The story of Asa (2 Chronicles 16) is troubling. He was a dedicated servant of the Lord. In a time of rebellion he forsook the common way and did what was right in God’s eyes. When trouble came, he placed his trust in the Lord, knowing that God can even help the powerless.

In this time of prosperity and righteousness he received encouragement that the Lord was with him and a warning to stay on this path. He did not let the encouragement lead to complacency, but let it move him to do more for the Lord, such that others saw he was blessed of the Lord and joined with him.

Yet in spite of this course he ultimately turned to men in a time of need. Worse than that, when a rebuke came he rejected it and in stubbornness continued to trust in man over the Lord. The warning that had caused him to draw closer to God he now despised. The advantage gained was now thrown away.

What can we do to avoid the fate of Asa? It is not enough to start on the right path. What was it that led him astray? To me it is a wake up call to how much I am focused on the here and now. If I could just walk in perfection now the rest of the path would be easy.

Certainly we should be mindful of now, but we must guard ourselves for the future as well. We must be prepared to progress and not just arrive. This gives an understanding of why the Lord gives trials to keep our focus on him. Asa thought the trials were behind, yet when one came, he thought he was set and forgot the Lord. We must always be prepared for the next trial, turning to the Lord, continually. The trials do not end until the judgment is passed.

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. – Matthew 26:41


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February 2012
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