Asa was the son of Abijah and became king of Judah when his father died. Asa did right in the sight of God by removing foreign matter, sacred pillars and symbols of the goddess Asherah.
Zerah, the Ethiopian, brought an army of a million men against Asa, who had an army almost half that size at 580,000. But Asa trusted in God, calling out to him and magnifying His name.
God, being ever faithful, routed the Ethiopians and sent Azariah the son of Oded with words of wisdom. Azariah said “Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.
Asa and the people gave their hearts to God and God blessed them with peace. Many of us as new Christians are so overjoyed, we give thanks to God, we praise Him, and we worship Him with all that is in us. But there is a mighty lesson to be learned from Asa. When Baasha, king of Israel came against Judah, where did Asa turn?
Asa turned to Ben-hadad, king of Aram. Asa sent silver and gold to Ben-hadad asking him to make a treaty with him and to break his treaty with Baasha. Ben-hadad agreed and Baasha stopped coming against Judah.
God then sent Hanani to Asa saying that because he relied on man and not on God that there would be wars.
Asa then became severely diseased in his feet. But still, Asa did not seek God to heal him, but trusted in the physicians instead. Two years after becoming diseased Asa died. (2 Chronicles 14,15,16)
Even after trusting in and seeing what God can do, Asa still did not put his trust in God. One would think that after God routed an army twice the size of their own and blessed them with so many years of peace that they would trust in the Lord when the next person came against them. But they didn’t.
People today seem to be the same way. They see the wondrous things that God can do and they but when trouble comes, they turn to man and not God for help. Some have even read the entire Bible many times and even memorized many, many verses, but still turn to man for help.
Even Jesus noted this of the Galileans, saying “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe.”(John 4:48)
There are some who seem to need to see proof all the time that God is with them. There also seem to be some who just take the Word of God for granted, assuming it to be true, but not necessarily believing it. These are the ones we call Doubting Thomases. Thomas was a disciple with great courage, but when it came to believing Christ had risen, he refused to believe it unless he saw it for his own eyes.
So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” John 20:25
After all they had done and seen together, you would think that Thomas would believe what the others told him. But he wouldn’t, he required proof. And proof he received as Jesus stood before him.
Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” John 20:27
Thomas then believed what the disciples had tried to tell him and he became an example to us. We are to believe without needing to see.
but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:31
God has given us the entire Bible so we can see His truth and believe. Each person, place or event is an example to us of things which God can do in our own lives, in our own situations. But it is more than just reading the words, it’s about living them.
The Lord put something on my heart at one time. There is head knowledge and there is heart knowledge.
Head knowledge is to know what the Word of God says and heart knowledge is to believe it. Heart knowledge is faith.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Assurance [Hupostasis (hoop-os’-tas-is)] means to be steadfast; to be firmly fixed in place.
Your assurance that God loves you is the sacrifice He made for you, so that you may have life. To hope for something means to cherish a desire with anticipation. To have hope is to look forward to something with the expectation that you will receive it.
This is your hope – to have a life of love with the Lord. Your assurance in having this life is through Christ. Christ is the cornerstone of our foundation (Ephesians 2:20) and as a person I know likes to say, “When He is firmly fixed in your heart, you know, that you know, what you know.… and HE AIN’T GOIN’ NOWHERE!” With Christ firmly fixed in our hearts and our eyes fix on God, we can be assured that all things are possible. We, as part of the body of Christ, are to build on that foundation. We are called to be steadfast in Spirit and help others to see the true love that God has for all people.
Conviction [Elegchos(el’-eng-khos)] is to have a strong belief, to be convinced.
When you are convinced of something, you know it to be true. God not only gave us the Bible, but He gave His only Son so we could come to know of His true love for us. Each event is something we have not seen, but it is written so we could believe through the eyes of another.
In Matthew 17:14-21 the disciples had tried to cast a demon out of a boy, but they could not. When the disciples asked why they couldn’t Jesus responded by saying “Because of the littleness of your faith.” He goes on to say that you can move mountains with the faith the size of a mustard seed, but only by prayer and fasting.
The stronger your faith, the closer you get to God, the more you can accomplish. When you have a strong faith, you can heal the sick, cast out demons and yes, even raise the dead, just as Peter did with Tabitha. Acts 9:40
That is some awesome mountain moving faith!
The last thing the Lord put on my heart about faith, is that you must have faith in who you are – to God, not man.
You must recognize Christ in you and you must allow the Spirit of God to lead you and guide you. Man will hate you and reject you, but God is always faithful.
If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. John 15:19
All through the Bible the people of God were rejected and persecuted, but God always saw them through.
Just look at Paul (Acts 14:19-20), Stephen (Acts 7:54-60), Daniel (Daniel 6:16-23) and one of my favorites Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego (Daniel 3:21-26). These few are just a sampling, but there is so much more than this small sample.
God really has done some pretty awesome things – and He still is! But do you see God in the events of today, in the flooding, the hurricanes, and the earthquakes? Do you see God delivering people when mines collapse or car accidents occur? Do you see God when babies are born, when the sun shines and even when the flowers bloom or when the snow falls to the ground?
Just as God said to Asa, “Seek Me and you will find Me”. If Asa had continued to turn to God and not man to help him to conquer those coming against him and if Asa repented and turned to God to heal his diseased feet, I think Asa would have lived many more years in the peacefulness of the Lord. But he did not have even a mustard seed of faith to a least think of seeking God’s help.
It is faith that leads you to believe that God is faithful and true to His word. It is faith that will shield you against the schemes of the devil. It is faith that helps you to believe that God will heal and protect you, guide you and keep you, and absolutely love you beyond all measure.
It is faith that leads you to seek God in all things, good or bad. And when you seek Him… God is ever faithful and you will find Him.