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365 Devotionals: From David to Exile

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22 AMP

The Seeds of Promise Devotional Series

A Perfect Heart

But the people were silent and answered him not a word, for Hezekiah had commanded, Do not answer him. II Kings 18:36 AMP

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25th II Chronicles Chapter 14 Chapter 17 A Perfect Heart

We know that there is a season to everything under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Like seasons of the year, there are seasons in your lifetime, too. Because the nature of man without God is sinful, we must take care to avoid the “fall” in light of summer. That is to say, sometimes, when “the getting is good,” it is easy to take our focus off of God. Though we should rather thank Him the more (for it is God who provides prosperity, or peace, or whatsoever is a good and perfect gift (James 1:17)), when our hearts have their fill of rest, they will become lazy of praising God unless we renew our minds (hearts) in our Heavenly Father.

Today’s reading gives an excellent example of the danger of complacent faith. Asa was a good King; but we find that “goodness” alone is not enough. We must obey God.

2 And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God: 3 For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves: And commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment.  5 Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images: and the kingdom was quiet before him. And he built fenced cities in Judah: for the land had rest, and he had no war in those years; because the LORD had given him rest. 2 Chronicles 14:2-6

God gave an immaculate rest of ten years in the reign of Asa, after he cried out to God (2 Chronicles 14:11). Can you imagine a world-power that does not have to “secure it’s territory” by war? Judah did not have to fight for a decade. It was a season of rest. A summer (2 Chronicles 15:9).

Unfortunately, one fateful day King Asa gave in to the fear of man. While it was God who had delivered Judah and gave them rest from all enemies, when there came the camp of Baasha, King of Israel (for at that time they had left from following God), Asa chose not to rely on the Lord of Hosts. Thus ended the summer of peace.

1In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built Ramah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 2Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of the LORD and of the king’s house, and sent to Benhadad king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying, 3There is a league between me and thee, as there was between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent thee silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me. 4And Benhadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abelmaim, and all the store cities of Naphtali. 5And it came to pass, when Baasha heard it, that he left off building of Ramah, and let his work cease. 6Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha was building; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah.

7And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand. 8Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand. 9For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars. 10Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. And Asa oppressed someof the people the same time.

And so a man (or woman) with a perfect heart who is not made perfect in love toward God, is become a tragedy in waiting. For the perfect love of God casts out fear (John 4:18). But the fear of man will cause him to seek desperate measures; and may thereby ensnare his own soul.

This is why God commanded that we love him with all our mind, soul and strength. It is only when we love Him that we can trust Him in our hearts, come what may.

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