There is no place for coasting when it comes to faithfulness.
We can’t push the accelerator to the floorboard of faith in order to cruise down the highway of holiness and then take our eyes off the road and foot off the gas AND expect to roll right into glory.
We’ve got to keep pressing into spiritual growth and spiritual service until we leave this life.
Simply stated, there is to be no retirement from faithfulness.
If we start coasting too early, there will be a steep price.
I was reminded of this fact this morning while reading my Bible. In 2 Chronicles 16, a formerly good king for the southern kingdom of Judah made a very bad decision that was nothing like the many good decisions he had made earlier in his reign.
For 35 years, King Asa had led the people into a closer walk with God and had prayed to the Lord before making important decisions and had called his subjecrts to trust God with all of their hearts.
But then something changed in Asa’s heart and he no longer felt the need to trust God.
When the arch-enemy nation of Israel (the name of the northern kingdom during Israel’s divided years) started building a large fortress to allow an economic blockade of Judah from its trading partners to the north, Asa didn’t pray to God as he had during other times of threat and turmoil.
Instead, Asa trusted his gold and hired a thug king and his army to attack Israel.
The plan worked in a worldly sense. Israel abandoned the unfinished fortress and, temporarily, Asa and Judah were safe.
But God was furious that Asa had turned to a pagan king for help rather than to the God who had done so much — sometimes in miraculous ways — to help Judah.
God sent a prophet named Hanani to Asa with a message and the king then made his situation worse.
“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.”
“Asa became so angry with Hanani for saying this that he threw him into prison and put him in stocks. At that time, Asa also began to oppress some of his people.” (vv. 9-10)
More than three decades of memories regarding God’s grace, provision and faithfulness were ignored in Asa’s latter-day refusal to repent.
It got even worse.
Verse 12 tells of Asa developing a serious foot disease three years later that would have prompted any believer to press into the Lord in prayer. But not Asa. He was still mad.
Verse 12 says that Asa did not pray to God but instead “turned only to his physicians.”
Within two years, he was dead.
So many years of faithfulness and spiritual victory. And then a spiritually tragic ending.
Let’s keep pressing forward until the Lord lifts us upward. Let’s reject Satan’s lie that we can coast into heaven.
As always, I love you