LESSONS FROM ASA


By Carl Itaman.

LESSONS FROM ASA

Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 14, 15 & 16

One sure thing needed for us to be victorious in life is righteousness. It is totally yielding to all the will of God and permanently staying in His will till it becomes our norm. The bible is consistent with this from Genesis to Revelation. Just as God is One, His command has been the same from before time began. Day and night He instructed the children of Israel to walk righteously and be totally aligned with Him. Jesus came with the same Gospel of the Kingdom, asking men everywhere to walk in righteousness and be totally yielded to the Lord. There’s no gainsaying, many rituals in the churches today are not necessary for a victorious living, but one thing is needful, a consistent walk-in righteousness.  

We will take a peep at the life of king Asa and see how he walked victoriously in righteousness till he took his eyes off the Lord in error.

ASA’S RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD

So Abijah rested with his fathers, and they buried him in the City of David. Then Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land was quiet for ten years. Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God, for he removed the altars of the foreign gods and the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to observe the law and the commandment. He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah, and the kingdom was quiet under him. 2 Chronicles 14: 1-5, NKJ

When Asa became king in Judah, he immediately began to remove altars of foreign gods and the high places which was an abomination to God. Asa’s heart was set to walk with the Lord because he knew his reign and the people of Judah will only have rest and tranquillity if they seek the Lord God of their fathers.

He had commanded all Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers in that he also took profound steps in destroying foreign gods as a statement to signify that it is the only true God Judah seeks.

The major issues with men in the days of old was that they went after every other god instead of the one true God.  This is not different from the people of today. It was like a competition of gods in those days. So many gods where everywhere and the true God was also there. God always wanted His chosen ones to look up to Him, but the people in most cases, went after every other god. One of the reasons why many people even today, will prefer to go seek help from other gods is because there are no requirements that the heart of the one seeking help from evil be purged from evil itself. It doesn’t matter how wicked you are, other gods will meet you at the point of your need to your own peril.

The major issue in those days was that men went after other gods, and it is still so today. There was a constant call to neglect other gods and follow the true God.

When Asa became king, the first transformation he brought was to put away the false gods and entered an oath to subscribe to the only true God. When he did, him and his people had rest.

One of the main reason people face all kinds of trouble and do things that are not pleasing to God is because they have subscribed to another god rather than the true God. In the days of old, when people played the harlotry and do all kinds of abominable things, it was because they were worshiping other gods rather than the true God. If you see people today, whether in the churches or outside the churches doing things not in line with the Kingdom of God, it simple means they are worshipping another god and not the true God. It was evident in those days; the difference between those who were worshipping the true God and those who didn’t. Worship was and is a lifestyle. Today, many people are confused because they can’t differentiate between those who truly are worshiping God and those who are not.  We have many worshippers of foreign gods on the pulpits preaching in the name of Jesus.

When people lack the capacity to walk in holiness before God it is simply because in their hearts, they have subscribed to another god rather than the only true God even without knowing it. When sin and lawlessness is found in a man’s life, it is simply because he has yielded himself to another god and not the true God. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (Romans 6:16)

If a man has decided out of a true heart, to seek and follow the Lord, then he will need to completely put away everything not associated with the principles and values of the Kingdom. Everything that brings about a hindrance for our total dependence on God must be completely done away with just like Asa did.

Asa did well in putting off every other god and consciously depended on God. You see, it was somewhat easy for Asa to depend on God because he’s heart was right before God. Herein lies the problem with many who struggle to walk in righteousness, when a man’s heart isn’t right, it becomes difficult to walk in righteousness. A right heart is a conducive ground for the Spirit of God to help us overcome whatever may come our way. For Asa to create that conducive environment, he had to put out every abominable thing.  Once the place was cleared and clean, then the Spirit of God found it conducive to inhabit. The fellowship of the Spirit of God with a man can only begin to happen when that man makes the room conducive for the Spirit of God to inhabit. Stepping into this dimension of life where the Spirit of God takes His place can only guarantee our victory over the affairs of this mundane life. The life of a believer will become nominal without a full takeover of the believer’s heart by the Spirit of God.

