2 Chronicles 16, Guard Your Heart In Your Later Years
1. A Self-Reliant Heart Keeps You From Great Victories (v1-7)
2. A Divided Heart Keeps You From God’s Blessing (v8-9)
3. An Unteachable Heart Causes You To Hurt Others (v9-10)
4. A Hardened Heart Keeps You From Seeking God (v11-14)
2 Chronicles 16, Guard Your Heart In Your Later Years
2 Chronicles 16, Guard Your Heart In Your Later Years
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Well, as we look at King Asa here in second chronicles Chapter 16, I've titled the message Guard Your Heart in your later years.
Guard your heart in your later years now King Asa.
In this last chapter is looking at the final years of his reign.
He had a good long.
Reign a little over almost 40 years of his reigning over the nation of Judah.
And he started out well, as you read the previous couple chapters, he started out walking with the Lord, serving the Lord, trusting the Lord.
He experienced really some incredible victories early on in his reign.
But here in Chapter 16 and the later part of his reign he fumbles a bit.
He doesn't trust the Lord like he used to.
He relies upon his own resources and himself and in ways that he didn't previously.
And and I I look at this and it's a warning for me as one who has been around the things of the Lord and been in the church for many years.
You can think about it, you know, in this way.
That eitha, you know, had been.
Reigning as king for 35 years, he he'd been, you know, around the things of God as an adult and and serving God for 35 years. And and then here in this chapter after 35 years.
Of walking with the Lord.
There's a stumbling that happens now.
Obviously in the time leading up to this, there was probably some issues and conditions in ECS heart that culminated in what we have here in Chapter 16.
But hopefully you you still understand that the the points that the the Lord is pulling out of this this evening and.
That is that.
That we can be around the church.
Have been born again 35 years ago. We can have some exciting and powerful testimonies and things in our past. The things that God has done and and then later on in our life as seasoned Saints.
We can stumble.
We can fumble in the walk that we have with the.
Lord and the.
Relationship with the Lord.
It's a common tale for the kings of Israel and Judah that well, primarily Judah, but but kings that started off well that did well for a good portion of their life and of their reign.
But but towards the end of their reign.
Really stumbled in in some serious ways that had some real consequences and so I want to encourage you this evening to learn from the example of Asa and guard your heart in your later years.
And by later years, I don't mean later years from now.
I mean, right now you're in your later years you have that history, you have that pass.
You're in the later years and and so make sure that you guard your heart to maintain.
And what you once had to revive, perhaps what you once had and and continue to rely upon the Lord, and look to him, just as you always have, or at once did.
I like this quote from Damien, Kyle, and teaching on this chapter.
He said we consider ourselves as spiritual as we once were in the most spiritual time of our life.
If there's ever, even if there's decades of separation from that level of spirituality, it's a great self deception.
If we stop and consider how spiritual we are, our tendency is to think well.
At one time I was this spiritual so well, that's where I'm at.
I'm that spiritual in our minds we see ourselves.
At this place, that might have been 10 years ago, it might have been 10 years since we were in that place with the Lord in that kind of relationship with God.
But ten years after that relationship hasn't been the same, we still look back.
We still are deceived in many times and and considering ourselves at that same spot, and it's a dangerous place to be like King Asa.
Thinking that we're OK thinking that we're fine and continuing on because we have those past victories, we have those successes and and great works that God has done in the past.
But, but where are we now and what is God doing in our lives right now, what is he speaking to us right now?
Where is our hearts?
When it comes to the things of the Lord.
Proverbs chapter 4 verse 23 says keep your heart with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life.
We need to keep our heart and to do that diligently because it is so vital and so important as we'll see in the life of Asa.
Here in second chronicles, Chapter 16, so let's dive into what the Lord has for us tonight.
Guard your heart.
In your later years, four points that the Lord will walk us through as we work through this final chapter in the life of ISA.
Four things to learn from his example so that we don't follow in his footsteps.
Here's point number one tonight, a self-reliant heart keeps you from great victories.
A self-reliant heart keeps you from great victories.
Check out verses one through three, it says.
In the 36th year of the reign of Asa Baasha King of Israel came up against Judah and built Rama, that he might let none go out or come in to Asa King of Judah.
