Have you ever had anything around your house or yard that broke or fell into disrepair? Did you ever let said thing just sit there? Many of us do. We put off what could be done today until tomorrow. The next thing you know, years have passed and that thing is still sitting there broken. Your spouse may ask you to throw it away, but you insist that you’re going to repair it. Part of the problem is that when it broke, you created a workaround for not using it. You turned to something else that may not be as effective, but you got used to it. The truth is you forget the other item until it’s brought up again, and again, and again. Then one day, you repair it and you wonder why you let so much time go by before you did.
After Solomon died, there were a series of kings in Israel. The kingdom split in two where Israel was in the north and Judah was in the south. Judah contained Jerusalem where the Temple was. However, there were many kings who didn’t follow God’s Law and the Temple fell into disrepair. Then Asa became king and He pleased God with how He lived. When an army attacked, he turned to God for help and God gave them a victory when defeat was certain. After they returned to Jerusalem, the prophet Azariah came and told Asa that for a long time they had abandoned God. If they would return to Him, He would continue to protect them, provide for them and reward them. When Asa heard this, he got rid of all the idols in the land. Them 2 Chronicles 15:8 says, “He also repaired the altar of the Lord that stood in the Temple courtyard” (GNT).
When I read that, I couldn’t help but think of my own life. There are times when I quit relying on God and do things myself. I create work around for the power of God in my life and I walk past the broken altar to Him doing things my way instead. I believe we all go through these times, but God is calling me and you back to repair the altar in our life. He’s drawing us back into the prayer closet, back into quality time with Him, back into His Word and back into relationship with Him. Like Asa, if we will return to that place with God, His promises will return to our life. It’s time that each of us go back to the altar, repair it and draw closer to God. I believe the time is getting short and we can’t afford to serve Him just using our work arounds or solely out of habit or ritual. We must return to our first love and serve Him whole heartedly, and that begins with returning to the altar of the Lord in our life and repairing it.
We’ve all been in a situation where we were outnumbered, outgunned and facing nsurmountable odds. It’s stressful to be in that place. Questions fill your mind causing you to doubt and to wonder if you’re in God’s will or not. Your fight or flight mechanism begins to kick in and it likes the flight option. In those moments, we have to be guided by our faith and not our fear. Moments like these are designed to build our faith and to grow our trust in God. If we run, we not only give into fear, but we lose an opportunity to grow our faith. God allows us to be in situations like this because He’s looking to grow our relationship. These pressure situations should cause our roots to go down deeper into Him.
In 2 Chronicles 14, Asa became king of Judah. After a long line of kings who disobeyed God, he changed course. He tore down the pagan altars his predecessors had built and turned the people toward God. There was peace during much of his reign, but it didn’t last. An Ethiopian came out against him with a million man army compared to his of just over half a million. He was thrust into one of those, “God, what’s going on? Aren’t I doing everything right” moments. He was outnumbered and outgunned, but his faith remained strong. He went out to meet the Ethiopian army head on knowing God was able to bring victory, and was willing to stand firm and fight even if God didn’t show up.
In verse 11 he prayed, “O LORD, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and the weak; so help us, O LORD our God, for we trust in and rely on You” (AMP). Not only did he show up for the battle, he placed the outcome in God’s hands instead of his. There is an underlying peace in the turmoil when we give up our control of the outcome. It doesn’t make sense to let go, and often it goes against everything in us, but either God is going to step in or He’s not. Is your faith prepared either way? Even if he doesn’t deliver you or cause things to go “your way”, will you still trust Him? That’s the point we all must come to in faith. If we trust God is in control of the outcome, then we must determine ahead of time that whatever happens should deepen our faith not destroy it.