2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
Welcome to day 9 of our 40 day fast. Thank you to those of you who are faithfully seeking the Lord’s face and listening to hear his voice. The times we are living in call for a great humility and a great attentiveness to the Lord. He longs for relationship with us – and not the kind we imagine. We honestly cannot imagine all the goodness God has planned for us in advance. He is so good and loves us so much, yet again and again we turn our backs on him and go astray.
The Lord is looking for people whose hearts are fully committed to him- for people who are ready to hear from him. In 2 Chronicles 16, we read an incredible verse that shows that the Lord God almighty is looking and searching for people whose hearts are fully committed to him. Why? Because he wants to strengthen them! This is such an encouraging passage. The sad twist is that this was spoken to King Asa of Judah after he had seen trouble coming on the land and taken things into his own hands without seeking the Lord. He attempted to make a treaty to stop the attacks on Judah, instead of asking the Lord to give him peace.
35 years earlier, in 2 Chronicles 14 and 15, Asa- a young king- decides to break from the rebellious idolatry of the Kings of Judah and to serve the Lord with all his heart. He breaks down the disgusting Ashera poles and altars where idol worship took place. He is given power from God to overcome all of Judah’s enemies. Yet, here in his middle age, Asa has become complacent in his walk with the Lord. He quit including God in his decisions and he began to make blanket decisions on his own.
So, if we read it in context in 6 Chronicles 16, we see the opposite of what happens when we don’t seek the Lord for direction in times of trouble:
Asa’s Last Years
“In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah.
Asa then took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. “Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.”
Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his forces against the towns of Israel. They conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim a and all the store cities of Naphtali. When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and abandoned his work. Then King Asa brought all the men of Judah, and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using. With them he built up Geba and Mizpah.
At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites b and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen c ? Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him (emphasis mine). You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”
Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.
The events of Asa’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians. Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his ancestors. They buried him in the tomb that he had cut out for himself in the City of David. They laid him on a bier covered with spices and various blended perfumes, and they made a huge fire in his honor.”
Sometimes it’s remarkable how we can easily turn from seeking the Lord to do our own thing and make our own decisions. During this time of fasting and seeking the Lord, ask yourself if you seek the Lord for all of your decisions. Do you trust him to go to battle against your enemies? Do you trust him to deliver you from evil, or do you feel like you need to make a strategy on your own to overcome difficulties?
During these times of uncertainty, many people are preparing physically for the months ahead- not just spiritually. We can definitely do both, but we need to make sure we are seeking the Lord on how to prepare. Everyone needs to be led by the Lord on this. In Romans 8:14-18 it says,
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, g Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Do you trust the Lord to speak to you and direct your paths? Let’s pray about this today! If you pray each prayer point for 2 minutes you will pray for 10 minutes. Today’s prayer will consist more of worshipping and listening to God. We will ask him for direction and listen quietly.
- Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name! Spend time praising the Lord. Lift up his name! This is a time to worship God for who he is. What can you identify about God’s character and worship him for? His faithfulness? His love? His power?
- Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Pray for God to establish his kingdom in your heart and in your family and in your world. “Lord I am living in difficult times. I thank you for the honor of living in these times we are in. You have called me to this. I pray that you will give me grace and mercy and lead me to do your will. Establish and order my steps, Oh Lord.”
- Provide for my daily bread. “Lord, I know you teach us to trust on you for everything. I know you have always provided for me, and this time is no different. I ask that you will not only provide for me miraculously, but that you will provide for me by faith, building me up in my inner being so that I can know you better. Lord, I don’t know what is coming on the earth, but you do. You know how I should prepare for my family. Lead us and direct us. Please bring to my mind what/if I should purchase to help my family in an emergency. Lead me, Oh Lord. I am listening. (Spend 10-15 minutes sitting quietly. You may play worship music. Just wait on the Lord. Write down anything that comes to your heart as you wait.)
- Lord, I give you my mind. I commit my mind and my thoughts to you. I don’t want to make a plan in my logic or own ability. I want you to lead me and I want to follow. I commit my ways to you. I pray that you purify my mind, Oh Lord! Help me to be in one accord with my spouse or other people I need to work with on preparing spiritually and physically, in Jesus’ name. Bring me together in unity with my spouse, in Jesus’ name.
- Lord, I pray for those who are in fear, anxiety, depression or even those who are contemplating suicide. I ask that you deliver them and fill them with your Holy Spirit and power. Lord, fight against the plans of the enemy to destroy your holy ones.
- Lord, I pray against all of Satan’s plans for my life and my family. I pray against every evil scheme- that it will fall short and miss it’s mark in the name of Jesus. No weapon formed against me shall prosper, in Jesus’ name! I pray Lord that you will send confusion into the enemy’s camp and I plead the blood of Jesus over my family in body, mind, soul and spirit. I thank you for your love for me and for your deliverance. I ask that you will alert me to the lies that Satan is speaking to me. Do not allow me to be deceived, Oh Lord. Open the eyes of my heart to the truth. Reveal to me the lies and fill me with truth. Pour out your Spirit over my mind and my heart. Lord, I put on your helmet of salvation. I pray that you protect my mind and my heart during this time of turmoil. May my thoughts always be led by you, Lord.
- “Pour out your Spirit! Lord, give me the fullness of your Spirit! I invite you to be Lord of my life – I completely surrender to your Spirit. Give me revelation and wisdom through your Spirit. Fill me with the knowledge of your will with all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit brings that I may live a life worthy of you and please you in every way. Also, I want to bear fruit for you, Lord. I want to grow in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that I may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to you Father, who has qualified me to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For you have rescued me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of the Son you love, in whom I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
- Speak to me as I walk, as I lie down at night, as I drive, as I shop, as I go about my day. May your name always be on my lips and your words always be in my heart. Speak to me Lord. Reveal yourself to me in greater measure in your Word and in my life. I want to know you, Lord!
- Teach me how to wait on you and listen. I don’t even necessarily know what that looks like. Please meet me where I am at.
- Spend time worshipping the Lord!
If this fast is blessing you, please share it with a friend. Invite someone to join you. God is calling up his army and he needs all hands on deck!