Then Asa brought silver and gold from the Treasury's of the House of the Lord and of the King's House, and sent to Ben. He dad, king of Syria, who dwelt in Damascus, saying, let there be a treaty between you and me.
As there was between my father and your father, see, I have sent you silver and gold.
Come break your treaty with Basha King of Israel.
So that he will withdraw from me.
As we begin to consider this chapter, there's some important background to understand.
Asa is King of Judah during a time where the Nation of Israel has been splits into, and so it's a divided Kingdom.
Another important thing to consider in this chapter is that there's three players involved.
Three nations are involved.
The Nation of Israel, the northern Kingdom, the nation of Judah, the southern Kingdom, where ISA is king and then also the nation of Syria.
And then another important factor to remember is in Chapter 14 Asa experienced this incredible victory against an army where he was vastly outnumbered.
Because he called out to the Lord now.
Considering here that divided Kingdom, this is a quick look at the timeline again to help us remember where we're at, we went through first and Second Samuel and 1st and 2nd Kings and that brought us to the end of the chronology really of the the Kingdom of Israel up until the Babylonian captivity.
We're going to get into Ezra Nehemiah and see the return after that captivity and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple as we continue to work our way through the Bible in three years.
But here in first and second chronicles, we've rewound the tape a bit and gone back through this same history that we've gone through in first and Second Kings.
And so here we are again.
It's soon after the split between Israel and Judah.
And so I've marked it there on the chronology.
You can see that light blue arrow points out that the time frame for when Asa would have begun his reign again.
It's early in that split Israel and Judah have divided their two separate kingdoms.
Now they're kind of at odds with each other, but not always in battle against each other.
And so there's just seasons and periods of conflict between them.
And so here later in Aces life is one of those seasons.
Now here's a look at the geography how it looks on the map.
The upper portion is the nation of Israel.
The lower portion is the nation of Judah.
Asa was king over Judah and Basha was king over Israel that northern Kingdom.
And again, there was this border between them.
There was tension between them always, but sometimes battle.
And here we find one of those.
Times it tells us in verse one that Basha really starts the move, and he's trying to prevent people from going down to Jerusalem to worship the Lord there, and so he builds up a city right there on the border, and he begins to set himself against Israel and prevent the.
Free flow of commerce and travel back and forth between the borders of Israel and Judah.
And so as he makes this first move, Asa feels the pressure he's like.
I need to respond.
And So what he decides to do, verse two tells us he brings out all the money he can find in his house.
He takes the money out of the treasury of the House of the Lord, and he sends up to.
To hire the Syrians, Ben hey Dad, the king of Syria to come down and attack Israel.
In this attack, he comes up with a plan we'll see in a moment that it works.
It's a good plan in some regards to hire this king of Assyria to attack on a different front on the talk.
And So what the king of Assyria does is he comes and attacks the northern.
Part of Israel
So that now as.
Israel is attacking southward.
Now Syria is attacking southward and when Basha King of Israel hears of it, he has to go deal with Ben.
Hey dad, he has to go match or meet that attack that is happening there in the northern part of his.
And so these first few verses kind of walk.
Us through that.
The attack from Israel, the hiring of the Syrians, the Assyrians attacking and then Israel redirecting their troops, removing themselves from the fortress that they had built there on the border of Judah and heading up to battle against Ben here.
And so when that happened then King Asa in verse six tells us he took all of Judah.
They carried away the stones in timber, timber of Rama which Basha had used for building, and with them he built Gibbon Myspot.
So as soon as they abandoned that post, A so moved in, took all the building materials and went and fortified.
His own cities.
And so you can look at this and consider it and.
Say that this was a success.
I mean this you couldn't have.
Planned this more perfectly right.
There was not a huge loss of life.
They didn't have to attack their brethren directly.
They were able to get someone else to distract them up north and and so then they were able to, you know.
Really defuse this explosive situation.
That was happening on the border between Israel and Judah.
Considered a victory, it worked just.
As they planned.
But God is going to have a different.
Viewpoint in verse 7.
He sends the prophet Hananiah in verse seven.
It says the seer came to Asa, King of Judah and said to him, because you have relied on the king of Syria.
And have not relied on the larger God.
Therefore the army of the King of Syria has escaped from your hand.
Here Asa is rebuked by the Lord through this prophet.
