Abijah rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. His son Asa became king in his place. During his reign the land experienced peace for 10 years. 2 Asa did what was good and right in the sight of the Lord his God. 3 He removed the pagan altars and the high places. He shattered their sacred pillars and chopped down their Asherah poles. 4 He told the people of Judah to seek the Lord God of their ancestors and to carry out the instruction and the commands. 5 He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah, and the kingdom experienced peace under him. 2 Chronicles 14:1-5
Bigger and better always seems to be the way the world judges value and success. Who has the tallest buildings, biggest house, bank account or company? I love how this scripture from 2 Chronicles speaks of Asa removing the pagan alters and “high places” of Judah. Asa loved God and knew that by following His ways and laws it would lead to blessings of peace, rest and abundance.
Because the land experienced peace, Asa built fortified cities in Judah. No one made war with him in those days because the Lord gave him rest. 2 Chronicles 14:6
“High places” were the places of worship that the people of Judah had created to glorify their false gods and idols. As Asa’s predecessors found out, when we take the one true God, our Creator, and demote Him from the high place in our own lives things tend to fall apart. Quickly, we see the benefits of rest, peace and blessings fall away from us. Honoring anything or anyone above the one true God can have devastating effects that ripple through our lives.
I often stop and check my heart for idols. They can be so sneaky and slip in undetected! Stopping to ponder and pinpoint what has taken up residence in the high place, where only God should dwell, is vital to a strong relationship with our Father. Sometimes, either without my realizing or by own fault, I’ve placed finances, worry, fear, self or schedules over God. Reflecting daily on the condition of our hearts can help us serve God as Asa did and keep God in the appropriate place in our lives. For when we do, even in the midst of the biggest obstacles and trials we can count on strength, courage and protection from the Lord. Just as Asa did when his army of 580,000 came up against an army of one million and cried out, “Lord, there is no one besides You to help the mighty and those without strength. Help us, Lord our God, for we depend on You, and in Your name we have come against this large army. Yahweh, You are our God. Do not let a mere mortal hinder You.” (2 Chronicles 14:11)
As we close today I ask you to prayerfully consider (along with me) these questions:
- When you need direction, discernment, strength and courage do you seek God or someone (or something) else?
- Do you believe in your heart that there is NO ONE besides our God who should reside in the “high place” of your life?
I pray you can answer yes to these most of the days of your life, but if you can’t please know that through prayer, discipline and study God will defeat the idols that have taken over residence of your “high place”. He desires to always be your guide, protector and comforter. Every single day is a battle to keep God in our high place, but He can break through the darkness with His light.