GODS’ INTERVENTION AND ASA’S VICTORY

Then Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots, and he came to Mareshah. So, Asa went out against him, and they set the troops in battle array in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. And Asa cried out to the Lord his God, and said, “Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name, we go against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!” So, the Lord struck the Ethiopians before Asa and Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. And Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar. So, the Ethiopians were overthrown, and they could not recover, for they were broken before the Lord and His army. And they carried away very much spoil. 2 chronicles 14: 9-13, NKJ

It was from a right heart position that Asa was able to cry out to God when Zerah the Ethiopian came out against Judah in battle with a million-man army. Because Asa was rightly aligned with God, God responded and defeated the armies of Ethiopia. Many would pray for donkey years and go without receiving answers to prayers, whether the prayers are right or wrong really doesn’t matter, when answers don’t come after many days of praying and seeking God’s help it means the one praying doesn’t have a right standing with God. There would need to be a self-examination of our hearts to see if we’re in the right place.

The content of Asa’s prayer was a perfect description of the ability of God. ‘’Lord it is nothing for you to help….’’ It doesn’t matter how gigantic the mountainous issue or problem looks like; the perfect truth of the matter is that it is nothing before God. It is critically important that we learn to see things the way God sees them (1 Samuel 16:7). Asa understood this. It is very important that we strive to cultivate our minds to understand how Mighty God is.

There is absolutely nothing that is anything before God, …whether with many or with those who have no power…. Asa was faced with the number coming against him, it was an army of one million persons and three hundred chariots against three hundred thousand army of Judah, but he knew the One he’s been seeking, he knew one with God is stronger than the many. I am sure he remembered Gideon, Abraham and David, the victories they won with a few against many. He was faced with the same challenge and having stepped into alignment with God, he knew that the same God of his fathers can do again the wonders he did in the past.  This is what it means when the bible says, …they that do know their God they shall do exploit, it simply means if you know the power of God and you’re totally yielded to him, He will fight your battles and bring to finish that purpose for which He created you if you completely depend on Him. To know your God is to become one with Him, always carrying out His will as He reveals them to you Just like Christ Jesus, in that he declared that ‘’My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish it’’. The exploits a man will do is simply the execution of the will of God as he reveals them to that individual. There’s nothing greater in the entire universe than the execution of God’s will by a man no matter how small it might seem in man’s realm. Obeying God’s will as he reveals them to us day by day is the greatest thing of all time. Nothing can be equated to it outside of God. We like to pursue ‘’great things’’ in man’s definition, but there’s absolutely nothing greater than when a man carries out the will of an eternal God in this mortal realm no matter how small it might seem.

…do not let man prevail against YOU! Man wasn’t created to be independent of God, but we were created to have no life aside the life of God. That is what it means to be born again. The moment we jettison everything and step into God, depending on him for everything, he takes His rightful place and handles everything for us. If this is our state, then that battle which seem to be ours will actually not be ours, but the Lord’s. Asa and the people had stepped into this dimension of life before God and Asa knew this truth then he declared and said to God, …do not let man prevail against You! It means, we live, move, and have our being in You. Without You there’s no us, we don’t have a life, You are our life, we don’t have strength, You are our strength, we don’t have any battle, this battle is against You, we have nothing Lord, You are our all. This ought to be the life of everyone who truly calls on the name of the Lord out of a true heart. Many fight dirty and legally to challenge issues without first having a dialogue with God on how to go about the issue and that’s why we are defeated in many battles of life. The moment we realise that the battle is the Lords, we can also boldly say to the Lord, do not let man prevail against You! What gave Asa the boldness to confidently say those words to God? Asa was standing right before God; he had stepped into the will of God by removing all foreign God’s and every abominable thing, making God his only God. When God saw the reformation that took place in Asa’s heart and how he led his people He (God) took His place and defeated the enemies of ‘’Asa’’