And and you can understand a little bit here that there's there's gonna be some.
Perplexity in Ace's heart.
There's gonna be some confusion because wait a minute.
This plan worked it it went through just as we wanted as we planned.
I mean this you couldn't have planned this any better.
What else could?
The Lord want what else would the Lord want in the midst of this situation?
Look, it worked like how can you argue with that?
How can you take issue with that?
This plan worked.
And it seemed to not really have any downsides to it.
Pastor Charles Spurgeon
Points out many people in the world judge actions by their immediate results.
If a Christian does a wrong thing and it prospers, then at once they conclude he was justified in doing it.
But, Ah, brethren, this is a poor blind way.
Of judging the actions of men.
And the Providence of God.
We have to be careful to not just look at the success or the result of something and and to come to all of our conclusions based on that.
Of course, sometimes it lines up perfectly.
What God approves is successful.
But that's not always the case, and that's not the measure of what God approves, and so even though this plan was carried out, it went perfectly.
It happened successfully and and really, it was a great victory in in some ways.
God had an issue with it.
He found faults with Asa about it because.
He did not rely upon God in this plan.
He did not rely upon the Lord again.
The Prophet ham and I in verse seven tells him.
Because you have relied on the king of Syria and have not relied on the Lord your God.
Isa, you relied on your plan.
You relied on your resources to hire this other king.
You relied on this king.
You relied on what you could figure out what you could offer.
And you didn't rely upon me now again, back in Chapter 14, he faced a much greater enemy than the northern Kingdom of Israel.
And he relied upon the Lord, and the Lord granted him victory.
And so there is this clear contrast from what he used to do his previous walk with the Lord, and Trust in the Lord, and Reliance upon the Lord is in direct opposition to where he's at now.
Now after some years.
That first battle in Chapter 14 was earlier.
In his reign he was, you know, a little bit more.
We're inexperienced as skiing and in facing these kinds of situations, but but now he's more experienced and sometimes there comes a bit of danger with more experience.
That's true for us.
As believers, we've been around the things of the Lord for a long time and and there's some dangers.
There's some pitfalls that come with that, because it's easy for us to rely upon ourselves.
It's easy for us to come up with a plan to make some phone calls to spread out some resources and resolve a situation.
Without relying upon the Lord like we once did, there's always that danger when prosperity happens.
When God blesses us abundantly that we begin to trust and rest in the provisions that God has provided instead of continuing to trust and rest in the God who provided them.
Now what I think is really interesting about this is in verse 7 here.
Notice what Asa lost.
The prophet Haninai says therefore.
The Army of the King of.
Syria has escaped from your hand.
Therefore, the army of the King of Syria has escaped.
From your hand.
He said you made a mistake, not relying upon the Lord, and that mistake costs you.
But what did it cost, ISA?
Something he didn't expect.
Something he would have never.
Imagined is possible listen.
He was threatened by the Nation of Israel that Northern Kingdom above him.
Syria was a greater threat than Israel, and so that's why he thought.
Well, if I team up with them then I'll be set because Syria is stronger than Israel and they'll be able to kind of hold them at Bay and deal with them up in the north and and I won't.
Have any problems?
But you see, Syria Isa didn't feel equipped and prepared and ready to attack Israel.
To win that battle.
And he might.
Have expected Hennen either prophet to say.
You've lost the victory over Israel.
But that's not what the Lord said.
You've lost the victory over Syria.
It wasn't even in his mind to have a victory over Syria.
That was a victory that he never imagined was even possible.
This was a victory that wasn't even on his radar, but it was a victory that God wanted to give him.
Like just think about that for a little bit.
His reliance upon himself and his own resources.
Took him out.
Of this plan of this possibility that God had before him of him having this great victory over Syria over King Benhadad, and a battle that hasn't been fought yet, it's down the road.
God knows it.
He sees what's coming.
And he could have had victory.
Against this great enemy.
Against this even greater enemy than Israel, that was the immediate threat.
But because of his self reliance.
His heart, relying upon himself his own plans and resources, kept him.
From that greater victory that God wanted to work out in his life.
Pastor David Guzik says this about the message from the prophet Hananiah.
He says this was a complete surprise to Asa.
He believed that the main enemy was Israel.
