Staying in the Sweet Zone
I tell my kids there is a sweet zone they want to get to and stay in. It is the place of God’s blessing but more than that, of God’s presence. It is when we choose God over this world and choose to seek wisdom and live according to His word. And what a joy it is to see them doing that. But staying in the sweet zone is a fight and it is a choice. It does not just happen. We need to be in relationship with God and cry out for help to live this life. We need to ask for wisdom, too, like Solomon did.
Bible Reading of the Day: 2 Chronicles 1-5
We are starting the book of 2 Chronicles today. Chronicles is the final book of the Hebrew Bible, concluding the third section of Ketuvim, the last section of the Jewish Tanakh. Tanakh is an acronym of the first Hebrew letter of each of the Masoretic Text’s three traditional divisions: Torah (‘Teaching’, also known as the Five Books of Moses), Nevi’im (‘Prophets’), and Ketuvim (‘Writings’)—hence TaNaKh. Originally a single work, Chronicles was divided into two in the Septuagint, a Greek translation produced in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. It has three broad divisions:
- The genealogies in chapters 1–9 of 1 Chronicles
- The reigns of David and Solomon (constituting the remainder of 1 Chronicles, and chapters 1–9 of 2 Chronicles);
- And the narrative of the divided kingdom, focusing on the Kingdom of Judah, in the remainder of 2 Chronicles.
The division into two books introduced by the translators of the Septuagint “occurs in the most suitable place”, namely with the conclusion of David’s reign as king and the initiation of Solomon’s reign. 1 Chronicles is divided into 29 chapters and 2 Chronicles into 36 chapters.
Staying in the Sweet Zone—Start Strong
I love great beginnings. Solomon starts his reign with God and God was with him.
2 Chronicles 1:1
“Solomon son of David strengthened his hold on his kingdom. The Lord his God was with him and highly exalted him.”
Oh man, to stay at that place where we are with God. Where we place ourselves in His presence by being obedient.
As Solomon’s reign begins at the beginning of 2 Chronicles, right at the beginning Solomon asks God for something. We likely all know the story. He asks for wisdom. Such a request takes having humility. Solomon saw his need of God and he did something about it.
Scripture of the Day: 2 Chronicles 1:10-12
“Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?” 11 God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people— 12 I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame such as no other king has had before you or will ever have in the future!”
Staying in the Sweet Zone—Have a Pure Heart
Notice that Solomon’s greatest desire was first of all seen by God, and that desire was pure. It was servant-hearted.
God sees our desires. He wants to bless us, and knows when we cannot handle blessing, too.
Are our hearts pure? Are we wanting God’s glory and purposes? We can say we want to do things for Jesus, but sometimes can have other motivations.
Staying in the sweet zone, God uses us to do amazing things.
Solomon built a temple for God.
Staying in the Sweet Zone—Finish Strong
The words we hope to hear at the end, “Well done, good and faithful servant” happen when we stay in the sweet zone and accomplish God’s purposes.
When we are in the sweet zone, 100% after God’s own heart, other people notice.
2 Chronicles 2:11-12, “11 Then King Hiram of Tyre wrote a letter and sent it to Solomon:
Because the Lord loves his people, he set you over them as king. 12 Hiram also said:
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who made the heavens and the earth! He gave King David a wise son with insight and understanding, who will build a temple for the Lord and a royal palace for himself.”
Staying in the Sweet Zone—Being Obedient
One of my children recently called to tell me how blessed he was by seeing God’s favor in his life. He wondered why and was in awe of God. I told him it was because he was putting himself in the place of God’s blessing—being obedient and drawing near to God.
My son was grateful for the blessings but being in the presence of God was the sweetest reward.
This is the challenge to us all—that we would stay in the sweet zone – near to God, seeking His glory and not our own.
In the end, when we are victorious, we worship God for what He has done through us.
2 Chronicles 5:13-14
“13 The trumpeters and singers joined together to praise and thank the Lord with one voice. They raised their voices, accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and musical instruments, in praise to the Lord: For he is good; his faithful love endures forever.
The temple, the Lord’s temple, was filled with a cloud. 14 And because of the cloud, the priests were not able to continue ministering, for the glory of the Lord filled God’s temple.”
Having Biblical Faith in a Modern World
Do you need help trying to live your faith out in this crazy world? I hope you will join me this coming Saturday at a women’s conference as I share about “Having Biblical Faith in a Modern World” at Good Hope Baptist Church from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. There will be breakfast and lunch, worship and four talks about how we live our faith in a post-modern society.
You can buy tickets at https://www.goodhopelive.com/events/womens2020
Staying in the Sweet Zone—Application
- Stay near to God.
- Admit that we don’t have it going on
- Stay in the sweet zone with Jesus and find yourself surrounded by the presence of God.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #261: 2 Chronicles 1-5
Scripture of the Day: 2 Chronicles 1:10-12
Join me live at 8am ET: www.facebook.com/deniseduboispass
Bible Reading Plan: https://denisepass.com/bible-reading-plan/
Missed one of the Bible time lives? No problem! Check it out on my YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/denisepass_seeingdeep
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