Keeping on . . .

Text Box:

Vol.5, No. 09 – March 22, 2020

Leadership in a Time of Crisis

But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded. 2 Chronicles 15:7

We know that Asa is a hard-hitting person with commitments, charisma, and dogged perseverance.

The Chinese have a punchy expression: kin-chin. Man must not have proud air, but must instead have proud-bone. Now, to be accurate, proud-air is ego and pride; proud-bone is a genuine sense of self-respect. Commitment is a foundation stone for success in leading a nation; true for Asa with the nation of Judah. We need to observe how it plays out.

A messenger from Almighty God speaks up. The call is for commitment. Azariah, son of Oded, is to meet with Asa. Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you (15:2). There is a powerful message—including points, text, illustration, and application (15:2-7). There is a short declaration, a 135-word challenge. Get it done, or else.

Asa, the leader appointed by God, cleans up. If one’s heart is committed to God, that heart will not shrink from making necessary changes; however radical and disturbing, and regardless of the clamor or blowback from others.

Asa takes courage, placing destruction upon the repulsive idols. Even, Maacah (15:16), the queen mother, Asa removes due to her making a detestable image for Asherah. Read the history of the repugnant pole, its image, its emblem of the fertility goddess. Obscene, repulsive, and disgraceful. Asa cuts down the image, crushes it, and burns it in the garbage dump at the brook Kidron.

The queen mother dismissed, in a show of holding to what God expects of His people, occurring regardless of public scandal. There is no attempt at a cover up, nor are there secret meetings to keep the information away from the nation. Asa displays unusual public integrity, unlike many political figures in our present world.

The people of God sign up. There is joy in a godly commitment. Revival breaks out in the land as her inhabitants gladly, and unitedly, sign up anew a covenant of loyalty. There appears a theme in the voice of the people: Seek the Lord. It was top priority; so much so that multitudes of Israelites traveled from the northern kingdom to join in fullness and with great enthusiasm.

All Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought Him with their whole desire, and He was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around (15:15).

One man, Asa, made a difference. Asa is fully committed to the idea that military preparedness is more easily and readily created than national righteousness. Vigorous foreign policy is a poor substitute for godly moral values at the administrative level.

Should our culture be such a culture.

Life Application

If one man can effectively keep moving forward with doing what is right for the nation, can one who reads these words do likewise? Just one making a commitment. Just one relationally bounded to Almighty God. Just one. Would you be that one?

The writer of the Chronicles makes three points:

  1. The people of God speak up
  2. The people of God clean up
  3. The people of God sign up
  4. The people of God seek the Lord

How are we doing?

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. –Proverbs 14:34

Leadership in a time of crisis is always available—if we would but ask our Almighty God!

On a Personal Note: These last weeks have been a time when believers have had great opportunities to spread the fame of Jesus in our world. Much of that “spreading” has come in checkout lines (boy have they been long!). Some of that “spreading” has been to those gathered in restaurants (Donna and I were interviewed for CBS-TV46 (Atlanta). I took the opportunity to express where my sure hope lies, and also to express my concern for those in our world who are in fear or dying without Christ. Please do not miss your opportunities that God places in front of you to speak of the Lord Jesus.

Here are some great Bible verses for you to be familiar with as you venture out into our crisis-filled world:

  • Deuteronomy 31:6
  • Lamentations 3:55-57
  • Psalms 23:4, 27:1, 34:4-6, 46:1-3, 56:3, 91:15
  • Isaiah 41:10, 43:1-2
  • Luke 12:25-26
  • John 14:27
  • Philippians 14:27

God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. –2 Timothy 1:7

Please remember the ministry God has called you to for serving:

There will be people in your church and community needing help financially, physically, transportation, and for the essentials of life — do not neglect them.

There will be continuing needs in your church to do the ministry the body has committed itself to do — it takes your contribution financially, and that of time — do not neglect them.

There will be unprecedented opportunity to share the gospel — God never crosses your path with someone by accident — do not neglect them.

There will be people that want to go to church and cannot during this crisis time — do not neglect telling them they can join others in the church live stream of services.

There will be moms stretched with caring for the children — do not neglect your opportunities to help in care ministry.

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

March 22, 2020

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