He failed to see what God saw that the bigger enemy was Syria and God wanted to give him victory over the greater enemy.
What a surprise.
God had a different plan, a bigger plan than Asa.
Could have imagined.
His self-reliant heart kept him from that great victory now.
Looking at the example of Asa.
It must cause us to reflect on our own hearts.
Have I become?
Have you become self reliant?
And are we completely blind to the real enemies, the the greater enemies of our lives?
Because what we're just focused on what we know what we can think of the resources that we have and what we can provide, and the plans that we can execute to accomplish victory in the immediate things that we see around us.
But what about those battles that are beyond what we can see right now?
When we rely upon ourselves instead of relying upon the Lord.
We don't see what God sees.
And we take ourselves out of.
Those victories that God would work for us.
It's so important that we keep our hearts in a place of dependence upon God.
That we keep ourselves in a place of humility.
Resting in God and trusting.
In God, even in the midst of his blessings and prosperity, this isn't an issue, you know so much when we're in the wilderness and we're desperate for our next meal, that that dependence and reliance upon God is not such a challenging thing.
That's like it's a given.
That's like I have to depend on God, 'cause I don't know where my next meal is coming from.
Or he said two chapters earlier.
I have to depend on God because there's no way that this army can be defeated with the troops that I have.
But later on when you do have plans, when you do have resources, when you do have means and methods that are potentially successful in victorious.
It's much harder in that condition.
To depend upon God to rely upon God like.
You used to.
But you need to work.
It out you need.
To keep your heart.
In that place of reliance upon the Lord.
We're moving on point #2 looking at verses 8 and 9.
.2 is a divided heart, keeps you from God's blessing.
A self-reliant heart.
Keeps you from great victories.
A divided heart keeps you from God's blessing. Look at verse 8 and 9.
This is Hannah Knight, continuing to talk to Issa, he says, were The Ethiopians and Lube him not a huge army with very mini Chariots and horsemen.
Yeah, because you relied on the Lord.
He delivered them into your hand.
For the eyes of the Lord, run two and fro throughout the whole Earth.
To show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him.
In this you have done foolishly.
Therefore, from now on you shall have wars.
How did I, the Prophet, calls aces attention back to that previous battle?
Again, it's second chronicles chapter 14.
It tells us in verse nine of Chapter 14 that Zara the Ethiopian came out against Asa with a million men and 300 Chariots.
A million men army came out against Asa. Now it tells us earlier in the chapter of Chapter 14 that Asa had 300,000 troops.
So they were vastly outnumbered, 300,000 to 1,000,000 plus.
The Ethiopian army had Chariots, which ISA.
Did not have.
Facing this situation, that was impossible.
It tells us in verse 11 of Second Chronicles 14.
Issa cried out to the Lord his God, and said, Lord, it is nothing for you to help.
Whether with many or with those who have no power, help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on you and in your name we go against this multitude.
Oh, Lord, you are our God.
Do not let man prevail against you.
Think about this prayer that ISA prayed.
Now the timing is not exactly clear, maybe 15 years earlier, maybe 20 years earlier, Asa prayed this prayer.
Lord, we were relying upon you and there's nothing that's too hard for you.
You can defeat this army with a few with just a.
Couple of us.
Perhaps in his mind, thinking back to the example of Gideon right where the Lord dwindled the army down to just 300 against the huge multitude of the Midianites.
And he's saying, Lord.
We're looking for you to do that kind of work again.
We're resting in you.
We're powerless without you, we're going in your name you are God.
Don't let men have victory over you.
Great prayer avissa back two chapters earlier.
Perhaps 20 years earlier.
But he didn't pray this prayer.
In chapter 16.
When the northern Kingdom started to build a fortress too.
Strengthened their position against him.
He didn't say, Lord, we're desperate for you and we're helpless without you.
And and when he said no, I know what we can do.
We could hire Ben hey Dad and he can go and he can attack and and he he had his plans his.
Reliance upon his schemes and what?
He could come up with.
And the Prophet had and I reminds him of that previous dependence that he had.
And he comes now to verse 9, which is this incredibly famous verse.
The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole Earth.
To show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him.
He said you could have experienced.
The strength of God.
On your behalf.
If your heart had been loyal to God.
But your heart was not loyal to God, and so you've done foolishly.
It's interesting how sometimes the verses.
Break up part or break apart the the different elements of the passage, right?
Verse nine is so incredible up to the end of that first sentence like that's a verse like you could just hold onto you, get plastered over your walls, right?
The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole Earth to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him.
In this you have done foolishly like.
Would you paint that part on your wall like?
It's like why did they do that but but at the same time, I would say you know it's really good that it's all capsulated here in this one verse, because you have the possibility and you have.
The opportunity to miss out on that possibility.
The reality that we can do foolishly.
And miss out.
On that strength that God has on our behalf.
But here, the point of the Prophet is the eyes of the Lord run to and fro that he is searching.
You know, sometimes we.
We picture God in a way where we're trying to convince him we have to persuade him.
Please please be strong on my behalf and and and there are times where we are.
We feel like we have to like he's resistant to it.
He doesn't want to be strong on our behalf.
He doesn't want to work for us and do great things in our lives and and and if.
Only we could.
Persuade him and convince him.
If only we could trade him.
We got like if you'll be strong on my behalf then I will do this and I will do that and I will go visit those people and I will say those things and we're trying to negotiate and persuade as if God doesn't want.
To show strength on our behalf.
But here the Prophet is saying look.
God wants nothing more than to be strong on your behalf.
You don't have to persuade him.
You don't have to convince him.
You don't have to talk him into it or trick him into it.
You don't have to negotiate some kind of trade for him.
You know that.
Finally, like, get him to give OK, fine, I'll give you strength.
That's not the way that the the Lord is searching to and fro.
He's he's looking throughout the whole earth.
Who can I show strength for?
Who can I be strong on their behalf?
Who can I work in their lives?
Who can I pour out my Holy Spirit?
Who can I do?
My work in them and through them God is searching is this picture here.
That's painted by the.
Prophet had an eye.
To show himself strong.
On behalf of those whose heart is loyal.
Ace his heart was not loyal to God.
He hadn't gone in full out rebellion.
He hadn't turned to idolatry.
He hadn't run away from God, but his heart was not united to the Lord as it once was.
Other things have crept in.
He's got other priorities.
Other things that that are.
Challenging God place in his heart.
His heart's not united with the Lord.
Like it once was.
And as a result.
He acted foolishly.
And missed out on the blessing of strength that God wanted to provide for him a divided heart.
Keeps you from God's blessing.
Pastor Damian Kyle talking about this says the Lord is communicating how it is that he eagerly watches for an opportunity opportunity to help those who trust him.
He never, ever misses one bit of faith that's directed toward him.
He never overlooks an opportunity to bless and to honor faith.
Think about that God never misses an opportunity to bless and honor faith now, not immediately necessarily, not right at that moment, right?
But that's the thing with faith.
Now we trust God.
He will reward.
We can trust and know.
He will provide.
He will bless.
He will strengthen.
He will give us everything that we need as our hearts are united.
It's Harvey's favorite verse, right?
Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.
Seek his Kingdom.
Have your heart united with his have your will united with his in tune with his have your heart aligned with the the things that God wants and desires and is passionate about.
And you have the promise.
Of God's strength on your behalf.
So the issue isn't so much trying to figure out a plan and then ask God to bless it.
The issue is really God, what do you want and let me bring my heart in alignment.
That I may experience your outpouring of strength.
Because my heart is loyal to you.
Asa had a divided heart. It kept him from God's blessing. Not only that, but it impacted the rest of his life.
Notice verse nine.
At the end it says in this you have done foolishly.
Therefore, from now on you shall have wars from now on.
The rest of Ace's life is going to be different, because on this one occasion.
His heart was divided.
That that caused me to really meditate and to think about this, let me put it this way.
I could be one successful plan away.
From trouble for the rest of my life.
That terrifying that terrified me quite a bit.
He's his plan was successful, he was victorious.
It worked out exactly like he wanted, exactly like he planned.
Then he had came distracted.
The other Kingdom they got the materials they reinforced, reinforced their fortresses like it just worked out perfectly.
Great successful plan.
That will bring him now trouble for the rest of his life.
I could be.
You could be one successful plan.
Away from trouble.
For the rest of your life.
For not relying upon the Lord.
For being self-reliant, for having a divided heart.
We can make decisions.