THE WORDS AND PROPHECY

Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded. So he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. For many years Israel has been without the true God, without a priest to instruct them, and without the law. But in their distress, they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought Him, and He was found by them. In those days there was no safety for travellers because the residents of the lands had many conflicts. Nation was crushed by nation, and city by city, for God afflicted them with all kinds of adversity. But as for you, be strong; do not be discouraged, for your work will be rewarded.” When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage and removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He then restored the altar of the LORD that was in front of the portico of the LORD’s temple. 2 chronicles 15: 1-8, NKJ

Anytime the Word of the Lord comes to a man, that Word, because is truly from God, has the capacity to make certain adjustment in a man’s life if that man is willing to allow the Spirit of God do a work in him and through him. Each time the true word of the Lord comes, something inaccurate must be removed because the Word of the Lord is light, it dispels darkness and precipitates upon that heart the government of God. But when the Word comes to a man from God and nothing happens, it means that man has refused to allow the Spirit of God to partner with him or that word was never from the Lord.

When Asa heard the word and prophecy from prophet Oded, he took courage and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from all the cities which he had taken, and he restored the altar of the Lord. Anytime there is a removal, there is always a replacement. Those words had a major shift within Asa because he’s heart was right, the effect of that Word that came to one man, had impact on Judah, Benjamin, and other cities under the influence of Asa. You see, the workings of God in a man’s life doesn’t just affect the man’s life and ends there. Just as Jesus came to serve mankind everyone who’s born of the Spirit of God must bring the influence of that Spirit and the government of God in his sphere of influence. No matter how small or large your sphere of influence is, for as long as the Spirit of God dwells in you, you have a mandate to bring that sphere under the influence of God to the level and height God will allow you to.

If you constantly come into a company of a man/woman or a people whether is a group of friends, colleague at work or even a church and you begin to do things that are not pleasing before the Lord because of that affiliation, it means the dark influence of that union has settled on you. If you find yourself migrating from a worldly person to becoming a better person in God it means that the influence of the Spirit of God in the life of that person, a group of people or church has affected you kingdom wise.

This ought to be the life of every believer. It is indeed a mandate from God that every believer should bring a certain level of spiritual influence wherever they go as God would permit. For that to happen through a man’s life, that man must be totally yielded to the government of the Spirit of God.  Asa achieved this throughout Judah, Benjamin and some cities of Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon. Weekly we hear words and prophecies from various churches and the resultant effect in the lives of the people is nothing to even speak of. No doubt most of the words and prophecies are not truly from God. But one of the reasons why many will not amount to anything in God even if the words and prophecies are from God is because the majority are yet to find their place in God. Many are chasing their dreams and ambitions in a bid to be rich on the earth without setting their priorities right as believers in Christ Jesus. The one who will bring the influence of the government of God in his area of influence is that one who has found his singular purpose in God and is allowing the Spirit of God guide him through.

When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage and removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He then restored the altar of the LORD that was in front of the portico of the LORD’s temple…

Have you taken courage after all the words and the prophecies you have heard from the very first time God started speaking to you through diverse means till date? If you haven’t taken courage, will you take courage today to remove everything that is in your life that are detestable to God, and let the Spirit of God take his place in your life and find expression through you? Will you take that bold step like Asa did? It is a step of faith, that courage spoken about is faith at work. Faith only comes when the WORD of God is released. Will you take courage/faith and step out of that relationship that is ungodly, will you take courage and walk out of that deal that is dubious? Will you take courage and answer that call of God over your life? Will you take courage today and just drop everything that has hindered you from walking righteously before God and allow the Spirit of God tabernacle in your heart and make you what He has ordained you for from before creation?

