Title: Clean House (Get ready for God to move)
Text: 2 Chron 14:2-15
Intro: I was watching a TV commercial the other morning for Public Storage. The seen was women going into the garage but all that you saw was clutter and no place left to put anything else in, move or even to go inside. You didn’t even know what she was looking for in the garage until she pressed her car alarm trying to find her car among the clutter. She could not see the car nor get to it because other stuff that occupied the space that was reserved for the car. My brothers and sisters, when I looked at this commercial I could not help but think about how much stuff we put in the space that should only be reserve for God. We want God to move in our lives but we have too much stuff blocking Him or we have things in our lives that hinder us from getting to him. If this is case, it is time to clean house so God can have room to move on your behalf. If you want a move of God in your life you are going to have to move some things first. Pause.
Our story today is about the reign of King Asa of Judah after the Davidic Kingdom is divided. Here in verse 2 we see something about King Asa’s character. The text says that he did what was good and what was right before the Lord his God. What makes his actions so important is the fact that his predecessor, his father King Abijah did not do what was right before God. His daddy didn’t love God. First Kings 15 tells us that King Abijah walked in the sins of his father and his heart was not devoted to the Lord his God. But King Asa did. This tells me a something. That just because my parents act a certain way and did certain things that are not pleasing to God that does not mean that I have to do it. I can make my own decisions to do right by the Lord. King Asa did right in God’s eyes. He had a life pleasing to God. He was upright with a heart for God like his father David who was a man after God own heart. What I am trying to say about King Asa is that he had the heart of a worshipper. Being a worshipper is a lifestyle. Worship is one’s heart expression of love, adoration and praise to God with an attitude and acknowledgement of God’s supremacy and Lordship. King Asa’s action proved that God was first and foremost in his life. Church, our actions should tell likewise. However, this is not the case with many of us who call ourselves believers. We put everything and everybody on the throne of God therefore not worshiping Him as the Lord of our lives. Moses in the OT and Jesus in the NT tells us to love the Lord with all your heart with all your soul and with all your might. This is essence of worship. Somebody might be saying “rev I worship, I praise, I clap, I say my thank you Jesus’. This is not worship my friend. We get it twisted. There is a difference between praise and worship. Praise is a vocalize expressing of glorifying and exalting God and also directed to others about God. Worship is your intimate connection that moves us to the faith realm of His presence. The act of worship satisfies both our desire to honor God and His desire for us to be fulfilled. If you can imagine a puppy dog coming up to his owner with bright eyes and licks of affection which says “you are the most important person in the world to me. I am here to serve you and obey everything you say. Through a stick and I will fetch it” This how we should be our attitude when we worship God. True worship must have a singular focus on God. Everything else must be removed or set aside so the worshiper can come face to face with the Lord. This is what King Asa does. Look at what he does in verse 3. “For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and break down the images and cut down the groves:” He removed from Judah any type of idol. Anything man made image or idolatrous worship apparatus was removed. He took everything away to make room for the true and living God. My brothers and sister we have to do the same thing. The Lord must be predominant in our lives.
Know that God is a gentleman. He won’t fight for space or our attention. That is why He does not compete with you sin. He just turns you over it. When we consciously sin in essence we are saying we want it more than we want Him. He is not going to sit around and be second while everything else is first (your job, position, money, you). His presence will not be there. He is God alone. He doesn’t need you. You need him. If you want God to reign in your life, you got to make some room. You may have to remove some stuff physically, but it first starts with remove stuff in your heart. You got to open up your heart and clear the way so King can come in!
Not only do we have to remove some things for God to move in our lives, we have seek and obey God. Look at verse 4. King Asa commands Judah to seek the Lord God… and to do the law and commandment. First of all, when we seek God we will find Him. But in essence He finds us when we worship. Jesus tells us that when we worship in Spirit and in truth, he actually He seeks us. Worship sends a SOS to God! It puts you immediately in His presence. But seeking God is not going to doing anything if we don’t obey what we find in Him. Obedience is the key to having favor with God. When you obey you are lining up to the will of God. You are connected to the source as vine is connected to the branches. This connection releases blessing and power! So if you want power you got to stay connected. Your obedience to God’s word is that connection. But look at the benefits thru King Asa of a worshiper who of removes stuff, seeks and obeys God. The text tells us in verse 5b that the kingdom was quiet. How many of you just want some peace and quiet in your life? How many of you just want all the fightimg and frustration to stop even just for a little while? King Asa had peace for ten years. He brought presence of God back to Judah and God gave him rest and peace for a season. Before this Judah had been at war because of disobedience and idol worship. This warns us to check ourselves if we are at war. Maybe we are disobedience and our worship ain’t right? This may be the cause of some of your strife and problems in your life.
