Still Times, Stale Faith?

Still Times, Stale Faith?

Sister Miki Terayama - 9 October 2022

Weekend Devotion: Still Times, Stale Faith?

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Hi brothers and sisters. Are you at a seemingly peaceful, still and stagnant season now?There are moments of our lives where we have really high moments, and there are times where we really struggle through with our roles and responsibilities. These kind of situations often drive us into deep prayers to the Lord for help or joyful thanksgiving for what we are provided with. But for most of the pockets of times, we will not be facing anything dramatic and life just seems to move on “okay”. Sometimes, when I ask my youths for prayer topics or to intercede for the group, some responses I get are, “I don’t know what to pray for” or “There is nothing going on in my life to pray about.” It seems as though when there is nothing compelling happening in our own life or in the lives of those around us, we do not “feel” or have any strong drive to pray. This could be the same for bible reading or the state of our hearts as we listen to a sermon and such. But let us take heart today the importance and the beauty of “still” days. Let us turn to 2 Chronicles 14. It was during a time where the kingdom of Israel is divided and constantly at war. The kingdom of Judah then welcomes their new king, Asa, in these passages. How will things switch up from this warring times? Let us read 2 Chronicles 14:1-6. “And Abijah rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. Asa his son succeeded him as king, and in his days the country was at peace for ten years. Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands. He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him. He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the Lord gave him rest.”

So when King Asa took over his father, the kingdom of Judah was at peace from war for a good 10 years. But what is noteworthy here is what King Asa did with the peaceful times. Before him, the kingdom was ridden with idolatry, people turning away from God, disobeying the Lord’s ways. King Asa could have taken the easy way and just leave things be, enjoy the peace and lead a smooth and easy reign as a relaxed king. But he did not. “Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord.” <v2> He did not slack himself off or took the peaceful times for granted. He led the kingdom into a 360 degree spiritual reformation, tearing down the idols and ridding them off their wrong practices and making them face the one true God again. If you read on, King Asa also strengthened the city walls and fortified the cities of Judah. His kingdom may not be at war but he was constantly preparing and being ready for any kind of attack. 

What does this mean for us today? That sometimes we may have very still and stagnant phases in life, but God is purposeful not only in giving us spiritual rest, but in providing us with this time to develop our faith so that we can strengthen and prepare our hearts for future challenges and rougher tides. Still times in lives are perfect moments for us to build up our spiritual inventory. To tear down certain hidden old self or idols within our hearts, to obey the Lord’s ways in areas we have not turned to Him and to fortify the defensive walls of our faith. This could be in the form of inward buildup as we continue to read and meditate on the Word of God, reflect through prayers on how we lead our lives according to Him. Or it could be outward buildup, where we pray for others around us or ministering and raising up spiritual warriors for future battles, like through our servings, brethren living, cell group fellowship and the likes. Times of spiritual comfort and stillness are not only a way God provides rest for us, but to allow His people to grow in spiritual nourishment and be strengthened in the process. So how are we using our seasons of peace today? 

Now right after this period of peace, the kingdom of Judah was faced with their first battle with not just any enemy, but a massive Cushite “army of thousands upon thousands and three hundred chariots” <v9>. In the face of gigantic oppression before them, what was King Asa’s first response? In 2 Chronicles 14:11, it says, “ Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.” Sometimes, great challenges before us really put the depth of our faith to the test. And because King Asa has been using his times of peace well to build up the faith of the nation towards God, he was already in a blessed rhythm of always seeking God. So right before the massive battle, he sought nothing else but first, the Lord- in a powerful prayer. His prayer contents are filled with exaltation of who God is, giving full credit and submission to the Lord through this impending battle and knowing God’s place above the problems before them. So right after Asa’s prayer, Judah went into the battle with the Cushites and triumphed over their enemies in the light of God’s power. 

King Asa stayed close to the Lord and his faith brought him into continual actions of strengthening his and the nation’s faith direction, even during the peaceful years of his reign. Thus, in the face of attack, he can turn to the Lord confidently because he has been building up a habit of putting his faith on the solid rock, God. 

So brothers and sisters, may we, like King Asa in his early years of reign, use even our times of stagnancy and peace well— storing up treasures of God’s truth in our hearts, building up our faith and the faith of those around us. So when troubles and trials come, we will not be shaken by the giants before us, but boldly and comfortably seek the Lord and let Him work all things through with us in His light.

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Miki Terayama
miki.terayama@gmail.com

Miki is a full-time ministry staff at The Blessed Run Ministries. She is a sister who shares a natural, God-given affinity with children and youths. She is married to Randy (NET Group Youth Leader) and has two little ones of her own, Liora and Jude. She is involved in the children, youth and social media ministries.

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