The Bitter Lie of Self-Reliance - 2 Chronicles 16
"In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet. His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians."
When I read this passage my heart sinks for Asa - and those who are offended with God's discipline and correction. Asa was corrected for his actions - that he turned to himself and human means rather than turning to God - to embracing weakness - to embracing a situation where he would have to turn to God in prayer for answers.
Earlier in his ministry Asa did turn to God when the Ethiopians attacked with over a million men. That had to be difficult to experience - facing the thought of your own annihilation - of being so weak and unable to defend yourself - and facing the uncertainty of whether you would survive the attack of the enemy or not. BUT THAT IS HOW GOD WORKS - HE GIVES US TIMES OF WEAKNESS INTENTIONALLY - SO THAT WE HAVE TO EMBRACE BEING WEAK - BECAUSE WHEN WE ARE WEAK IN OURSELVES - WE BECOME STRONG IN HIM.
The problem was that Asa did not want to embrace weakness the second time he faced terrible odds - and the necessity of turning to God. He was proud - and that pride manifested itself when God corrected him. He became angry with God - angry with God's prophet - and eventually angry with even serving God later in his life.
God allowed another need to come upon Asa - a disease in his feet. How appropriate for his situation - diseased in his walk in life/even as he was becoming more diseased in his walk with God. He would not turn to God in prayer for this situation - only to the doctors. He spent, amazingly, the last 2 years of his life in this affliction and even died of it - rather than turn to God. His bitterness consumed him - first spiritually - and then even physically.
Am I willing to embrace weakness? Is pride an issue in my life? I hate to admit it but I know that it is. I don't like being weak - don't like being reduced to nothing save God in prayer. I want to be able to do some things myself (which is nothing more than an excuse to want to do all things myself - the deadliness of pride!). Being reduced to nothing - and seeking God in those circumstances to be my everything is meant to be gloriously hard. It is embracing humility - total humility! And . . . if I will not embrace it - I will find myself diseased in my spiritual feet. I will be unable to walk. I will not turn to my God for that - and then eventually won't turn to Him for anything. All I will have is man-made deliverance - man-made hope - and that is precious little (actually nothing) deliverance and hope.
Embrace humility! Embrace being little . . . being nothing . . . so God will be everything. He is everything - it is only the brief deception and mist of lies of this life that makes us ever think otherwise.
God have mercy on me! I've been so filled with pride. I have been so filled with self-importance and lying self-sufficiency! Oh the sad state of my feet - and my ability to walk in humility, brokenness, and self-emptying trust and prayer before You. Please forgive me the arrogance, pride, and foolishness of this way. Restore me to full reliance upon You - upon Your infinite resources - and upon a life lived in complete dependence on Your grace.
Most of these articles are taken from the Calvary Courier, a weekly newsletter that is sent to the folks who attend Calvary Chapel Jonesboro. Due to the response to these articles, we've decided to print some of them which proved to be very helpful to God's people at the fellowship.
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