We can take action.
That has consequences in our lives.
That we will feel those consequences for the rest of our time here on this earth.
This isn't saying that Ether lost his salvation and he ended up, you know, an eternity apart from God.
But this is saying that the rest.
Of his life.
Was not the life that God would have desired for him.
And there was going to be consequences that he would experience as a result.
We might be one successful plan away.
From trouble for the rest of our lives, let's make sure our hearts are united to God and that we are relying upon him.
Guard your heart.
In your later years.
Well, the Third Point to consider.
In verses 9 and 10, and unteachable, heart causes you to hurt others, and unteachable heart causes you to hurt others.
Verse 9 again for the eyes of the Lord, run to and fro throughout the whole Earth to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him.
And this you have done foolishly.
Therefore from now on.
You shall have wars.
Then Asa was angry with the seer.
And put him in prison.
For he was enraged at him because of this, and he suppressed some of the.
People at that time.
What a change we see in Asa.
From the early years of his reign.
Brand new King Trusty and God experiencing victories reforming the nation.
Calling the nation to dependence upon God and relationship with God.
But now a prophet of God meets him.
Has some correction for him.
And his anger now begins to inflict pain.
Intentionally on purpose, not accidentally.
There was the accidental part right.
He didn't mean to have wars for the rest of his life by hiring benhadad, but all of his nation is going to experience the consequences of that battle, right?
That those are unintended consequences of that initial action.
When hearing this message.
His heart is not in a position where he says.
Oh man, I've sinned.
Please forgive me.
I've relied upon myself and my plans.
My heart is not been.
I didn't care what God wanted in this situation.
I just accomplished what I thought was best.
What I what I thought would be good for the people and I didn't seek the Lord I didn't.
I didn't seek his will oh what a fool I was.
He there was no repentance.
No remorse over his self.
Reliance or divided heart.
Confronted with the truth with a word from the Lord, he became angry and he put him in prison.
Is perhaps the first occasion that we have recorded in the scripture where a prophet is directly persecuted?
By a king, it'll happen later.
We'll see it in Jeremiah.
Quite a bit, right, but.
Perhaps for the first time?
Says hey prophet of the Lord, with a message from the Lord.
I'm going to inflict pain on your life.
I'm going to hurt you.
I'm going to shut you up.
I'm going to put you away and you are not allowed to speak to me any further.
It says for he was enraged at him.
You can see aces heart.
It didn't become this way overnight obviously, right?
But but here now it's fully clear it's fully manifested that that he is in this place of unrepentant sin.
He's unteachable, nobody can correct him.
Not even the Lord.
The prophet of the Lord, with a message from the Lord is.
To redirect him.
To call him to repentance, instead, he resists it, he's unteachable.
And it causes him to inflict pain.
Upon the messenger.
But then also it goes on to say Annie suppressed some of the people at that time.
He oppressed people.
What does that mean?
Some speculate that there were people who came to support the prophet and to, you know, kind of say hey, you can't treat him that way.
He's a prophet of the Lord.
And so Issa oppressed them because they supported the Prophet.
And perhaps that's the case.
Or perhaps it's the case.
That he was just angry and upset and in his fury he just.
Took it out on people.
And just became an unruly king who just exercised his authority to hurt others.
He he was unteachable, and it brought him to this place, now where others around him are inflicted with pain, because he would not hear from the Lord.
He wouldn't receive correction from God.
This is a hard thing for us to do, but we need to keep ourselves in that place where we are teachable.
Where we will allow the Lord to correct us, and even if that's true.
A profit that's not our favorite.
This is the first time we're seeing Hannah neither profit.
There's other prophets who spoke to Asa previously.
May not be aces.
First encounter with Hannah and I.
In fact, it's reasonable to think that Effaces heart has been.
Kind of gradually sliding away from the Lord, leading up to chapter 16, it's reasonable to think that Haninai might have been used by the Lord previously in Aces life.
Kind of call out and say hey, there's some bad things happening here.
Hey, you pay attention what's happening in your heart that it's it's very possible that the Lord was inviting a sort of repentance long before chapter 16.
And here this Prophet comes that perhaps Lisa is familiar with, but it's not his favorite prophet.
The name escapes me at the moment, but remember I think it's Jehoshaphat in the King of Israel and the King of Israel.
