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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

After You Have Looked Elsewhere

2 Chronicles 20:11-12 (ESV) 11 behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit. 12 O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

Jehoshaphat had three armies approaching. The Ammonites, Moabites and the Meunites were coming to drive the Israelites out of their land. There wasn't much hope. There was absolutely no way he had the military strength to defeat them. He had three apparent options. He could surrender. This would almost assuredly mean the destruction of Israel. He could fight them. This would almost assuredly result in the destruction of Israel. He could flee from them. This would mean the destruction of Israel. No option was good. He was forced into his last option: turning if over to the Lord.

Before we give our praises to Jehoshaphat we must remember that most people will not look to the Lord unless they have exhausted all other options. They will seek what they can do. They will call in consultants. They will try everything they know while they focus on the problem. They typically turn to the Lord when there are no other options.

Isn't that the immediate reaction after 9/11? People flocked to the church for a few weeks. Church was suddenly back in vogue. It was the place to be. People were scared because they didn't have any idea where terrorism might strike. They didn't know what to do and ran to the One who did.

But fear doesn't last. It didn't take but a few weeks before people were back where they were. They began to trust in the government for their security. They were willing to trust in someone doing something they could see rather than Someone who could truly act on their behalf doing things behind the scenes.

Thus, people generally look to what they can do themselves, what others can do for them or they wallow in their problems rather than turning to the One who can truly do something. Let's face it: Most people don't think God will do anything on their behalf because they aren't that sure that He exists in the first place. They may talk a good game when around religious people but they forget what they say they believe when they have a problem that cannot be easily solved. They won't turn to the Lord unless there is no other option.

Does it have to be that way? No, absolutely not! We could bring our struggles, our good times and decisions to the Lord. We could place our eyes on Him so that we see His handiwork in helping us manage the good times, working out our bad times and giving us what we need to do all the time.

For some reason that is the last resort. We would rather worry.

Is there any sense in that?


Anonymous said...

5 common scenarios for the resultant outcome - to God, in the last resort: 1. We don't believe enough that God exists; 2.  We believe alright, but we don't believe enough that God would be bothered to help us; 3. We don't believe enough that God would be free enough to be bothered with all of us at the same time!; 4. We want to be capable - the so-called, "and I did it my way"; 5. We feel we are not worthy to call for God to help.

No matter how justified we think we are, to hold on to any of the above excuse, that is not what God would like see us having. Now, this is not to say, we do nothing, take no responsibility for our life's affairs, and just push everything to God, treating God as our genie to serve us as His masters!

We must first hold Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and that He is God, the holy one. Then, no matter how we approach Him, that He is our Lord and our Savior must be borne in mind.  Jesus died for you and I, how much more would He not want us to be well! The same is for the Father, that He gave His only Son, Jesus, to come as man, and suffered and died for us, how much more would be He, to give us what we need or help us to maneuver through life!   What the Father God wants, and also what the Lord wants, and so, too, the Holy Spirit, is that we work with Him  in life.  When we understood these, and embrace them, we can find progressively, ourselves free from those bondages of the scenarios described above.

We must first of all, believe God exists. Without crossing this hurdle, we would not think of going to God.  If one does not believe God exists, it is very difficult for him to get anything from God, for Scripture did say that whoever wants to seek Him, must believe He exists or is.  In Heb 11:6, it was said, not only one needs to believe He exists, one also must believe He would reward those who seek Him diligently. 

When we do not believe enough, it is hard for us to receive anything from God, and our failure to receive, may then be allowed by us, to cause us to doubt further, and then we further would not approach God.  In fact, Scripture said, when we doubt, we would be like one who is double-minded, and is like a wave being tossed about by the wind; and in that state we cannot expect to receive anything from God.  We have already said, God did care and still does care for you and I; He did NOT give His Son to suffer and die for us, to leave us to live defeated life again! John 10:10b clearly said, the purpose for Jesus' coming is that we may have life, and life abundantly.


Anonymous said...

Cont. From above

Is God free enough to attend to so many of us, all our cries to Him for all kinds of help?  Or is God capable of doing all of that? Yes, the God we believe in, is the El Shaddai (the Almighty God), the omnipotent God, the omniscient God, and omnipresent God.

At the one end, we cannot want this attitude - "and I did it my way"; and at the other, we also cannot be wallowing in self-pity, be of most inferior of complex!  Scripture said that we are more than conquerors.  But it did not suggest we be conquerors in ourself, but rather, we are to be conquerors in Christ Jesus. We are not to give in to lies that we are defeated and should just continue to live a defeated life, but we are to be victorious in life, in God's ways.  You and I are worthy; we are worthy, for the Lord has paid a high price for us - price of His suffering and death by crucifixion.  God love men, and desires all men be saved, and then while they live, they may have abundant lives.

Many of us are far from what has been said here; so how? Well, the life of a child of God is about belief or faith, and perseverance, a lot. We need always to persevere in seeking His Kingdom and His righteousness.  We need to grow in knowledge of Him. We need to love Him and want Him, even as He loves us, and wants us. When God is for us, who can be against us?  Nothing; but often times, it can be! So, don't be stiff-necked!  What is stiff-necked, we often find it said of the children of God, in the OT? Yes, stubborn refusal to be convinced!  I do find myself stiff-necked, at times, what about you? Can you be convinced that you need to work with God, on-going (and so, you need to go to Him on-going), to grow; and not wait till you get into "deep shit" before you go to God for help.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions