that make us go against the command of God.

REFLECT: Think about your family, what is a pattern you can identify? Did you break away? Are you living by it? Are there any patterns you need to break away from? Do you feel that you have been allowing existing family expectations to keep you from obeying and charting a new path?

2. The Secret to victory is relying on God alone

Recently on social media, we were making jokes about #GirlMath and it made me realize how calculative we always are as human beings. The blessing of rest was upon King Asa because he walked well with God yet after 10 years of quiet, the Ethiopians who had one million men of war while King Asa had 580,000 decided to raid. According to human eyes, this is a lost war yet unlike most of us, Asa decided not to forfeit because of his calculations. Instead, he makes a prayer. He was outnumbered but banking on a greater power that exceeded numbers.

Asa cried to the Lord His God. : O Lord, there is none like you to help between the mighty and the weak together. Help us O God, we rely on you, and in your name, we come against this multitude.” 2 Chronicles 14:11-12

REFLECT: Are you caught in the trap of doing human math? Is your lens only restricted to what you can see? How do you go to battle? Is strategy leading you? Or are you reliant on the name of God?

3. Victory in one test doesn’t guarantee that you are not vulnerable to fail any other.

Previously we see King Asa walk in victory when God granted him victory against the Ethiopians only for him to seek an alliance with the King of Syria before turning to God during his 36th year. (2 Chronicles 16). It is a great reminder that the walk of faith is moment by moment and we can never fully say we have it all figured out.

Because you relied on the king of Syria and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you. Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, he gave them into your hand.” 2 Chronicles 16:7-8

The journey of faith is a journey of endless reliance, yet our vision can be skewed when we experience victory. Victory should not be the reason we falter. If anything, it should hammer the core truth that it is only through Him that we experience victory. Yet even in our missed steps, God’s gracious hand still stretches out to pull us out of the holes we dig for ourselves.

REFLECT: Have you found yourself in situations where you relied on God and experienced victory when all odds were stacked against you? Have you found yourself seeking external help? What do you think are some of the reasons that can (or have) made you seek help outside of God?

4. God does not hide Himself from a seeking heart

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” is a promise in James 4:8 and a reminder that Asa and the people of Judah were able to receive through Azariah. “The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, But if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.” 2 Chronicles 15:2

There are so many promises in scripture that beckon us to seek God: Psalm 105:4; 1 Chronicles 16:11; Jeremiah 29:13. There is always an open invitation from God. His arms stay wide open. The distance we often feel is usually as a result of sin, guilt, shame, ignorance amongst many others which can be dealt with by confession and repentance

REFLECT: What are some of the reasons that you have held back from seeking God? What is a resolve you are making to seek God?

5. It takes courage to stand out and do bold things for God

2 Chronicles 15:8 “he took courage”

No one does great things for God and with God without facing some kind of opposition; internal and external. This is a posture I must orient my heart and mind to embrace every day because I seem to forget when the pressure shifts. God knows this and so He has ensured that throughout scripture we read from people who had to receive this assurance. Just like Joshua in Joshua 1:8-9. One of my most humbling convictions from God was being made aware that there’s a lack of boldness because I haven’t considered the reality of God’s Character.

Taking courage to do great exploits doesn’t mean we draw from our perfections and expertise but it is living in awareness that it is God who enables and makes us sufficient and capable to do great things. Because truly, there is nothing special about us beyond what God does through us when we step out in courage.

REFLECT: Are there areas where you need to be bold? Can you identify some of the things that fear has caused you to miss out on? Where do you need to be bold this week, this month, this year?

6. Wholehearted devotion: starting well, living well and finishing well

2 Timothy 4:7 is a funeral favorite and we like to associate the departed with this verse trusting that their lives were marked by wholehearted devotion; a life of faith, a life of a race run well. How many know it isn’t always as easy?

Steam can run out at the need as we near the finish line just when it should pick up so we can finish strong. King Asa had his share of victories and challenges and yet I love the description attached to his life. “Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true to the Lord all His days” 1 Kings 15:14; 2 Chronicles 15:17

It is one thing to start well but how we live every day is an accumulation and an overall contribution to the end of the sum of our lives. Paul in Galatians 5:7 reprimands them and says “You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?”. Earlier on in Galatians 3:3, he alludes to the common mistake we can make; when we start so well, on fire for God only for the fire to dim. “Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being perfected in the flesh?

We all yearn for God’s commendation “Well done, good and faithful servant. Matthew 25:23 and we all can’t wait for the imperishable crown but we must live in constant remembrance that devotion to God that earns us this is starting well, living well, and finishing well.

REFLECT: How are you running your race? Do you feel like you are running out of steam to keep going? What are some of the disciplines you can embrace to help you run the race well?

You are light and you are so loved. Stay anchored and keep His light shining through

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