Long-Term Planning

1 Kings 15:4,9-11   But because of David, the LORD his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem to raise up his son after him and to establish Jerusalem.   In the twentieth year of Israel’s King Jeroboam, Asa became king of Judah and reigned 41 years in Jerusalem. His grandmother’s name was Maacah daughter of Abishalom.  Asa did what was right in the LORD’s eyes, as his ancestor David had done. 

For some people, long-term planning means that they have plans for tonight.  They live minute by minute, often living for themselves.  While it is good to live in the moment, it’s also good to look ahead.  Looking ahead demands that your consider the involvement of others.  It requires that you think beyond yourself and think about how your plans and actions affect other people.  Do you ever consider that your life today will affect someone tomorrow?

In 1 Kings, we read about evil kings.  We read about these guys who did not follow the Lord as their ancestor David did.  They ruled to their own pleasure and desires.  They turned to other gods and turned their back on the Lord.  Consequently, their reign was not blessed.  But there was this one guy who came along named Asa.  His parents and grandparents didn’t follow the Lord.  Everything modeled for him was wicked.  And even though he had a bad example set for him, he found the Lord.  He destroyed the despicable things his parents had done.  He turned his heart to God the way his ancestor David did.  

You see, David laid the groundwork for a generation that would come long after he died.  It says here in 1 Kings that it was because of David that God raised up Asa to be a man who did right in the eyes of the Lord.  That’s some serious long-term planning on David’s part!  We, too must realize that our lives are not just about us.  We think in terms of how our actions affect us.  We pursue wicked things in our heart thinking it won’t hurt anybody.  But there is something great at stake: our legacy.  We have the opportunity to live a life for the Lord that will be passed down to generation after generation.  Think bigger today and pave the way for your great-great-great grandchildren.

The peace of Chuck Norris

1 Kings 4:24b He had peace on all his surrounding borders.

Solomon was wise; Solomon was powerful.  With the armies described here in 1 Kings 4, he could have wiped out any enemy he wanted. Even if his neighbors had great armies, he easily could have outsmarted them with a better battle plan.   But Solomon had peace on all his surrounding borders.  He had peace.  All around him.

You know who else has peace all around him?  Chuck Norris. Because nobody can defeat the awesomeness that is Chuck Norris.  I dare someone to try.  LOL.  But his peace comes by his hands.  It comes by beating up numskulls.  It comes by intimidating the most worthy foe with his beard… er, I mean, fighting skills.  If peace is determined by how well I can fight, I have a false sense of peace.  I might know I can win, but that doesn’t stop people from attacking me.  So I am left to defend peace with my mad skills at all times.  No thank you Chuck Norris.  No thank you.

So I must gain peace another way.  It cannot be gained through karate.  It cannot be gained with an awesome beard.  It must be gained by how I treat others around me.  (I have the feeling that Solomon treated others well.)  It must be gained by how I lead.  I have to guard my tongue, check my heart, and watch my actions.  It will take effort on my part.  It will require that I don’t take up offenses and that I don’t make assumptions.  Peace is work, but it is worth it.  And it must be accomplished in my heart, not with my hands.

How are your borders defined?  Do you have peace with the people around you?  If not, what can you do to change that?