Focal passage: 2 Chronicles 15:1-9
Pastoral ministry can be really hard. In fact, there are all kinds of situations that church members, pastors and others face that would be humanly impossible to deal with if God were not supplying that strength and courage that only He can give. Those times demand that you recognize and depend on God’s strength and walk in a courage that only He can give.
The more dangerous times, however, are when things seem to be going smoothly.
In those times, it is easy to become complacent, or self-confident, rather than continuing to walk in faith and obedience. It is not a courage based on your own strength, but on God’s strength and faithfulness.
Asa had walked faithfully with God. Chapter 14 shows his willingness to go beyond all that the previous kings had done in removing idolatry and trusting God to provide for and protect His people.
God had blessed that faithfulness, as He promised in Deuteronomy 28-29. Now God sent the prophet Azariah (only mentioned here in the scripture) to King Asa to challenge him not to become complacent or over-confident, but rather to go on walking in obedience and in the courage that comes from knowing God is sovereign and in control.
Asa would heed the word of the Lord through the prophet. He walked in God-given courage and went to even greater lengths to lead the nation away from anything that was not pleasing to God, removing any remaining idols and repairing the altar of God.
This lesson is not just important for pastors and leaders. It is important for all followers of Jesus. God, in Christ, has overcome even our greatest enemies – sin and death. His Spirit now lives within us to empower us and give us the power and courage to walk in faith and obedience to Him. Whether in good times or challenging times, our need is the same – to walk in dependence on, and courage from, our great and powerful and faithful God.