They're going to go to battle.
Together and Jehoshaphat says, well, isn't there a?
Prophet of the Lord, that we can inquire of.
Well, there's one, but I don't like what he has.
He never has anything good to say about me, so I don't think quirno.
Then there's one who speaks the truth.
Of God, but I don't like what he said so I.
Don't listen to him.
This is where ACE is at.
He doesn't want to hear from God, not teachable.
To receive this message from the Lord, Pastor Warren Wiersbe says, instead of humbling himself himself and obeying, as he had done before.
And anger ISA resisted the word and God servant when we are wrong, we should admit it.
Instead of trying to resist God.
God is much stronger than our.
I would invite you to consider.
Are you stubborn?
Are you in a place right now?
A condition of stubbornness where it's just stubbornness and pride that's keeping you from accepting that word?
That message from the Lord.
And maybe it's through somebody that is not your favorite prophet.
Or maybe it's just something that God's been speaking to you directly, but you've been resisting. You've been stubbornly holding onto insisting on my plan worked.
You know what are you complaining about God.
My plan was successful.
It happened the way it happened and it worked out perfectly and we got the materials from this place and we re fortified ourselves and everything worked.
And we can be in our stubbornness, insisting.
Now what we did was OK.
Insisting that our heart's in the right place and that we're OK and God should just get with our program instead of the other way around. But listen, God is so much greater than your stubbornness.
And in our stubbornness, when we hold on when we resist and we fight and we're like, no, I'm not going to bend.
Well, if we won't bend then we will be broken.
If we won't bend, we will be broken.
God is stronger than your stubbornness.
There's some people that you might fight with, and you might battle with and if you hold strong long enough, they will bend.
But that's not God.
He's not gonna cave like other people in your life do.
If you won't bend to God, you will be broken.
Is not a good place to be.
And it puts you in a position where you inflict pain on others and you may not even see the pain that you're inflicting.
You might be completely blind and oblivious to the hurt that you're causing, but when your heart is unteachable.
You should know.
The messengers of God are hurt.
Because you won't receive the message.
It just says he oppressed some of the people.
There's just people in your life, but.
Are kept away, they're pushed away there's.
Distance between you and them because of the hurt that has been inflicted and caused.
We need to humble ourselves and keep ourselves in a place where we are teachable.
Able to receive.
Correction from the Lord even.
If it's not from our favorite prophet, well, finally #4 verses 11 through 14. A hardened heart keeps you from seeking God.
Verse 11 says.
Note that the acts of Issa first and last are indeed written in the book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
And in the 39th year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet.
And his malady was severe.
Yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord.
But the physicians?
So Issa rested with his fathers. He died in the 41st.
Year of his reign.
They buried him in his own tomb, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and they laid him in the bed, which was filled with spices and various ingredients prepared and a mixture of vitamins.
They made a very great burning for him.
The last couple years of Aces reign.
Were difficult years because Asa was inflicted with this disease.
Diseased in his feet.
And it was severe.
It was bad.
It was painful.
It was agonizing.
Was the most difficult two years?
Of his life.
But it says yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord.
His unteachable heart has become a hardened heart.
The implication that is given here in second Chronicles 16 is that if he had.
Turned to the Lord and called out to the.
Lord, if he would have relied.
Upon the Lord or sought the Lord and repented from the condition of his heart.
The implication here is that God would have preserved him.
He had that opportunity had that possibility, but.
There in his later years.
He he wouldn't even bring himself.
To that kind of repentance, he did not seek the Lord.
Where was the guy back in Chapter 14 where he said, oh Lord, it's not much for you to save by by just a few.
You can do this God.
We are your people.
You are our God.
We're trusting in you.
But now in this moment of disease and sickness, his heart is in such a different place.
Even in his own personal life.
He will not seek the Lord.
For this condition that he's experiencing.
A hardened heart keeps you from seeking God.
Keeps you from the possible healing, keeps you from the possible working of God and transformation of your life and also keeps you from those miserable years of.
Of that heart and heart and and what it brings.
Pastor David Guzik says his last, the last years of his life were marked by unbelief, hardness against God, oppression against his people and disease.
Age and time do not necessarily make us better.
They only do if we continue to follow God in faith.
