Today at church we were reading the story of King Asa in 2 Chronicles. King Asa started his rule well. He commanded his people to worship God, he trusted in God to help him win battles, and he relied on God’s strength. But as we see in 2 Chronicles 16, Asa starts relying on his own strength. Instead of trusting God, he tries to make a trade in order to escape an enemy. He forgets where his success came from and forgets God had been with him.
I know that God is always present in our lives and always offers a source of strength. But I’ve also realized that sometimes, it’s easier to pretend that God is not here or real or present because it allows us to maintain our complacency. It allows us to ignore the consequences that can arise from our actions, and lets us hide in our own weakness and shame and sin.
After that trade, King Asa went downhill. He was angry with the prophet who pointed out his sin, and oppressed his own people. He was afflicted with a disease in his feet, but even though his disease was severe, he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians. (2 Chronicles 16:12). I’m sure part of Asa knew that God was the answer. But his heart was so hard that he didn’t ask God for help and ended up dying.
While I definitely acknowledge God’s presence in many areas of my life, I’ve gotten into the habit of excluding Him from certain areas – areas where there is more hurt and bitterness and pride – because it seems easier to just stay where I’m at. It seems easy to cling to my anger and pain. I know that once I truly acknowledge God’s presence, the next logical step is to trust Him and trust that He is in control. That requires letting go of my understanding and will. That requires changing myself.
I don’t want to be – I don’t think any of us want to be – like King Asa. But there are still areas of my life that I don’t want to relinquish. In those areas, I don’t have faith that what God has in store for me is greater than anything I could dream. I don’t have faith that He could win those battles for me (which is silly, since He’s fought many battles for me before). But I pray that God will see the part of me that wants to change and that He will tug on that string. And then, in time, He will teach me to fully let go and trust Him.