1Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan; she was from Jerusalem. 2He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly. 2 Chronicles 25:1-2
There are so few examples of a King doing the right thing that my heart grieves when I read sentences describing half-hearted obedience. King Amaziah for instance, “3He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not as his father David had done. In everything, he followed the example of his father Joash. 4The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.” (2 KI. 14:3-4). Even Joash, King of Judah, had an opportunity to secure his future through a prophetic act. Instead, he gave a half-hearted effort and received half a victory. 18Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and the king took them. Elisha told him, “Strike the ground.” He struck it three times and stopped. 19The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.” (2 Ki. 13:18-19) What gives? The evil Kings are whole-hearted in their rebellion against God and their horrific acts towards their fellow man. Why are these godly Kings holding back in their obedience? The outward actions reveal the inward conditions of the heart. These Kings needed a coach.
As we have been reading through 1 and 2 Timothy while simultaneously reading through 1 and 2 Kings and Chronicles I can see how these Kings needed the coaching Timothy was getting. Like a halftime huddle in the middle of the big game, the coach was bringing Timothy off the field to remind him of what he’s out there to do. The cure to the weary, half-hearted, half-effective leader at half-time is spoudazo. Paul loved this Greek word often translated as “be diligent, eager, making every effort.” It’s found in six of his letters as he exhorts his readers, specifically Timothy, to give it all they’ve got! Spoudazo means to obey God by being all in, all the way, all the time. To serve God with blood, sweat, and tears. As Oswald Chambers describes, “to give my utmost for His Highest.” It’s unremitting attention, unrelenting pursuit, and an unstoppable commitment to follow through on what God has called us to do! July 1st is the halfway point for 2019. This is that great opportunity to stop and have an honest conversation with my Creator- "How am I doing so far Lord?" This halftime conversation will determine, much like King Jehoash, whether I have full or partial victory this year. This isn't about the New Years Resolutions (that most likely didn't last past February). This is about a move from success to significance. If I don't take the halftime seriously my vision ends up half-baked and my obedience half-hearted and I'll only get halfway there! As I slow down I ask myself the question out of today’s reading, “Am I giving God all I’ve got or have I grown careful, cold, and calculated in my care for others and obedience to Christ?” I heard a quote recently that applies to this spousal discussion. The pastor said, “Many young leaders say they want to do great things for God. What they mean is that they want to do great things so they can be seen and known and they will bring God along for the ride. Instead of saying, “Let me do great things for God”, I think we should be saying, “Let me do things for a Great God.”
It’s Halftime and You, my coach, is bringing me back into the locker room and off of the field to remind me of why I’m on the field in the first place. I don’t want to make the same mistake busyness for effectiveness. July 1st also marks four years as campus pastor of New Hope Oahu. I want to spoudazo the rest of this year Lord. I want to give you my unremitting attention, unrelenting pursuit and unstoppable commitment. I want to follow through whole-heartedly with everything You’ve called me here to do. That where I am weary You would revive me by Your Spirit. Where my passion has waned You would breathe Your new life in. I want to go back out on that harvest field holding nothing back!