“The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, ‘Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: 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. For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law, but when in their distress they turned to the Lord and sought him, he was found by them. In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. They were broken in pieces. Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every sort of distress. But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.’
“As soon as Asa heard these words,.. he took courage and put away the detestable idols from all the land of Judah.., and he repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the vestibule of the house of the Lord. He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were residing with them, for great numbers had deserted to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him… They sacrificed to the Lord on that day from the spoil that they had brought 700 oxen and 7,000 sheep. And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul… They swore an oath to the Lord with a loud voice and with shouting and with trumpets and horns. And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around.” 2 Chronicles 15:1-9,11-12,14-15
After a miraculous defeat of a million Ethiopians, a stern and forthright message from the prophet established Asa’s passion and priorities. The king had steered Judah aright from the start of his reign, and the Lord had prospered him militarily, economically, and religiously. But God knew that pride could set in after such successes and that warm hearts grow cold under the smallest influence of the flesh. (Sadly, this is the state where Asa ended decades later) For the season, God’s warning captured his whole desire, and all Judah benefited and rejoiced. (2 Chronicles 14:2-13; 16:1-12)
To seek the Lord in every situation and behave courageously in both rest and distress is to make way for the Lord to triumph. He always acts for our good and sanctification. What will it take for us to surrender and give Him our whole desire?
Where has my passion for the Lord waned? Has laziness or a subconscious apathy set in to disrupt long-held commitments and disciplines? Has selfishness or fatigue convoluted regular fellowship or willingness to serve the Body? How immediately do I heed warnings the Lord graciously sends by way of His people and word?
Father, own and rule my whole desire, that every impulse of heart, mind, and hand be initiated by Your grace and for Your glory.