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Jun
19

Some Thoughts on Power, Prayer, and Pleasing

By

Pam Bass, When Marriage Matters bloggerSome Thoughts on Power, Prayer, and Pleasing by Pam BassI’ve been reading in 2 Chronicles lately, through my daily bible reading plan. It always amazes me amidst all the wars and violence of the Old Testament there are verses tucked away that speak to me. One verse in ch. 25 is, v. 2: “Amaziah did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, but not wholeheartedly.”  It appears he started off well, but it didn’t stick. [he didn’t finish well?] He did seek God via a prophet and in verse 9b it states: “The man of God replied, “the Lord is able to give you much more than this!” But it seems that God’s abundance wasn’t enough for him. His son Uzziah then becomes king at age 16 and “He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Amaziah, had done.” He rebuilt towns, he sought God, and listened to Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of the Lord. And as long as the king sought the Lord, God gave him success.” (v26:4-5).

What’s amazing is I think we’re a lot like him: we start off well in our marriages, saying to ourselves, ‘I’m gonna be respectful, wise, kind, and loving; I’m gonna be the modern version of the Proverbs 31 lady”. And bless our hearts, we try and try. But then he does something stupid or unkind, or totally thoughtless, etc. and we stop trying. We stop seeking God on our marriage, on ourselves. We think, ‘well, he’s not doing his part, I’ll just quit doing my part and wait for him. After all, he’s supposed to be the leader (head) of our family. This is not good, ladies.

What’s also amazing is that even though they both fell away, disobeyed God, worshipped idols,  the author still states “he did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight”. King Amaziah did not have it all together. Neither do we.  Neither do I.

King Uzziah, seems to have had a problem with power:  26:16: “But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall.” We all know “pride cometh before the fall” but how many of us regularly check ourselves and our Pride-o-Meter? How many of us ask God every night, Lord have I been proud today? Have I any unconfessed sin in my life? I’m afraid many of us don’t. We’re way too focused on our husbands’ faults, sins, crimes, etc.

For his disobedience, King Uzziah gets leprosy for the rest of his life and lived in isolation. What if we feared the Lord that much? What if we thought before we spoke? I think modern culture has gotten away from instructing believers in “the fear of the LORD”; we’ve focused too much on the “love of God”. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the fact that God is all loving! I can’t live a day without knowing and experiencing that!  But I think a healthy dose of fear of Him would also be beneficial. Daily. Not seasonally, like Spring or Fall cleaning. (I just windexed my windows-I just love the squeaky clean look, don’t you?).  I so need a daily wash of my mistakes, my sins, my oops. And I also need to forgive those around me too.  {I’ll address forgiveness and reconciliation in another blog}.

The third generation must be the charm, for Uzziah’s son, Jotham “became powerful because he was careful to live in obedience to the Lord his God.” 27:6. (parenthesis added). He does good, and his son, Ahaz becomes king but he does not do what is pleasing. Tucked away though, is a verse on mercy: First a little context: In v. 9: “But a prophet of the LORD named Oded was there in Samaria when the army of Israel returned home. He went out to meet them and said, ‘The LORD, the God of your ancestors, was angry with Judah and let you defeat them. But you have gone too far, killing them without mercy, and all heaven is disturbed.”

2 Chron. 28:13: “You must not bring the prisoners here!” they declared.  “We cannot afford to add to our sins and guilt. Our guilt is already great, and the Lord’s fierce anger is already turned against Israel.” So, they returned the prisoners, put clothes on them, bandaged them up etc. I am struck by their thinking of ‘not adding to our sins’. Most of us, don’t think like that anymore (if ever we did). We think, “Well, whatever! I’ve already screwed up, I might as well keep going.” Whether it is  having another drink, drug, or kiss. We give up. We forgot God’s forgiveness. We just dig ourselves deeper usually. But thank God it is never too late!

So, let us focus on doing what’s pleasing to God. What is right and respectful, regardless of our husbands’ response or reaction. Let us apologize, ask for forgiveness when we know we’ve messed up. Let us not add to our sins. Can you do that?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Pam Bass is a wife, mom, and licensed Christian counselor, who has helped hundreds of people over the last 23 years.  She desires wives especially to be cognizant of the way the American culture can influence our stated Christian values.  Through her blog, she hopes to encourage women (in particular) to  know and trust what God tells us in His word.  Find out more at www.pambass.com   

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