From Pillar to Post (The Spectrum of Idolatry part 2)

"And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the Lord, that was before the porch of the Lord." (2 Chronicles 15:8)

Fast forward a few verses, through the formalities of what it takes to really clear-cut idolatry out of an entire culture, through the harsh punishments given to those who don't comply, who aren't inclined to "seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul;" (15:12), and we come upon this little afterthought (15:17):

"But the high places were not taken away out of Israel: nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days."

Two, almost minor, details. The first of which goes against, it would seem, something Asa did at the beginning of his reign. The fifth verse of the prior chapter says Asa "took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images". If he already did this, evidently there were those who had endeavored to make the climb to reinstate another form of worship not directed to Jehovah. Okay (actually not okay). It then says that "the kingdom was quiet before him." This little mention plays into our own life in a big way in the sense that if we don't endeavor to keep the little things present before God, the very real victory He wins for us will slowly slip and attenuate and may perhaps be in danger of falling apart altogether. Paul says "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." (Galatians 5:9) In other words, it doesn't take much yeast to cause the loaf you're baking to rise. If you're called to eat "unleavened bread" (figuratively, as were the Israelites literally: see Exodus 12:8) then the "high places" must go, too. They must be cut down. But here's the second point.

"He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:9-10)

So, God has just given you a victory. You went through an amazing season, a series of struggles and trials that threatened to quash your soul. But you persevered with His help and now look at you! Is it what you expect? You knew it was coming and now it's here. Are you disappointed with the "spoil", so to speak? In God's wisdom, He doesn't always do exactly what we expect in the timeframe we expect because we wouldn't still feel inclined to continue to seek Him, perhaps. I find that, rather than fix my circumstances and the settings that caused such, sometimes the trials only come to build up my spirit and soul in ways I never knew needed strengthening. The above passage from Psalms speaks to the right perspective on the victory God gives. And also what is important through it all: stillness (“...and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” Psalm 37:11b). Asa's kingdom was "quiet before him." We must revel in this. Maintain that sanctity of holiness in which God's presence now dwells by the Holy Spirit. Maybe not much has changed on the outside, but you see it with fresh eyes and a renewed sense of purpose. You will vault over what struggles still await (you know this now) but take a little time and, as it says, be still. And after some prayer and thanksgiving, get to work on those "high places". Your heart is right before God.

"For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds feet, and setteth me upon my high places." (Psalm 18:31-33)

Abstract Concepts (The Spectrum of Idolatry part 3)

That God Would Interact With Us