Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2 Chronicles 9-12

King Solomon becomes well-known, far and wide, for his great wisdom, and then things go downhill for Israel as his son, Rehoboam, takes over as king (2 Chronicles 9-12).  These chapters are the beginnings of Israel's self-defeating and self-centered choices as a nation as they abandon God's Word for their lives.  God's people become divided on so many levels.  It is a struggle to find good and faithful leadership. 

As I think through these chapters from today's reading I go back and forth.  Gosh.  Life was so good with David and Solomon in Israel.  And then, things take a quick turn for the worse as soon as Solomon is gone.  What happened?  And how can we relate Israel's struggle to our own lives? 

As much as I'd love to be able to say that Israel and God's people then are nothing like my country and God's people today, I know we have these same exact struggles in our faith.

We have this innate tendency to get caught up in seeking "the good life" instead of seeking the source of all that we are and all that we have.

That's what happens to Rehoboam, Solomon's son...

14 He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord.

How do we guard ourselves against continuing to make these same mistakes day to day?  What does it mean for us to "set" our hearts on "seeking the Lord?" right now, wherever we are in this life God has given us?  

Something hit me today as I read over this verse again and again.  Setting our hearts on seeking the Lord has to begin with our mindsets.  It takes determination and intentionality on our parts.  We have to work to be mind-maker-uppers with God.  

And I don't know about you, but when I get caught up in the craziness of my day to day stuff, it is way too easy to "exempt" God from my immediate circumstances.  

The good news is that we know God loves us no matter what, and He also knows how easily we become disconnected from Him.  So, we don't have to rely on our own capabilities and powers to keep our hearts on Him and seek Him.  We can pray ourselves through our day.

If I think back to King David and King Solomon, that's the secret to their faithfulness.  

The more we pray, the more God can show us His way...

Dear God,

I am thankful today for the lessons and guidance you reveal to our hearts through Your Holy and Living Word.  Forgive me for all the ways I "exempt" You from what is right in front of me, in quick and "heated" moments. 

I especially struggle with _________________________.     

I know You are in my midst waiting to lovingly counsel me and transform my life with Your glory.  I pray for Your help.  I know I need You to fill my mind and help me stay focused on You.  Be with me, Lord, in all that I do, and give me a strong sense of Your direction for my words and actions.

Speak to me loud and clear, God.
What do You need me to do today?  Who needs my prayers?

Mold me and shape me, Lord, so that all the facets of my life are a reflection of Your perfect love.  Use my life to draw my family, my friends, my neighbors, my acquaintances, and even strangers closer to You.  Make my faith contagious and life-giving for others.

You are my rock and my strength.

In the name of Jesus I pray,

Christ's peace,

*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.


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