I would really ask.
You to consider, especially you who are seasoned Saints.
You've been with the Lord for.
10 years 20 years.
30 years 40 years.
Got a lot of history, a lot of exciting things that God has done in the past.
Are you keeping your heart?
In that same place where it once was.
That real fellowship with God.
Intimacy with him.
Reliance upon him.
Is your heart united with God's heart?
Or is it divided?
Are you relying upon yourself in your resources and have the blessings of God and the provisions of God really brought you to a place where you you don't depend on God that much because you have so much you're you're so comfortable?
There's this progression that we can see this.
State of being unteachable.
Brings us to that place of a hardened heart.
And we lose so much we miss out on so much.
It's easy for it to happen to any of us.
Ether is not like this.
Whoa, I can't believe this happened.
This is the only time in all.
The Bible where this has.
Happened like no no no.
Time after time we'll see King.
Trust God do good walk with the Lord for many years and then totally fail at the end.
Is a warning to each of US guard your heart in your later years?
A self-reliant heart keeps you from great victories.
Listen, there's still great things that God wants to do and great miracles that God wants to work in your life.
And there's victories that you need that you don't.
They're not even on your radar.
You don't know about them.
The immediate threat that you see in the immediate battle that you're in is not the big battle.
There's a much bigger battle that God wants to give you victory in.
So don't rely on yourself in the midst of the battle that you're facing right now.
Rely upon the Lord, don't you think I can?
Handle it, I can manage it.
Rely upon God.
Keep your heart dependent upon God.
Divided heart keeps keeps you from God.
Blessing God is looking for an excuse looking for reasons.
Looking for anybody who will be united with me.
Who will desire to please me?
Who will want to do my will?
That person I'm going to give them strength?
I'm going to work on their behalf.
I'm going to do good things in their lives.
I'll keep our let's let's keep our hearts united to God.
Let's keep our hearts in tune with God.
Keep our will Lord, not my will, but your will be done like I want to be In Sync with what you desire with what you are pleased with.
I don't want any part.
Of my heart to be divided.
Sam, I know God likes this and he doesn't like that, but here's this what I want to accomplish.
And here's this part that I want to see fulfilled.
And here's what I want.
To hold onto and enjoy in my life.
Now I want to lay all that down.
Unite my heart to the Lord, Lord, what do you want?
And I might experience the fullness of God's blessing and his strength that he has to offer.
And unteachable, heart causes you to hurt others, listen.
It hurts to be teachable, it does.
But we need to keep ourselves in that place of humility.
Let's be corrected.
Let's invite correction.
Let's search it out and seek it out.
Lloyd, correct me.
Bring about these words of instruction and correction that.
I need to hear.
If I don't want to be in that place.
Where others are hurts, injured, harmed.
Because I refuse to hear from God.
A hardened heart keeps you from seeking God.
Keeps you disconnected from God.
God may want to do radically different things than what you're experiencing and what you could imagine right now.
But if your heart is hard and you won't seek him and you won't submit to him, you won't surrender to him.
You won't rely upon him and unite your heart to his if if you're hard and resisting God.
The situation is gonna run its course.
ISA live de.
Miserable last two years of his life.
The malady was severe, it says.
Tough way to go.
But brought upon by himself.
Because he would not seek God.
Guard your heart in your later years.
As we were singing the songs and I was encouraging you like, make sure as you sing worship songs that they're not songs that like like Damian Kyle said you imagine yourself at the height of your spiritual condition and you just assume that's where you are now.
But it might have been 20 years since you've been in that place with the Lord.
Go back to those things.
Stir up and refire.
That relationship with the Lord and keep yourself in that place of dependence upon him.
United to him.
Correctable teachable mouldable and shapeable to.
Whatever the Lord wants.
Keeping our hearts soft.
And receptive to the things of God.
Let's pray, Lord, we pray that you would help us to do this.
We can be so blind and our hearts easily deceive us.
For those of us who've been around for such a long Time Lord, we've been around you for such a long time.
And yet we are all vulnerable.
To these things help us God.
To guard our hearts, I pray God that you would give us moments of clarity.
May we see clearly Lord where we line up with Asa in a way that is not good?
Would you help us to understand it, Lord, that we might repent and turn from it?
I pray this in Jesus name.