2 Chronicles 15:7
New Living Translation
7 But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.”
But for you be strong and full of confidence and courage for what you do will be honored and rewarded
Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your awork shall be rewarded.
Breaking Into A Fresh Season With God (2 Chronicles 15:7)
January 16, 2019 Nate Holdridge
Breaking Into A Fresh Season With God (2 Chronicles 15:7) Nate Holdridge
Breaking Into A Fresh Season With God (2 Chronicles 15:7)
“But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.” (2 Chronicles 15:7 ESV).
King Asa was a good and godly king. He sought the Lord when trouble came upon the land, and he experienced firsthand the power of God in battle. After a trademark victory over the massive Ethiopian army, Asa was confronted by a prophet named Azariah. He told Asa to seek the Lord. “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,” Azariah said. He went on to describe past seasons in Israel’s history when they and their leadership wandered from God. Always, dark days followed, for “in those times there was no peace.” So, the prophet said, “Take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”
Asa knew what Azariah meant. Quickly, he acted as the spiritual leader of Israel, bringing them into a fresh season of dependence upon the living God. He forged a path for Judah to seek the Lord. Perhaps, as we observe his story, our modern minds can glean a thing or two about how to seek God today.
1. Took Courage
“As soon as Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded, he took courage…” (2 Chronicles 15:8 ESV).
The prophet had told him to take courage, for boldness and conviction and power were all there for the taking, but Asa had to reach out and grab them. Take courage, the prophet said. Asa did. He became bold for the task. If we desire to seek the Lord we must also take courage. Set the alarm clock to give yourself some time for prayer. Set down the remote control to give yourself time for reading. Confront the lie that you will start next week, especially if you’ve said it a thousand times before. Take courage. Grab it and let the Spirit put it in the marrow of your soul. Tackle the project. Become bold for the task of seeking your God.
2. Put Away Idols
“…and put away the detestable idols…” (2 Chronicles 15:8 ESV).
Before approaching the altar of God for worship, Asa knew there were idols in the land he had to destroy. He recognized Israel’s worship was convoluted, intermingled with the gods of the nations around them. What a picture of our modern day! When a believer sets the priorities and convictions and status symbols of the world right next to God and his word, they have introduced modern idolatry. “Little children,” John wrote, “keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21). Cast out that which must be destroyed.
3. Repaired The Altar
“…and he repaired the altar of the LORD…” (2 Chronicles 15:8 ESV).
With haste, Asa then repaired the altar. For them, the altar was the place they would daily interact with God. The worshipper would come and there, at the altar, offer sacrifice and praise unto God. For the altar to be in a state of disrepair meant they couldn’t even take the first step in seeking the Lord. The thousands of beautiful gifts God had for them would remain undiscovered as long as the altar lay in a state of disuse. To me, the sacrificial altar of Israel is representative of the relationship with God the cross of Christ has enabled. Cursed for us on his tree, Jesus made the way for us to enter into countless avenues of blessing from God. When I sit to engage with God, I feel enabled to do so by the blood of Jesus.
4. Gathered People
“And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin…They were gathered at Jerusalem…They sacrificed to the LORD on that day…And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD…” (2 Chronicles 15:9–12 ESV).
Asa then rounded up the people of God for worship. They came and sacrificed and vowed to seek the LORD. They decided to be a generation which loved and pursued God. Sometimes the spiritual leader must gather. The church is to spread but is also to gather. We are to go into the highways and byways, as Jesus taught, and invite people to his great feast. We are to go into all the world with the aim of making disciples. We are to meet from house to house, spread throughout our community. But we are also to gather. We are to come together for times of praise and prayer, study and Scripture, service and generosity.
5. Removed the Queen Mother
“Even Maacah, his mother, King Asa removed from being queen mother because she had made a detestable image for Asherah. Asa cut down her image, crushed it, and burned it at the brook Kidron.” (2 Chronicles 15:16 ESV).
One final, and challenging, task remained. Asa’s own mother had introduced the worship of Asherah into Judah. It was, as chronicled, a detestable image. Asa cut down that idol and removed her from her position as queen-mother. Her authority was rescinded. Sometimes, in seeking the Lord, there is a major obstacle which, though tough to deal with, must eventually be touched. It might be a sin to breakthrough or a relationship to break off, but it must go.
Asa would not always do the right thing as Israel’s king, but this was a great start to a good king’s reign. Let us emulate him and take up the boldness the Spirit has for us and allow him to revive our bodies and souls for the glory of God.
2 CHRONICLES 15:7
December 20, 2021
But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.
By David Wilkerson
With all the talk in the church about spiritual warfare, too many Christians have not learned how to resist the enemy. In fact, few believers know how to stand up and fight, and they become real pushovers for the devil.