Even though God’s presence is everywhere and His goodness is all round, we still have to war with enemy. King Asa knew this. In verse 6 King Asa shows great leadership skills while his kingdom was quiet and had rest from war. King Asa used this time wisely by doing some preventative maintenance for any attack. The text says that he built fenced cities at this time. Rest does not constitute complacency. Rest is a necessary temporal condition so we can refocus and be refreshed so we can live, serve and even fight effectively spiritually. My beloved always take time to strengthen anything that is weak in your life. The enemy looks to attack your weakness. So while you are getting your rest, build up your strength to protect yourself! Verse 7 tells us that King Asa built walls, towers, gates and bars. We have to do the same spiritually. My beloved start building walls to fortify your life. Build towers of prayer so you can see the enemy coming. Put up gates not allowing certain things to come in your space. Build bars to protect your openings. If you do this, like king Asa you will prosper in your life.
Every king has army in his kingdom. Verse 8 tells us that King Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah with body sized shields and spears and 280,000 men from the tribe of Benjamin with shields and bows. These knew how fight and protect themselves and their country. And the text says they were mighty men of valor. They had the ability to handle their business. God is looking for the men here at Tried Stone to know how fight and protect in the Spirit and to handle their business in the kingdom. But let’s look deeper at these men. We know Judah means praise. Benjamin means the son of my right hand. The right hand is symbol of blessing and power. God wants an army of men who know how praise and who have power. That only comes when you open up your heart of God through worship.
All that King Asa has done until now was preparation for what was coming next. That is a message for somebody. All you have been going thru is just to prepare you for what God has for you next! Verse 9 tells us that Zeran and his Ethiopian army came against King Asa with 1million soldiers and 300 chariots. King Asa and Judah were not only out numbered (580000 vs. 1m) but also they had more power (chariots) than the king. Your enemies always seem more powerful than you. But you have to always factor in your God. Look what King Asa does. Verse 10 tells us that he does not run from his enemies but he confronts them. God did not give you a spirit of fear. When you are right with God you have the confidence to face your foes without any worry. Verse 11 shows of one of the elements of worshiper’s lifestyle, a prayer life. Before King Asa did anything, He went to God first in prayer. Prayer should be our first move in dealing with the enemy. Don’t you dare move unless you move God with prayer. The king cried out Lord! It is nothing for you to help whether with many or with those who have on power; help us for we rest upon you. We don’t fight for our name but we go in your name. You are God. Let no man prevail against you! King Asa shows his trust and faith in the Lord in time of trouble. Not matter what the problem is, there is nothing to hard for your God. When you pray you got to believe that God is all powerful and will show up on your behalf. Look at the result of the king’s prayer. Verse 12 says the Lord smote the Ethiopians. Not king or the army but the Lord did it. The battle is not yours but the Lord’s. The Lord slew enemy but gave Judah the victory. God will fight your battles and you will always come out the winner. The text says Judah overthrew the Ethiopians and all the surrounding cities and took much spoil. And the fear of the Lord came upon them all. They were in awe about what God has done. This is what always happens when there is a strong move of God. There is an awe when His presence is here!
My beloved, your worship moves God to fight your battles. He will give you the victory but may just have to fight to the finish. But if you finish the fight you will get a reward. You will get the enemy’s stuff. Like King Asa you will take much of the enemy’s spoil. The enemy has you joy. Take it etc. Love, take it etc.
Celebration: King Asa made room for God by removing everything that would be in God’s way. Nothing or nobody should be on His throne. Remove that mess. Remove that attitude. Remove it so God can move! Clean house so God can come in. Theologically, what he did was reformation. He made a shift in what Judah worshiped and focused on the Lord his God. And the true and living God showed up. When Jesus died on the cross, He caused a shift in how we worship. He beat death and the grave. He sent us the Holy Spirit so His presence is always with us. But Holy Spirit can only move if there is a shift in the atmosphere. You have to shift something around so you make room for the Lord with praise and worship. And we can feel the awe of His presence! Make the Shift! Shift your focus! Shift your trust! Shift your faith! And when God shows up it is revival time! If you want revival to start; worship! Open your heart! Yield to the move of the Spirit. Feel His presence. And worship the Lord!