Governing Cities of the Heart

“Abijah slept with his fathers, and… Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land had rest for ten years. And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He took away the foreign altars and the high places and broke down the pillars and cut down the Asherim and commanded Judah to seek the Lord,.. and to keep the law and the commandment. He also took out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the incense altars. The kingdom had rest under him. He built fortified cities in Judah. He had no war in those years, for the Lord gave him peace. And he said to Judah, ‘Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God… and he has given us peace on every side.’ So they built and prospered. And Asa had an army… with large shields and spears, and… bows. All these were mighty men of valor.

“Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots… Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up their lines of battle in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. And Asa cried to the Lord his God, ‘O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.’ So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. Asa and the people with him pursued them as far as Gerar, and the Ethiopians… were broken before the Lord and his army…

“He took courage and put away the detestable idols from all the land,.. and he repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the vestibule of the house of the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 14:1-13; 15:8

The first act of business for King Asa was to rid Judah of strange gods and as many pitfalls that would entice their worship as possible. He knew that God would not share the throne with another, and he chose the true God. Under and by and for Him he would reign. He firmly established his kingdom on His promises and commands, and enjoyed peace as a result. When the enemy did threaten, he was practically, mentally, and spiritually ready. (Isaiah 42:8)

There are some key rules when we rule our hearts. Every aspect of every city must be cleansed, put in order, fortified, and governed with wisdom: family life, personal disciplines, relationships, work, recreation, and dreams. God must be first as Regent, Sentry, Help, and Conqueror. The cross must be anchored and held high, punctuating and standing over all that concerns us.

Over what and whom has God called me to rule? How eagerly do I take my stewardship? Are there places I have left unguarded, or allowed idols to share my allegiance or occupation? Do I align myself with people of spiritual valor to fend off the enemies who seek to undo us? What steps can I take to ensure God’s peace that passes understanding? (John 10:10; Philippians 4:6-7)

Lord of my cities, help me be faithful to manage all according to Your word and wisdom, that You are recognized and exalted as King.

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