GOD WAS WITH ASA AND IT WAS EVIDENT

And he assembled all Judah and Benjamin, along with those from the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who had settled among them, for great numbers had come over to him from Israel when they saw that the LORD his God was with him. 2 chronicles 15: 9, NKJ

Mankind is always looking for where God is. Once there’s a sensing that God or a god is in a place or with a man, people will naturally troop to that place in search for solutions to their never-ending problems. Everyone wants to go somewhere to hear what God, or a god is saying. It doesn’t matter if the god they seek is the true God or another god; people just troop in any way for as long as the solution to their problems will be met. No doubt, many are seeking for the true God, some for the right reasons and many for the wrong reasons too. It is unfortunate that the God men go to a distant place to seek is right there where they are; in them (…the kingdom of God is within you Luke 17:21). The moment men everywhere come to realise that the God you are looking for is right in you, closer to you than your breath, that is the day our total deliverance would have come. The problem is this, men do not want to seek God for themselves, they want to go to a distant place and look for a man they believe have the God they don’t have. Until we realise that God is with us, in us, here and now, ever present wherever we are, and the reality of that dawns on us, we will never arrive at our true and fullest potentials in God. We will live like men captured and bound by the god of this fallen world.

Just as it was in the days of Asa the king of Judah, when it became evident that God was with him, many people even from the house of Israel in the northern kingdom went to him and Asa led the people to God. They entered a covenant to seek the Lord with all their hearts. When God is with a man people are drawn to him and that’s some strategy from God for the people to learn His ways. This is the primary purpose when the people are drawn; it is for the man by the Spirit of God, to teach them the precepts of the kingdom of God for a while till they also become men of God. The people are not drawn to a man for him to keep them captive and begin to lord it over them with manipulations and lying vanities. Neither are they drawn to him for him to take the place of God in their lives.

Asa led all the people drawn to him to the Lord ….and all Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their soul; and he was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all round.

The primary purpose of the church (whether an individual or the cooperate church) when God draws people to you, our responsibility would be to teach them the undiluted word of the kingdom of God that they may be led to God by the Spirit of God. There’s no need trying to teach or preach messages that will appeal to the people’s ego in a bid to retain them as members. There is one true gospel, it is the gospel of the Kingdom of God. When men lay hold of this kingdom’s truth with a pure heart, their desire to enter this kingdom will be out of a willing heart and when they do enter, behold the greatest asset the entire world cannot give. Asa led the people to the God of his fathers without massaging their ego, he led them to take an oath to either follow the Lord or be put to death. Now, that was stiff.

Is it evident that the Lord is with you? One of the signs that a man is truly and wholly following the Lord is that it becomes evident that God is with him by the activities happening around him, not because he’s a pastor or has a podium he mounts every now and then. It will be so evident that those who know or see you should be able to testify that indeed God is with you and he’s handling your affairs. This was evident in the lives of all those we see in the scriptures who took the process to walk with God out of a true heart. If this isn’t the case with us, then we must take courage and pursue God out of a true heart until it becomes evident that God is with us.

THE REST OF GOD

They took an oath to the LORD with a loud voice, with shouting, trumpets, and rams’ horns.  And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn it with all their heart. They had sought Him earnestly, and He was found by them. So, the LORD gave them rest on every side. 2 chronicles 15:14-15, NKJ

Asa led the people into the kingdom of God, and they did that out of a true heart and immediately entered the rest of God. It was spontaneous, it was immediately, yes it was ‘’sharp sharp’’. it was a twenty-four-hour miracle. They entered the rest of God immediately; it was immediately the transaction between the people and God was complete. Isn’t this what we all want? Pastors promising twenty-four-hour miracles to their congregation, preachers commanding those things that be not to be immediately, and because the people are looking for quick fixes, they shout a resounding amen in expectation. The preacher man is having a field day on the gullibility of the ignorant and desperate, while they bask in a false sense of hope. I used to be that gullible, but it wasn’t for too long and the good Lord delivered me from all that falsehood and showed me that walking with Him is a process and there were no quick fixes.

