READ: Read this passage aloud slowly.
2 Chronicles 16:7-9
Just after that, Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said, “Because you went for help to the king of Aram and didn’t ask God for help, you’ve lost a victory over the army of the king of Aram. Didn’t the Ethiopians and Libyans come against you with superior forces, completely outclassing you with their chariots and cavalry? But you asked God for help and he gave you victory. God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him. You were foolish to go for human help when you could have had God’s help. Now you’re in trouble–one round of war after another.”
THINK: Read the passage again slowly. Previously Asa had been a good king. After hearing convicting prophecy, he “took a deep breath, then rolled up his sleeves, and went to work” cleaning out the temples (15:8).
(1) Which phrase or idea sticks with you?
…that Asa “went for help to the king of Aram and didn’t ask God for help”
…that “God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him”
…that not relying on God results in “one round of war after another”
(2) Why does that idea stick with you?
(3) The theme of this passage could be summed up in the acronym FROG, standing for Fully Rely On God. Consider your life – for what large or small issues might you FROG that you have not thought of before? (Don’t use this passage to beat yourself up; that’s not profitable. Use it instead as a springboard to ask God for guidance.)
The thing that sticks with me in this passage, because I’ve been so guilty of it over the years, it “You were foolish to go for human help when you could have had God’s help.” There are times when God puts you in the position that you have to go to others for help. But there are also times when God just wants you to turn to Him.
For instance, there have been times in my marriage when my husband and I have had a plan. We’ve worked the plan. Things have gone well. Then, all of a sudden, someone will come along with an idea that stirs up some of my old insecurities, and I immediately go off-script in an effort to make what we are doing seem less weird to the person I’m talking to. Once I go off that direction, it can be hard to get me back. Eventually, I reached a point in my walk with the Lord, that He started letting suggestions and advice from others take their toll on my marriage. That, in turn, fed into my old insecurities, seeming to justify the fact that I felt that way already. Things would start going poorly, the insecurity would grow, the plan would go awry, and then, I would have to go to my husband and apologize for not trusting the plan, and then I would have to ask forgiveness from God for not trusting Him. All of this from trying to please someone other than God.
PRAY: Thank God that you can fully rely on him. Admire God for his divine alertness and for how relying on him keeps you out of “trouble – one round of war after another.” Take your time so that you fully explore your gratitude and admiration.
Abba Father, it is a little embarrassing to admit that what I know of the peace that comes from relying on you far too often has come from having to live through the lack of peace I’ve had from not trusting you. But, I am thankful that I have that experience to draw off of. Now, especially. In a time when I have no idea what in the world to do, and it seems like I’m trying to plan for the future and live day-by-day, both at the same time, and not knowing how in the world that is supposed to look, all I can do is take the next step I feel is being directed by you. Most days, it makes no sense, though I desperately want it to. And sometimes, even more than wanting it myself, I wish that I could explain it to others. If I could make some sense out of things, I could relax a little bit. But, yes, I hear you tell me: where would be the need for faith!?
Dear Heavenly Father, for everyone reading who is going through something tonight they really wish they understood, or wish was over, I pray for peace. I pray for the faith to keep walking. I pray that they would not pluck up in doubt what they planted in faith. Give them the strength and grace to keep walking toward you, and toward your plan for their lives, even when they are surrounded by nay-sayers. Put people in their way who will encourage them to keep searching for your will for their lives, and who will encourage them to pursue that will regardless of whether or not they themselves understand it.
Dear Lord, you exist outside of time and space. All that is happening to us, has already happened in your timeline. You know all, you see all, and you have orchestrated all this for our own benefit and your own glory. Help us to trust that nothing is taking you by surprise. Help us to remember that, in your timeline, all that is happening to us now has already happened. Therefore, you already know the beginning from the end, and have our steps ordered in such a way that we will come to the end you want us to come to IF we trust you enough to seek your help and walk in the way you lay out for us!
So, Lord, we believe, but help our unbelief. Help us to seek you for each step of the way, every day. And help us to remember, each day, to F.R.O.G. – FULLY RELY ON GOD!
LIVE: Take some deep breaths and ponder what it would feel like in your gut to rely on God all the time, every day. Taste the sweetness of reliance so it’s not a chore but the absolute best way to live.