Fortify yourself in the Lord

“And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God: …

And commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment.

Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images: and the kingdom was quiet before him.

And he built fenced cities in Judah: for the land had rest, and he had no war in those years; because the LORD had given him rest.

Therefore he said unto Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us; because we have sought the LORD our God, we have sought him, and he hath given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered.

And Asa had an army of men that bare targets and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bare shields and drew bows, two hundred and fourscore thousand: all these were mighty men of valour.” (2 Chronicles 14:2, 4-8)

In this scripture, we see that as soon as Asa became king he quickly got busy doing what was pleasing to God by destroying  idolatry in Judah.  While destroying the idolatry he commanded Judah to follow God’s laws (who says morality can’t be legislated?).  As a reward for his diligence, the Lord blessed him with a period of rest.  But during that period of rest, Asa refused to rest on his laurels and got busy making his kingdom strong and prosperous.  It’s a good thing he kept busy because not too long afterwards, a mighty enemy came to try to destroy Judah.

As believers in Christ, we should follow Asa’s example.  If we are faithful on a regular basis doing what is pleasing to God, such as casting down imaginations in our own lives that exalt themselves against God and bringing our fleshly nature under subjection, he will bless us with periods of ease and rest where we have virtually no major problems.  During those times, we must not become lazy but use that restful period to build ourselves up in the Lord.  In the same way Asa strengthened his kingdom, we must strengthen our spirit man by doing things like meditating on the word, staying instant in prayer, fasting, and being of service to others, especially to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

One reason God allows us such periods of rest is because he knows somewhere down the road we will face a situation that is tougher than our previous situations and he wants us to have some preparation time before we are thrust into it.  Asa was wise in fortifying his kingdom in godliness because when the enemy came to destroy him, his faith in the Lord was strong.  He knew he could just call on God for help, which he did, and God would supply the victory.  Our times of rest, when used with that same wisdom, supplies us with such strong faith that no matter how powerful the enemy or situation that comes against us may look, we know without a doubt that the Lord will give us victory when we call on him.

–Harry A. Gaylord–

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