Pay Careful Attention

The high places were not removed from Israel.
Nevertheless, the heart of Asa
was loyal all his days.

2 Chronicles 15.17

Asa did well by removing the abominable image his mother made for Asherach, but he failed to remove the idols from the high places in Israel. Asa was obedient in what he considered the most important areas by removing the idols and altars in Judah  (2 Chronicles 14.2-4). He had personally removed all idolatry from his own life and commanded the people of Judah to do the same. He brought things his father Abijah had dedicated to God and placed them into the house of God (2 Chronicles 15.18).

What Asa did by not removing the idols from Israel is similar to what the Pharisees did in Matthew 23.23: “For ye tithe mint and anise and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith: but these ye ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone.

Beware of ever thinking, “Oh, that thing in my life does not matter much.” The fact that it does not matter much to you may mean it matters a great deal to God. Nothing should be considered a trivial matter by a child of God. How much longer are we going to prevent God from teaching us even one thing? God keeps trying to teach us and He never loses patience. You say, “I know I am right with God,” yet the “high places” still remain in your life. There is still an area of disobedience. Will you protest that your heart is right with God although there remains some small thing in your life you have yet to remove? Nothing in our lives is a mere insignificant detail to God.

A Christian may extol his or her faithfulness to God because they are not a member of another religious group or cult or participate in the use of illegal drugs, immorality, or murder. Challenge yourself with this question:

Are there some things regarding your spiritual, physical, or emotional life to which you have been paying
no attention at all?

If so, you may think you are correct in the important areas, but you could be truly careless and failing to concentrate or focus properly on all the necessary points of life.

No Christian can afford a day off from spiritual concentration on all matters in life no more than our heart needs a day off from beating. You can neither take a day off morally and remain moral nor take a day off spiritually and remain spiritual. To take one day off by virtue of “spiritual vacation” means a disciple’s “spiritual vocation” loses traction. Just think about what it would be like if you took a day off from work. When you went back to work, would you be behind? How much catching up would you have to do to be where you were before you took a day off? Would you be able to work through today’s matters while you were trying to work through yesterday’s concerns?

See the point of paying attention every day to what you think, believe, and do. God wants your life in all points every day. No day off. Every day is focused attention. Every moment needs His help. Every hour is an hour of growth. Every minute is a grow minute.

God wants you to be entirely His, and it requires paying close attention to keeping yourself fit (1 Timothy 4.8). May we understand a vital point here? the amount of time we attend to matters which are problematic to us in our relationship with God determines the effort we put toward removing those problems. If we try to “rise above” all our problems with only a few minutes’ effort, we may be like Ephesians 4.14: “…children, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine” and never come to “grow up in all things into Him, who is the head, even Christ” (v. 15).

Give prayerful meditation upon the things above and one more thing as this message ends: You and those influenced by you pay attention to what is believed, seen, and heard. Suppose there were an image of something immoral, ungodly, or evil put up close to where you lived. You passed it every day. Would you express your concern about its message to a local official to take it down? Would you choose another way to travel? Would you tell your family not to look at it as you passed? Would you think, “That will have no impact upon us?” 

Fact is, we erect attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors in our personal life and home each day a Christian’s life does not need and influence everyone around us each day and never say or do anything about it.

Pay attention!