Even when we eliminate idols from our lives, we are at risk of letting them creep back in. Idols will re-emerge and push us off track if we do not continue to remove them from our lives: let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…
2 Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. 3 He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. 4 He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands. 5 He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him.
1 The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. 2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
8 When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the portico of the Lord’s temple.
2Chronicles 14:2-5, 15:1-2, 8
The story of King Asa of Judah reminds us of a truth which will serve us well if we embrace it today. Even when we eliminate idols from our lives and our worship, we are at risk of letting them creep back into our lives. That’s what happened with Judah.
We see some time later in chapter 14 that Asa had all the foreign altars and high places removed, smashing sacred stones and cutting down the Asherah poles of pagan worship. Then in the very next chapter, we see Azariah giving Asa a prophecy that God will be found if they seek him or will forsake them if they ignore him.
Asa’s response was to clean house again, removing idols and repairing the altar of God. When as the last time you cleaned house? I’m not talking about your dust bunnies – I’m talking about your spiritual house.
Idols will emerge and push us off track if we do not continue to remove them from our lives. That’s what the story of Asa teaches us.
I was speaking with someone the other day about how he had been freed from an idol in his life. He had experienced God’s healing and was moving on and up in his life. Except that Satan and his demons don’t give up that easy. They are working on plan B and after that, plan C.
When we seek the Lord and choose to follow him, we need to clean up the things which hold us back. Hebrews 12:1 puts it this way: ‘let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.’
That’s not a one-time event. We are to continue to throw off the idols and sins and temptations which will drag us down. And expect new issues to emerge once you have conquered the first. Perseverance is often about being willing to retrace and recommit when we trip.