God showing himself strong
Self-reliance is a deadly trap as a Christian, we often think that by exerting our independence we are conquering the world, but in actual fact we are alienating ourselves from God.
Yes that sounds pretty harsh but it is the truth, you see God wants us to come to him with everything, and for everything, he wants to be a part of the decisions that we make, he wants to help guide us so that our lives will bring forth much fruit.
Jesus taught us in John 15, that if we were to be a friend of God we would need to walk in obedience, and one of the most important things that he has been teaching humanity from the time of Adam, is for us to trust him, to rely on him, to let him show us the way so that it will bring life to us.
Often the case is that we run ahead, and then think of asking him later for help. This happened just recently to me as a matter of fact. My husband and I would love to buy an RV, we love to explore, and we love to camp, but tenting is quickly becoming stale. So we have been looking around for an RV that we can afford.
About a month ago, we found an RV that we could afford, and made an appointment to go and see it. I had to rearrange an appointment I had made, in order to see this RV. Off we went, in the rain, with much excitement and dreaming of how we would camp every weekend, we ran ahead to see the RV. As we were nearing the sellers house we get a phone call, I thought it was one of my children, but it was the seller, informing us that she had sold the RV about 5 minutes before. We were 5 minutes from her house!
Needless to say we were most disappointed, I then asked my husband if he had prayed about this RV before we had left and he said no, and I realized that I had not prayed either. It was a lesson to us, I believe that when we run ahead of God and his plans for our lives, things don’t always turn out for the best. The lord might have given us a feeling of unrest and we might not have sped up there to look at the RV, or he might have shown us in another way that it was not going to work out for us, if we had inquired of him first.
I would love to say that I have completely learnt my lesson, and I will never do that again, but I probably will, but I have learnt that God, is trying to train me and my husband to bring all of our choices and decisions to him, to seek his council on things so that he can show us what is best for us. I believe too that he is trying to show us that we are to trust him, he can see the bigger picture and we cannot.
This morning as I was reading my bible, 2 Chronicles 16:9 really spoke to my heart, and it says:
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose Heart is loyal to Him.”
God promises that he will show himself strong on behalf of those who are loyal to him, to those who seek him out and have a heart that whole-heartedly honor and love him.
This was spoken to King Asa of Judah, he had served the Lord whole heartedly for 35 years while being the ruler and had led the people to do the same, because of that, the Lord gave them peace with the surrounding nations, and prospered the people.
Then King Asa, had Baasha King of Israel come and fight against Judah. Instead of going to the Lord, and asking Him what they should do, he went to a neighboring king and asked to make an alliance with him, so that they would be able to fight against the king of Israel, the king agreed and they started to fight against him.
This made the Lord God angry, as King Asa, had not come to him for direction and help. It was then that the lord sent a prophet to speak to the king and he told him,
At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. “
As you can see, the lord takes his responsibility towards us very seriously, when he says that he is our rock, fortress, defender, salvation, hope, peace, provider, he is those things to us, but when we start to trust in our own abilities, or we run to others around us for help, then the lord cannot do in and through us what he desires to do.
“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.
As you can see, the prophet said to King Asa, the Lord will strengthen those people whose hearts are fully committed to him, no exceptions, but because the King had already started to rely on himself, his pride rose up within him and he became angry at the prophet and put him in Jail.
I have found myself in that place of anger, when I have not sought the Lord and then things have not turned out the way I thought that they should and when confronted with my folly, my pride rose up from within me and pushed back.
I would love to tell you that this has happened only once to me, but I would be a liar, the truth of the matter is, that I will have a more fulfilling life when I submit myself to the lord, and ask him to help me in the directions that I need to go.
My life will not always be perfect, but I know that if I trust the Lord to show me his path for my life, it will be way better than the path I tried to forge, with sweat and tears, turmoil and strife.
So I think the things that we can learn from this passage of scripture is this,
- When you walk with the lord and seek him with your whole heart, the lord will strengthen you and guide you
- When you start to rely on yourself and others to give you advice, direction and clarity in anything, you will find that God will withdraw and you will not get the desired results that you were after.
- Trusting in the Lord is the only way to lead a successful Christian life.
What was sad for me about the story of King Asa, is that he never repented of his arrogance and a few years later he contracted a disease in his foot, and instead of asking the lord for healing and relief, he relied totally on doctors for his healing, this eventually led to his death.
As you can see that when you start to harden your heart toward God, and never repent, it is not long before you are so hard hearted that you close yourself off from God completely.
If you can relate to any part of this article today, I want to encourage you to take a moment and ask the lord to Forgive you for trusting in everything but him, for allowing your heart to become hardened towards him, and ask him to soften your heart towards him once again, and let him be the one to lead you and direct your life.
My husband and I have yet to find the RV that will meet our budget and fit our family needs, but I do know that as I walk with the lord and trust him to show us where it is, we will find something that is suitable for all of our needs and will be beyond our expectations.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, ask the Lord today, to lead you in all of the ways that he has for you, I know that you will find great joy and deeper satisfaction than you ever have before.