The book of Judges tells us, “The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years” (Judges 6:1-2). Every year at harvest time, the Midianites moved over Israel’s land with thousands of camels, sheep and cattle that ate everything in sight, leaving Israel completely impoverished. They were driven to living in dark caves and damp dens, starving, scared and helpless. Then something happened! After seven years of this, the Israelites cried out to the Lord (Judges 6:6-7).
A man named Gideon had grown weary and exasperated at the situation. The Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” (Judges 6:12). Gideon questioned this Angel: “Well, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? How long should we just put up with it? We’ve been told we have a God who moved for our fathers, but look at us — helpless, living in constant fear.” The Angel said, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the [enemy]” (Judges 6:16).
Gideon gathered his army but then God made a strange request: “Send home every soldier who is afraid” (Judges 7:3). In other words, God said to Gideon, “I must have men of faith and courage! All others must pray until they develop a backbone.” That thinned out the army considerably. Still, before it was all over, Gideon had an army of strong, focused, determined fighters.
Scripture commands us to stand up, be strong, and do battle: “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13, NAS). Jesus has promised us, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). God is looking for believers today who will fight their own battles with faith and courage. He says to you, “Why do you fear? You can trust me to bring victory to your life. You are stronger than you think and, remember, I’m always with you.”
What Does John 15:7 Mean? ►
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
In a few short verse the believer is called and challenged to abide in Christ.. to abide in the Vine.. to abide in His love – to abide in ME. The vine was an important symbol, which ran through Old Testament scripture.. and Israel was the one whom Isaiah described as ‘the choicest vine.’ Israel was chosen by God to be a fruitful vine, and they were expected to bring forth good fruit for His glory.. but Israel brought forth wild grapes and had to be trampled down and laid waste.
Centuries later we are introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the exact radiance of God’s glory and identified as God’s true Vine. Christ’s life becomes the perfect fulfilment of these Old Testament shadows where God the Father continues to be the heavenly Vinedresser.. tending to the true Vine, in order to bring forth the fruit of righteousness through Him. Indeed the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.. against which there is no law – fruit which is only produced in us as we abide in Christ and He in us.
As members of Christ’s Body we are one with Him.. and our mission is to do His work on earth and bring forth the fruit of righteousness. And as branches on the true Vine we are likewise one with Christ, and are reminded many times that producing the fruit of righteousness it is not through our own efforts but only we remain in HIM and as His Word abide in us. Christ spoke only those things that He heard from the Father. Christ only did those things that he heard from the Father and in everything Christ’s prayer was translated into the desire of the Father – for He prayed: Thy will not Mine be done.
We were also told that.. on condition that we abide in Christ, and His words abide in us to, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. Not only will we produce fruit of righteousness but abiding is closely linked with the prayer of the righteous man.. and maintaining close fellowship with the Lord. But the words of our lips, the thoughts of our mind, the meditation of our heart and the prayers that we offer up to the Lord are to focus on Him and to be a reflection of His will and His greater purposes.
It is not by personal performance, might or merit that we are ‘fruitful.’ It is not by our own effort or strength that we produce the good works that glorify God.. for God is the one that not only plans our fruitfulness but He is also the One that causes us to be fruitful – as we abide in Him, and He in us.. which in time will be translated into rewards for those that are faithful.. at the judgement seat of Christ. We are to live and work and have our being in Christ.. as the old, egotistical self remains nailed to the cross.. and the beautiful mind of Christ is increasingly formed in us.
The Lord Himself enables us to be fruitful as we carry out the good works that He Himself has prepared for us to do. It is God Who works in us, through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.. and He enables us to produce good fruit to the glory of God. But the way to be fruitful in our Christian life is to abide in Christ.. to abide in the Vine.. to abide in His love – to abide in ME and I in you.
To abide in the true Vine and to have Him abide in us is two sides of the same coin. Only as we submit to God and allow Him to work His good work through us, are we enabled to live as He lived.. doing the will of the Father and bearing much fruit to His glory.. Indeed we know that we are God’s handiwork, and are created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God Himself prepared in advance for us to do.
Christ’s abiding in us is dependent on our abiding in Him. This mutual fellowship and intimate communion is conditional upon each one of us dying to self and living for Him alone.. And when we are enabled to abide in Him and He in us we will ask whatever we wish and it will be done – because our heart will reflect the heart of Christ.. our choices will reflect the will of God and our prayers will pray into the very issues that are closest to the heart of the Lord Himself.. as in His power and might we abide in Him and He in us – to His praise and glory.
Heavenly Father, thank You that I have been saved by grace through faith in Christ.. but I realise that my thoughts need to be aligned to Your thoughts… my heart needs to be reflecting Your heart.. my mind needs to become the very mind of Christ.. so that my prayers can say with honesty and faith.. Thy will not mine be done, as I pray into Your will.. so that whatsoever I ask may be done to honour You Thank You in Jesus name, AMEN.