Today's devotion from 1 Kings 15.
The list of failed leaders is growing...fast. A theme seems to be recurring in the discussions of each of their reigns as well. They are compared to David, and they fail. However, in this list of failed monarchs described in this chapter, we have one glimmer of hope. A lamp was set in Jerusalem for the sake of David. Yet Abijam, "walked in all the sins that his father did before him." He is described as the lamp that keeps the promise burning, but it was Asa that actually provided the light in a time of darkness.
Asa reigned for 41 years, which was truly an accomplishment. However his greatest accomplishment was breaking from the sinful wanders of his father and his father's father. Asa, "did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as David his father had done." He pursued a right relationship with God even to the point of unseating his own mother's pagan leadership. He broke from the family in the he chose to walk and lead in a God-honoring way.
Family connections and inherited traditions and practices can truly set up the next generation for success or failure. Against the odds, Asa broke from his heritage to embrace the light. As we consider this, there are two decisions that you and I must make.
First, we must choose God over family. It's really that simple. And I say this as one who is almost giddy because my family is coming to visit today for the holidays. I love my family, but I would have to find the courage and strength to break from them if they hampered my walk with God. If you're family hinders you from your walk with God, then you must find the strength to overcome. In the end, your decision might be the only hope to spark a spiritual revival or revolution in your family.
Secondly, we must recognize the strength and courage it takes to choose God over family. In doing so, I pray that we can find grace for those who struggle with this. It is simple to say that God must come first, but it is not easy to break the bonds of family. However, while we need grace for those struggling to accomplish this feat, we must also make every effort to ensure that we are not a stumbling block for our own families. Let us strive to be the source of courage instead of the obstacle to be overcome.