But how did Asa and all Judah, Benjamin and all the people gathered to him entered the rest of God immediately and had rest for 20 years all round? For the next 20 years they didn’t have war, they built their cities all around and prospered (2 chronicles 14:17) There was prosperity for them from God constantly for at least 20 years. Business was good, life was beautiful, and everything was going on smoothly without trouble because God had given them rest.

So they gathered together in Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign. At that time they sacrificed to the LORD seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep from all the plunder they had brought back. Then they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul.  And whoever would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, would be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman. They took an oath to the LORD with a loud voice, with shouting, trumpets, and rams’ horns. And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn it with all their heart. They had sought Him earnestly, and He was found by them. So the LORD gave them rest on every side. 2 chronicles 15:10-15, NKJ

They gathered themselves, offered great sacrifice to the Lord and entered a very good but dangerous covenant with the Lord, to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their hearts and all their soul. And whoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel was to be put to DEATH, whether small or great, man or woman. They rejoiced in the oath, and He (God) was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest on every side. It was a covenant of life and death; it was an agreement signed and sealed to put to death anyone who will not seek God. It was stiff, but it was real. It means there was no one who wasn’t seeking God. All laws were being kept by all because they didn’t want to die. Everything ungodly was done away with in a moment, when God saw that they did that from their heart, he honoured the covenant and immediately they entered the rest of God. It was out of a true heart to seek God that made Asa and the people enter that deadly covenant with Him and once you fulfil your part of the bargain, God will always fulfil His. So, they had rest for 20 years, they prospered, had peace, God protected them, nothing went wrong, no war, no hunger, no plague, no lack, they prospered by the hand of God. What beauty that was.

I am certain not many people will want to enter such stiff covenants with God. We want God to grant us rest on every side regardless of whether we follow His laid down principles and values, regardless of whether we love him or not. Asa and the people brought before God a deadly bargain on their part; they didn’t see it as deadly because they truly wanted to follow God out of a true heart. Their desires were true, it was genuine, and it was born out of every conviction that the ways of God are paramount. They knew a God who keeps to his words, they knew a God who doesn’t fail when you stay faithful and so they entered that covenant with him because their hearts needed Him Who doesn’t fail.

They took an oath to the LORD with a loud voice, with shouting, trumpets, and rams’ horns. And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn it with all their heart. They had sought Him earnestly, and He was found by them. So the LORD gave them rest on every side.

They began shouting with trumpets and ram’s horn, rejoicing over the OATH which they had entered to seek the Lord with all their hearts. For they had EARNESTLY sought the Lord and when He saw this great thing He came into their midst. The result of Him (God) being found by them was that they had peace and prosperity on every side.

Today, we shout in churches until our voices are almost gone and at the end there’s nothing to show for it because we shout in falsehood. The preacher man is declaring things that won’t take place because God isn’t a magician. Declarations are being discharged by the preacher; the people are shouting with a loud voice to claim what won’t come regardless of whether the claimer has vowed to follow the Lord out of a true heart like it was done in the days of Asa. The shouting with a loud voice that took place when the people of Judah did so, was a rejoicing in the fact that they had committed to seek the Lord out of a true heart. It wasn’t shouting to claim mundane things as the preacher is declaring. They didn’t ask for prosperity, they looked for God because true prosperity can only be found in God. If you are looking for prosperity and not God, the devil will give you his kind of prosperity. We must learn to set our priorities right as believers and stop putting the cart before the horse. The children of Judah rejoiced in the OATH, and they EARNESTLY sought the Lord. Are you going to enter an oath with the Lord today and just whisper to Him that you will do all He is demanding of you and ask Him to help you? Will you earnestly seek Him regardless of what comes your way, whether good or bad until He is found of you?

Dear friends, how deep is our desire to just seek the Lord with all our hearts? How convinced are we that God’s promises are guaranteed if we yield to Him out of a true heart and patiently wait for Him no matter how long it takes? To make a vow in your heart to follow the Lord and earnestly seek Him is the only path to Life in Christ Jesus.

