Im sure that we all would have to say that living a life of obedience to God is not always easy. At times our stand for Jesus will cause us to experience some hard times. History is full of believers who suffered greatly and even lost their live because of their commitment to Christ. The fact is being a Christian does not automatically leave us open to persecution. their are many who claim to be Christians but suffer no persecution whatsoever. But when we decide that we will truly obey God no matter what the cost that is when we may face persecution. Why ? Because obeying God is not always the popular thing. People dont mind the fact that you are a Christian. But when you start putting actions behind the name that is when people get upset.
In this passage today we see that Asa "removed the altars of the foreign gods, and the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images". In short he removed idolatry from the nation. The scriptute doesnt say this but im sure that his actions were not popular will everyone. In fact im sure that there were many in Israel that we enraged by what he did to their graven images. Asas actions were not popular. But he chose to obey God, even if it didnt win him any friends. Pleasing God was more important to him than pleasing man. Its just that simple.
There is no doubt about it, there will be times in our lives when obeying will be the unpopular thing. And at that time we will have to decide whether or not to please man, or to please God. Truly living a life that is obedient to Jesus will cause us to do some thing that will not be popular with everyone. Obeying him might be unpopular with our friends, familes, coworkers etc. And like Asa we will have to choose whether we will please God or please man. Sometimes the pressure from others to take a path that is disobedient to God will be great. And it is in these times of testing that our level of commitment will truly be revealed.
What about you ? Are you willing to obey God when it is not popular, or do you just do what others around you want you to do ? I have to admit that there have been times in my life when i crumbled under the pressure and chose to please man rather than God. Im sure we all could say that. But we must realize that a life committed to Jesus will cause us some hardship. Are you willing to face hardship for Jesus ? Are we willing to do the unpopular things to obey Him ? Let us never forget that this world and all that is in it are just temporary and will soon pass. But our times of choosing to obey Him will resonate through all eternity. So let us ask God to give us the grace to be willing to the unpopular things for His sake.