Summary: Even if we successfully and rightly destroy the obstacles, fortify, and depend on the LORD for revival and peace, what is gained will be shallow and short-lived without an active commitment to Whole-Hearted Perseverance!
Fourth in Series – “Peace That Expands & Lasts: Lessons from Asa”
Rev. Todd G. Leupold, Perth Bible Church, Sunday 8/24/2008 AM
So far, in examining the lessons from King Asa regarding revival and turning a state of chaos into one of peace that expands and lasts, we have discovered together: (1) We must destroy the obstacles to peace; (2) We must build-up and fortify (strengthen) ourselves, our families, and our community for continued victory and preservation of peace; and (3) in all things we must depend utterly upon the LORD and His power to achieve these things in His way and His time as His people turn and submit to Him.
This morning we will examine the fourth, and perhaps most neglected and failed step.
SCRIPTURE: 2 Chronicles 15:1-19
- Even if we successfully and rightly destroy the obstacles, fortify, and depend on the LORD for revival and peace, what is gained will be shallow and short-lived without an active commitment to Whole-Hearted Perseverance!
A pastor, physically not unlike our own Pastor E, one day decided it must be time to retire. That Sunday he explained to his congregation: “I wear two hearing aids and tri-focal glasses; I have a partial plate and I sometimes walk with a cane. It seems to me,” he concluded, “that the Lord is telling me it’s time to retire.” After the service, a spirited and white-haired lady of even greater age told him, “Reverend, you have misinterpreted what the Lord has been saying to you. He’s not telling you it’s time to retire; he’s telling you that if you keep going, he’ll keep you patched up.”
(Ivan P. Downing, Humor For Preaching & Teaching from Leadership Journal & Christian Reader, pg. 133.)
In one of his most famous sermons titled “Go Back? Never!” the ’Prince of Preachers,’ C.H. Spurgeon proclaimed: “The proof of faith lies in perseverance. There is a sort of faith which
doth run well for a while, but it is soon ended, and it doth not obey the truth.”
WHOLE-HEARTED PERSEVERANCE MEANS PERPETUALLY:
I.) SEEKING THE LORD (vv. 1-7)
Keep in mind, these words given to Asa from the Spirit of God are for people who already know Him and – at some point at least – have made a commitment to be His people. Even so, says the Spirit of God, even committed believers must actively persevere in perpetually seeking the Lord and His will!
To underline this truth, vv. 3-6 starkly illustrate how this Truth is easily seen in Israel’s own history. Forgetting to continually seek the Lord – His Sovereignty in their lives, His teachers, and His Word - results in a people forsaken by God, full of conflict and chaos, attacked from without and within, and full of distress.
Israel, throughout this time, continued to worship “God,” but not “the True God.” They had “teaching priests” but not ones who taught and lived according to the True God’s direction or written revelation. They had the appearance of a people of God, they undoubtedly considered themselves people of God, but the less they continued to actively seek Him, the more they degenerated into people of godlessness, strife, confusion and even civil war.
Please, be careful to note who both here and what we earlier saw in Chapter 14, the stark example from God’s Word that His people’s rest and peace are directly related to the degree to which they revere and adhere to community worship and His revealed Word.
Might, dare I ask, this same principle (and our failures to uphold it) be related to much of the unrest and conflict we see throughout God’s people in America in our day? Just a thought.
Well, bugger, that’s all a pretty depressing realization, huh? Just what are God’s people to do when they wake up one day and realize ’that’s us, ’our community,’ ’our time’?
In other words, it’s not over and it doesn’t have to be this way. Getting discouraged, giving up and continuing to argue and fight amongst yourselves is NOT the answer. Rather, be strong, continue to press on in seeking the Lord, joining Him together with one another in communal worship, and in studying and living out His Word. Persevere in these works, according to the Spirit of God who has been given you, and in time you WILL see the reward!
II.) EXPERIENCING SPIRITUAL RENOVATION (vv. 8, 16)
In v. 8, we see Asa immediately taking these words and challenge from God seriously and boldly leading himself and the people to seek and achieve spiritual renovation.
Not only do Asa and the people accomplish this themselves, but they show us what we too must do to experience spiritual revival! Together, we must do so . . .