2 Chronicles 25-27 – Who Are You Full Of?

“Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall” (Prov. 16:18 NLT)

Sometimes (if not most of the time) we’re our own worst enemy. Especially when things are going well for us and we’re prospering. It’s during these times that we tend to forget God, whose goodness and blessing we’re enjoying. We become prideful and self-confident in times of ease and prosperity.

This is what you see in the lives of king Amaziah and king Uzziah, in 2 Chronicles chapters 25 through 27. Both kings start off honoring and obeying God, and because of that, God honors them with success, prosperity, fame, and power. But then, both kings become prideful and self-serving. God lifted them up, but their pride took them down.

How many times has this happened to us? We’ve been in a hard or threatening time of life. We’ve turned to God in need and dependence. God rescued and delivered us to a place of comfort and ease. Then we act as if we got ourselves out of the jam and we don’t really need him.

Never forget that if you don’t stay full of God, you will stay full of yourself. And that will be your downfall.

2 Chronicles 14-16 – What Happened?!

Every once in a while you come across a story of a former celebrity whose life is in shambles. Maybe they’re in trouble with the law, or they’ve filed for bankruptcy, or they’ve taken their own life. And you ask yourself, “What happened?”

That’s the type of story you find in 2 Chronicles chapters 14-16. It begins with King Asa living a blessed life. He is a faithful leader who’s committed to God and to his people. The nation is both peaceful and fortified. It was a golden age.

But, by the end of 2 Chronicles chapter 16, the country is plagued with war, the priests and the people are oppressed, and the king is plagued with a foot disease that eventually kills him. What happened?!

What happened was that king Asa stopped doing the one thing that had brought him and his country such success. He stopped depending on God. Instead, Asa started trusting himself and a foreign king.

Over the 25 years between his first battle and his last, Asa forgot the victories that came through trusting God alone. The years of success caused Asa to become complacent and arrogant. Twenty-five years of peace left him unprepared for king Baasha’s attack.

This failure to depend on God leads Asa to become angry. And rather than repenting, Asa begins to oppress the priests and the people. He eventually contracts a foot disease that takes his life. Asa stopped depending on God and it literally became the death of him.

If it happened to Asa, it could happen to you. What keeps you from depending on God? Fear? Pride? Complacency? Whatever it is, it’s killing you in every way. Life and success are found in trusting in and depending on God.

2 Chronicles 11-12 – The Fine Line Between Responsibility and Self-Reliance

There’s a fine line between being responsible and being self-reliant. You may think they both sound similar and admirable, but confusing the two can be a problem.

In 2 Chronicles chapters 11-12, King Rehoboam confuses being responsible with self-reliance. After the northern tribes desert him and establish their own kingdom, Rehoboam sets out to strengthen what’s left of his kingdom. He fortifies cities, stores weapons, stockpiles food, and stations troops. Seems like a responsible thing to do, right?

But, after Rehoboam feels safe behind his efforts and stockpiles, he doesn’t feel the need to rely on God anymore. He becomes lax and turns away from God, doing his own thing. (2 Chron. 12:1) Because of this, God allows the king of Egypt to over-run the cities Rehoboam had fortified and trusted for protection.

Rehoboam then retreats to Jerusalem where he confesses his sin and humbles himself before God. So, God protects Jerusalem from being overrun and destroyed. But, God allows Jerusalem to fall under Egyptian rule to teach them how much better it is to be under God’s rule than their own.

As we said, there’s a fine line between being responsible and being self-reliant. Being responsible refers to working hard while acknowledging that God is in charge of the outcomes. Being self-reliant refers to working hard while believing we are in charge of the outcomes. In other words, being responsible keeps God in the picture while being self-reliant cuts God out of the picture.

Are you responsible or self-reliant? Don’t forget the words of Psalm 127:1...“Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is useless. Unless the Lord protects the city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.” (NLT)

Be responsible, and keep God in the equation.

The List – Wait for Your Spouse to Go First

Note: We are currently in a series called “The List.” The list refers to a list of ways you can lose your marriage, and is based on information gleaned from over 20 years of counseling records and watching marriage fail.

“You go first.” “No, you go first!” “Why should I be the one to go first? You go first!”

Parents hear this from their kids when those kids are facing something challenging, scary, or something they just don’t want to do.

But this also occurs between spouses. It just sounds different. It sounds more like, “Well, it would be a lot easier for me to do what you want if you would just ___________.” Or, “How can I do that when you’re still doing this.” This is the married version of “You go first.” “No, you go first.”


