February: A Word from the Pastor

hisFor the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. – 2 Chronicles 16:9

These word were spoken to disobedient King Asa. At the beginning of his reign, he was faithful in looking to the LORD to defeat a mighty army. The victory was not secured by the strength of Judah’s army. It was the LORD providing for His people as He had promised to do. But, in the later years of his reign, King Aza departed from the LORD. This time, when faced with a threatening army, Asa depended upon the king of Aram. Another victory was secured, but not by the Lord. So, the LORD sent the prophet Hanani to remind him of a most important truth.

Faithfulness to the Lord is the crucial factor in all of life.

The LORD accurately identified Asa’s failure as a heart problem. He was to have a SHALEM heart. This Hebrew word SHALEM has been translated in a number of ways:

NKJV… whose heart is loyal to Him
KJV… whose heart is perfect toward him
NASB …whose heart is completely His
ESV… whose heart is blameless toward Him
NIV… whose hearts are fully committed to Him

The translations are many, but the meaning is clear, Asa was to be faithful to the LORD. He was to depend upon the LORD even when enemies stood at the gates of Jerusalem. His hope was to be fixed completely on the LORD. And, this is not only true for the King, it is also true for the Christian.

It is easy for us to live with the goal of being successful in living the Christian life.

  • This is a noble goal, but it is not the right perspective.
  • Our goal is to have a heart that belongs to the Lord.
  • Faithfulness to the LORD is our highest priority.

This involves giving attention to the spiritual condition of our hearts. For out of the heart proceed the issues of life. King Asa, in the face of affliction, found his heart was seeking to be successful. He looked for soldiers and human strength to secure his safety. He forgot to keep his heart focused on the LORD. It is the LORD alone who gives the victory – and He gives that victory to those who have a SHALEM heart.

   – Gary W. Custis