Saturday, February 13
ASSUME VICTORY, GET DEFEAT; LOSE GOD, LOSE JOY
Similarly, in 2 Chronicles 16, we read of Judah's Asa hiring Syria to fight against Baasha, king of Israel. This was a wrong move. Why? He did not consult God. So, God sent the prophet (seer) Hanani to tell him, because you didn't turn to God but relied on yourself to figure this out, you've lost out on destroying the Syrians.
First, history shows that you can defeat even larger enemies IF YOU CRY OUT TO GOD! "Because you relied on the LORD, he gave them into your hand" (v. 8b). So, I ask myself (and you), "Why is it that we do this?" Why, given our Lord's good history of delivering us out of trouble, granting us wisdom and guidance . . . why is it that we presume upon Him today? Strange, isn't it? We seek the Lord when we have a "BIG" issue, but fail to pray before we read today's Bible reading? Why? Is that too small a matter, too infinitesimal? You talk about real spiritual issues with your loved ones? But do you really pray for God to change them, to enlighten them to truth, to help them in their struggles? Do you just think about it? PRAY! PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING. PRAY ABOUT EVERY LITTLE THING. PRAY ABOUT EVERY LITTLE THING . . . ALL THE TIME. Never presume upon God.
Second, the LORD is always on the look-out for those who will trust in Him. He doesn't sit by idly or passively waiting to see if we'll call out. He's searching the field of battle for a good warrior! "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him" (v. 9). God WANTS to help us. YES! Further, God's ready to give us "STRONG SUPPORT." He's not just going to "throw us a bone" as it were.
But notice one thing else about this verse. Who's God look for in particular? Those whose heart is BLAMELESS toward Him. Blameless? You would've thought He'd have looked for one who is "Faithful," who believes Him. But "Blameless?" Why? Well, "blameless" can mean, "innocent of wrongdoing." But this is more at the idea of "complete, safe, or at peace." God is looking then for us to be those who find our completion in HIM, who consider no move "safe" that does not begin with reliance on God, and who rest in God's wisdom, for they are at peace only with his decisions. God is not the last resort, the one you turn to only if all other means have been exhausted. He's the first one you turn to, and this habitually. That will make a difference, all the difference in victory and defeat, in love and misery for the Christian. Those who call out to God find Him all-sufficient and that leads to joy and thankfulness. "Rejoice evermore" (1 Thess. 5:16).