So many marital disputes boil down to who’s going to go first. We usually know what we need to do. We just don’t want to go first. We want our spouse to make the first move toward making things right.

But waiting on your spouse to make the first move makes things worse. And doing that long enough can cost you your marriage.

You should be the one who goes first in trying to make things better.

Now some of you are thinking, “Why should I be the one who goes first! You don’t even know the situation! You don’t know what my spouse has done! How can you say I should be the one who goes first to make it right?!”

Well first, let’s talk about why it’s so difficult to be the one who goes first.


If you push back against going first, that’s perfectly natural and understandable. Going first is difficult. Here are some reasons why going first is so hard…


Maybe the reason it’s hard for you to go first is that your spouse has hurt you. Maybe they’ve hurt your feelings, or your pride, or your sense of fairness. And just like any wound, burn, or broken limb, that hurt has made you very sensitive and guarded.


Perhaps it’s hard for you to go first because you’re afraid of being taken advantage of. Maybe you’re afraid of getting hurt again. When you’re hurt by your spouse, it can make it harder to trust them going forward, for fear that they’ll do it again.


This is a subject none of us what to admit, but pride can often get in our way of going first. Our pride causes us to think things like: “Why should I go first? They’re the ones who messed up!” “If I go first, they’ll think I’m weak.” “I can’t go first. Then they’ll think they can get away with anything!”


And finally, we often let our stubbornness get in the way of going first. We’re convinced that we’re right, and we’re going to stick to our guns no matter what. We’re not going to compromise our principles…no matter what.


I know going first is hard when you feel you’ve been wronged. I struggle with it all the time. But despite how difficult it is, going first is important for the following reasons:

It breaks a stalemate and gets things moving.

When there is hurt or disagreement in a marriage, it creates an emotional and behavioral log jam. Just like a log jam in a stream, love can’t begin to flow between spouses until someone makes a move to remove a log and get the love and behaviors flowing again. It’s within your power to get things flowing again, by going first.

Going first also makes it easier for your spouse to respond positively. You may be thinking, “It’s not my job to make it easier for them. They should do what’s right, even if it’s hard!”  But that’s a two-way street. If you want them to do what they should do so it will be easier for you to respond to them, then you have to be willing to do the same.

It starts to change attitudes.

We feel like our attitude needs to change before we can take the right action. But it’s actually the other way around. When you do the right thing, it starts to change your attitude…making it easier to do the next right thing. When you do the right thing, it not only positively affects your attitude, it positively affects your spouse’s attitude also.

And when you lovingly go first and do the right thing, it makes it harder for your spouse to blame you for their actions. In effect, going first takes away their ammunition.

It’s a tangible expression of love.

Love is expressed more in what you do than in what you say. If you say you love your spouse, but then wait for them to go first, your words of love mean little. You’re basically saying, “I’ll love you, only if you do what I think you need to do.” That’s not love, that’s bartering. Love sacrifices what you want for what your spouse needs.

It makes logical sense.

You can’t force your spouse to change. Trying to force them to do something (like going first) is disrespectful, offensive, and insights resistance. Don’t you feel the same way when they’re trying to force you to do something? So it’s illogical to try to force them to do something they don’t want to do and expect it to make things better.

Any change made in a marriage…no matter who makes it…will have an effect on the marriage as a whole. So, even if you believe your spouse should go first you ging first, will change things.

It’s a spiritual principle.

And finally, if you’re a person of faith, the idea that you should go first is backed up in the Scripture.

Matthew 5:23-26 says that if your “brother” has something against you, you should go and make things right between you. But later in Matthew 18:15, we’re told that if you have something against your “brother,” go and try to make it right with them. If you sum up these two passages, I always should be the one who goes first.


In marriage, both spouses should strive to go first. But I  know it’s hard to be the one to go first in trying to do the right thing; especially if you’re feeling hurt or fear being taken advantage of. But going first can make a real difference in your marriage. It can get things moving again, change your attitude, and make it easier for your spouse to respond in kind.

But here’s a caveat… I’m not saying if you always go first, everything will always be great in your marriage. It takes two people, working together, to make the marriage work well. You going first and doing the right things does not ensure that your spouse will do the same.


But, Romans 12:18 tells us…“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” That verse infers that it may not always be possible to live peaceably with someone. But it is possible for you to do what “depends on you.” And that involves going first to try to make things right in marriage.

Because if you consistently wait for your spouse to go first, it will be detrimental to your marriage. That’s why…IT’S ON THE LIST.