Obedience brings blessings

“And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God.” (2 Chronicles 14:2)

“He had no war in those years, for the Lord gave him peace . . . ‘The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God. We have sought him, and he has given us peace on every side.’” (verses 6b, 7b)

“And Asa cried to the Lord his God, ‘O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.’” (verse 11)

Peace on every side. Victory in war against a superior enemy. What was Asa’s secret? For one, he did what was good and right in God’s sight. For another, he prayed and asked God for help. The timeless truth we learn from his life is that obedience brings blessings. The Lord was on his side because Asa was on the Lord’s side. Of course, obedience must be genuine – from the heart. There is such a thing as wrongly motivated obedience: a form of bribery, a way to get what you want from God. This kind of obedience doesn’t last long especially if the blessings it expects don’t arrive. True obedience always brings blessings, but these don’t always have to be material. Sometimes God withholds material blessings from his obedient children so that they may experience spiritual blessings, which are far better: patience, faith, love that always trusts, perseverance, conformity to Christ’s sufferings, joy in the midst of tribulation, peace that surpasses understanding . . .

Lord, help me to obey you out of love and not out of a selfish desire to receive material blessings. Help me to trust in your wisdom and love, and help me to recognize and appreciate the blessings with which you certainly reward true obedience, blessings which are often disguised in the form of suffering and apparent denial of our prayers. Amen.

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