GUIDE YOUR HEART

In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah and built Ramah, that he might let none go out or come into Asa king of Judah. Then Asa brought silver and gold from the treasuries of the house of the Lord and of the king’s house, and sent to Ben-Hadad king of Syria, who dwelt in Damascus, saying, “Let there be a treaty between you and me, as there was between my father and your father. See, I have sent you silver and gold; come, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, so that he will withdraw from me.” So Ben-Hadad heeded King Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel. They attacked Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim, and all the storage cities of Naphtali. 2 chronicle 16: 1-4, NKJ

In the thirty -sixth year of Asa’s reign, after about 20 years of rest and prosperity enjoyed by Judah, the king of Israel came up against Asa. There was no record in the bible that the people of Judah had fallen short of the covenant they made with God. But here was war at their door post, the rest they enjoyed was coming to an end. Since there was no record of a falling away by Asa and the people. I think God wanted to test the heart of Asa, so that Asa would see that, although outwardly the covenant is intact but in Asa’s heart, he wasn’t loyal or relying on God for all things anymore, it has been 20 years long. This is typical of many today, outwardly, we put on a righteous attitude to look covenanted with the Kingdom, but in our hearts we’re far or not loyal to God. The only place God looks at in a man is the heart of a man. That’s why men can be deceived by appearance, but God can never be deceived.

And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. Deuteronomy 8:2, NKJV

I said to myself, “As for the sons of men, God tests them so that they may see for themselves that they are but beasts.” Ecclesiastes 3:18, Berean Study Bible

Any time God wants to test a man or a people, he does that so that the man or the people will see the state of their own heart. Go doesn’t test man because He (God) wants to know, no, He knows the heart of a man and knows his end. The testing is for the man’s heart condition to be revealed to man himself.

Let there be a treaty between you and me, as there was between my father and your father. Come break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, so that he will withdraw from me. Asa heart was revealed, he made a treaty with the king of Israel a ‘’heathen’’ instead of relying on God again as he did previously. Asa had forgotten the covenant him and his people had with God, his heart had become full of plenty for 20 years and became inactive towards God, since there was no war and troubles there was no need to fellowship with God and gradually, he’s dependence on God dwindled. We must never neglect the place of fellowship even if we have no ‘’need’’ before God.

I remember many years ago, a man had come to our church for the first time, he was obviously rich, he got the pastors attention because he was rich. After church, the pastor took him to his house, to his bedroom, asked him to kneel for prayers. Then he asked the man, do you have a need I can pray for? The man’s response was, no pastor, I don’t have a need, just pray for my business to continue to prosper. In this world, the man was full of the things of this earthly life, and he felt he had no need. Not long after, we began to hear of issues of adultery and the likes. And I quickly thought, wasn’t that an issue in the heart that needed God’s intervention? The boldness with which he said he didn’t have a need got me curious and I was wondering. Well, probably he was referring to material needs.

Man will often always neglect the place of fellowship once everything is working well. For this reason, Moses admonished the people ahead to say:

“Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;… Deuteronomy 8: 11:15, NKJ

Although Asa’s treaty with Baasha king of Israel made the looming war end, but the error in relying on the arm of flesh instead of God was far more damning. Sometimes we quickly take that step to get us out of trouble without first consulting with God about the issue because we think we can solve the problem. The problem might be swiftly solved without the help of God but the consequences of relying on our abilities and not on God will take away the hedge of God from us. Acknowledge Him in all your ways the psalmist says. It doesn’t matter if we have the means to handle the problem, there is the constant need for us to approach the Lord and allow Him to give us direction.

