by Stacy Sanchez
But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. 2 Chronicles 15:7 (NIV)
Did this winter seem to be more severe this year? At least in the southwest, it felt like Mother Nature was a little grumpy this season. One of the mountains near me got hit by ten feet of snow in one day. I even saw snow on the sands of Huntington Beach in Southern California. As a child, I grew up building sandcastles on that beach. Now, kids are building snowmen?
I live in Arizona. Our winters are absolutely beautiful. (You can feel sorry for me in the summer when it’s 115 degrees.) As much of the country was shoveling piles of snow out of their yards, we were digging in ours to plant and prune.
On one of our gorgeous, 70-degree, sunny, January days, (OK, I’ll stop rubbing it in), I was trimming a bush. This bush was overgrown and tough to prune. Holding clippers in my right hand, I went in with my left to snap off the new limbs. But they were stubborn and wouldn’t budge. Frustrated, I growled, “Why can’t I pull these off?”
That’s when I heard in my spirit, “Use the tool in your other hand.” Duh! I felt like a prop in a Bill Engvall skit. Here’s your sign. Needless to say, the clippers made the pruning quite a bit easier, and I won the battle of the buds.
Why do we (I) make life harder than it needs to be? As a pastor and group leader, I hear the cries of people in desperate situations wanting to hear from God. We pray, read his word, go to Bible study, serve others, and tell people about him like we are supposed to, but nothing seems to help. We still can’t hear him. It’s as if our prayers are hitting the ceiling.
Didn’t God promise that if we seek him with our whole heart, we will find him?
“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…but as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” And when Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had taken in the mountains of Ephraim; and he restored the altar of the LORD that was before the vestibule of the LORD. 2 Chronicles 15:1,7-9 (NIV)
God wanted King Asa to know the importance of abiding in him. The prophet told King Asa that if he sought God, he would find him, but if he forsook God, God would forsake Asa. In other words, God would give Asa exactly what he wanted.
King Asa took the prophet’s counsel seriously. He tore down every idol built to other gods throughout the land and restored the altar of the LORD. God will grant what our hearts want, too. Could it be, though, that we might want God, but only on our terms?
In seeking Him, we need to keep our hearts open to what He has in mind. Our relationship with Him must be built on trust. Trust that He knows the right way and the right time. As He reveals Himself, things may look very different than what we had in mind. We may need to remove things that pull us away from Him. Allow Him to move in you as He desires.
Father, please reveal the idols in our lives that separate us from you. You’ve given us the tools we need to cut them out of our lives. If we don’t hear from you as we think we should, we want to be open to hearing from you in a brand-new way. Speak, Lord, for we are listening. Amen.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Stacy Sanchez has been married to her beloved husband, John, for 32 years, is a mother of 5, and a very young grandmother of six (soon to be seven) yummy grandcherubs. She is a pastor, author, and speaker. Her passions include teaching Christians about the Jewish roots of their faith, as well as helping to empower women to become all that God has created them to be. When not teaching or writing, you will find Stacy and John walking on the beach and playing with their grandchildren. You can connect with Stacy at her blog, writetotheheart.org, and on Facebook and Instagram.
Join the conversation: Is God waiting on you to tear down an idol?
4 thoughts on “Use the Tool in Your Hand”
Stacy, thank you for sharing and especially reminding us of the dangers of idols. Some people have a hard time getting past thinking of idols as the statue over the fireplace. But the idols are actually emotional demands of life going a certain way or someone responding a certain way, especially when I’m trying to demand my needs be met my way. Keep sharing this important message, Stacy.
Thank you! I agree with you and I will! 😊
“Use the tool in your hand.” That wisdom you heard from God has so many implications. I have a precious puppy love asleep on my lap to keep me still and at peace to intercede for family and friends and others. I also have a phone in my hands to check in with loved ones. Thank you for listening to Him. So will I to discover what tool is at hand to serve him.
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❤️ God gives us what we need when we need it. Sometimes it doesn’t look like we think it should. When I’m not accepting Him on His terms is when I find myself “idoling.”