Monday, July 16, 2012

1 Kings 15:25-16:34; 2 Chronicles 17: A Cheered Heart With Courage

2 Chronicles 17:6a
Amplified Bible (AMP)

6 His 
[Jehoshaphat] heart was cheered and his courage was high in the ways of the Lord;... 

What do you think it means to have a cheered heart with courage high in the ways of the Lord?

It sounds wonderful, doesn't it?

How do we get cheered hearts with courage high in the ways of the Lord?

2 Chronicles 17:3-4
Amplified Bible (AMP)

3 The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he walked in the first ways of his father [David]. He did not seek the Baals

4 But sought and yearned with all his desire for the Lord, the God of his father, and walked in His commandments and not after the ways of Israel.

2 Chronicles 17:6b
Amplified Bible (AMP)

...moreover, he took away the high places and the Asherim out of Judah.

  • Walk in the ways of David
David was known as a man after God's own heart.  He submitted his life to God and worshiped Him ignoring societal restraints.  David prayed, praised, sang, danced to and for God, and when he messed up, he asked for forgiveness and changed his ways.  David took his relationship with the Lord seriously, and so did Jehoshaphat.

  • No personal idolatry
Jehoshaphat understood that seeking after baals was wrong.  Although most of us have never bowed before an idol, how many times have we placed our trust in and sought after the things of this world before seeking after God.  This is idolatry in its subtle form.  We can't trust in our job to provide the money we need to live; we trust in God our Provider.  We can't trust in medicine to heal our disease; we trust in God our Healer who has blessed man with medical knowledge.  No possession can give us peace, only the One Who is Peace! 

  • Seek and yearn for the Lord with all our soul
To me that means keeping our hearts tuned into God.  Listening and desiring just a word from Him, stirs my affections from Him.  God is always encouraging in one way or another...through people, in nature, by circumstances, through dreams, etc.  Tuning into God, means we never tune Him out.

  • Walk out His commandments
OBEY, period!

  • Remove the idols from place of influence
Of course, most of us don't have the power of a king to single-handedly remove idolatry from our nation with one command, but we do have God's power in us to change the environment around us with each word and deed.  People do notice a life sold out to God and are convicted to change their lives, whether or not any words are exchanged.  

Am I there yet?  No, but I am walking in that direction with Jesus by my side.

Empower us to be pleasing all the days of our lives, Lord.  Thank You, Lord, for cheering hearts and giving courage in Your ways.  We appreciate all that You do for us.  All for the love of Jesus, AMEN!!!

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