And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand. Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly, therefore from now on you shall have wars.” Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in prison, for he was enraged at him because of this. And Asa oppressed some of the people at that time. 2 Chronicles 16:7-10, NKJ

The heart of Asa is revealed, he’s reliance wasn’t on God anymore although it looked so from the outside. A heart once loyal wasn’t loyal anymore, …in this you have done foolishly; therefore, from now you shall have war. Covenant has been broken and the rest of God taken away. God is a covenant keeper; the moment you break the covenant He will withdraw from you. If we see the issues of life beating us here and there like tempest, there’s always one reason, men are not in synchrony or alignment with the ways of God in covenant. The only sure way to a victorious life or a life of rest in God is in cutting a covenant with God to do all He requires.

God didn’t kill Asa immediately as prescribed by Asa and the people when they took an oath to put anyone to death who transgress the covenant. Asa was king and no one could have killed him, but Asa was on the path of death the moment the hedge of God was taken off, …. from now on you shall have wars. Wars brings about death. But you see, God is a God of mercy no matter what, He will always give you the opportunity to return to Him in holiness, that’s why He will not strike you dead the moment you drift away from Him because he wants you back. If Asa would go back to God again out of a true heart the hedge would be restored.

AN EXPOSED HEART

Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in prison, for he was enraged at him because of this. And Asa oppressed some of the people at that time. 2 chronicles 16:10, NKJ

Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. Proverb 4:23, NKJ

Anytime our heart isn’t right before God, it is exposed to demonic attacks and before long we will see ourselves doing those things that are not in line with the principles and values of the kingdom of God.

Asa’s heart was exposed as a heart not loyal to God anymore and that exposed his heart to satanic attacks. The demonic spirit of anger found a place in his heart and began to find expression, then he put the prophet of God into prison and oppressed the same people he led to God. The mentor became the tormentor of the people he once mentored, what a sad story. This is typical of many church leaders today.

Once our hearts are exposed to us by God we ought to immediately repent. That repentance or change of heart will help guard our hearts from further onslaught from the kingdom of darkness.

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? Romans 6:16, NKJ

And Asa yielded himself slave to obey the kingdom of darkness and the spirit of anger and oppression saw an opportunity to settle in his heart and found expression. How sad, a man, once totally loyal to the Prince of Life became a tool in the hand of the evil one.

THE RIGHT ATTITUDE IN SICKNESS

And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians. So Asa rested with his fathers; he dies in the forty-first year of his reign. 2 chronicle 16:12-13, NKJ

Most people tend to turn to God when they are sick even when they have not lived a life pleasing to God in the days when they enjoyed the health God freely gives to the sons of men. Asa’s heart was now very far from God to the point that on his sick bed he did not seek the Lord but the physicians. He’s heart was now farther removed from God because he allowed the kingdom of darkness free entrance to his heart, therefore he couldn’t rely on God anymore; the capacity to do that was shattered. In truth, God was looking for an opportunity to again show Himself strong in the life of Asa if he will be loyal to Him again. King Asa eventually died, not because of the sickness but because he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians.

Listen to this friend, anytime sickness comes knocking, no matter how small or great, it is of great importance to consult the physician, but we must primarily seek God to hear what he has to say on the matter. In seeking to hear God on the matter we will save ourselves a great deal. I’m not talking about prayers and confessing healing scriptures, am talking about entering our closet to hear what God has to say, in wanting to hear God you are still and expectant, it doesn’t mean you don’t pray, the prayer is that of waiting to receive a word from the Lord about the sick who is in the hospital or wherever. It is important we begin to cultivate our ears to hear from the Lord now before the days of trouble.

Asa died, not because of the sickness but because he didn’t seek the LORD, many sicknesses that wasn’t unto death would have been defeated if we did seek the LORD when we were sick. Aside the consultation with the physician, there is also the consultation with the LORD.

May we have the courage to put away everything that is not approved of God, and may God grant us mercy to walk righteously before him until we become the very people he created us to be from before time began. May that which we are in Him in the Spirit become our reality even in the natural. May His will be done on earth in our lives even as it is in heaven. Amen.