I’m not sure how many people have this experience, but do you ever reach a point when you’re not really in the midst of a huge trial that plunges you into the word and prayer and tears night after night… and then you’re like “what do I do now?”
I’m out of the valley… now what? Besides the (maybe) obvious answer that is “PRAISE GOD!” I was reading in 2 Chronicles and found this example really fitting:
Chapter 14: During the reign of Asa, King of Judah:
Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He removed the foregn alters 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 fathers, 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.
“Let us build up these towns,” he said to Judah, “and put walls around them, with towers, gates, and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God; we sought him and he has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered.
Later when an army comes, Asa and his army rely on the Lord and they defeat their enemies, the Cushites.
I think Asa had a couple options here. He could have used this down time to tell everyone to catch up on their sleep, hang out, eat all day (though I’m sure there was celebrating), shoot the breeze. Instead he has them build up their walls and prepare for the future. He took the time of rest to fortify the walls and build up the towns.
This encouraged me a lot. How do you use your time of peace? Do you use it to veg out, watch TV (insert potential menial task here) or do you spend it in the word and pray, building up your fortitude?
I generally walk around my room aimlessly. This semester compared to last semester has been incredibly different! While, yes, I still come across things I need to work on and grow in, God’s given me a lot of peace time this semester. Last semester with Jeff dying and me having to drop out of a class after almost failing 3, there was a lot of time I spent in the word and prayer because I knew if I didn’t I wouldn’t make it through anything. (Yet, I think I am still convinced of this even now)
I have a couple options here. I could use this mountain top time for my worldly pleasures, maybe reading less, or I can use it to grow my spiritual armor, my defense. The truth is, you never know when the next battles coming. If I want to stand strong, I better use this time to fortify my heart with the truth… so when enemies come, I can fight them off. Might be some old stones that need replacing or some holes that need mending. “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Cor 16:13-14)
Let’s fortify the city!
Carry on in faith and love!