Friday, June 21, 2013


2 Chronicles 16:7, "And at that time Hannani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand. 8 Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horseman? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thy hand."

*Note: When the author renders the word 'Church' as shown here, he is referring to man's deign for a religious business entity as we commonly see it today. When he renders the word church in all lower case lettering, he is referring to God's authentic, legitimate, house church, which Jesus Christ created and continues to build.

Reliance is a dependance on someone or something. From the moment we are conceived, we rely on our mother to nourish, nurture, care, and love us to help us flourish inside her womb. Once we are delivered, she cares for us even more. She feeds us, changes our diapers, holds us when we cry and so on. Dad does his share of care-taking as well. Traditionally, he Provides shelter, and basic necessities to help manage the welfare of this child. Without a parent of some kind, the child would die in short order. Without knowing it intellectually, but most certainly instinctively, we are brought into this world with a sense of reliance.

Reliance never leaves us. Either we rely on someone or something, or others rely on us. The tutelage we receive regarding reliance is paramount in understanding our relationship with God. That is, if one actually has a relationship with Him. Not all do. Those who aren't saved by the grace of Christ have no relationship with Him. Why? Because they have never relied upon Him for their eternal souls. Once we rely upon Him for that, we will then have a relationship with Him. How is this accomplished? First, we need to realize that we are sinners. Second, we must know that sin separates us from God because He is Holy and will not tolerate sin. Third, we must realize that since God cannot be in the presence of sin, we have a place awaiting us called Hell. Fourth, we must know that God has made us a way of escape from Hell without any help from us. Fifth, we must understand that God fulfilled all of the requirements to pay for our sins. This was accomplished through His Son Jesus Christ by the shedding of His blood, His death, burial and Resurrection. Sixth, confess to God that Jesus Christ is the only One Who could save you, body and soul. Lastly, call on Jesus Christ to save you without reliance on anyone or anything else. At this point, we have a relationship with Him, because we are now related to Him as a child of God. It's that simple. No 'Church,' religion, effort, good works, giving, counting beads, taking communion, going to confession, being baptized, 'Church' membership, having last rights performed by the pope, or wishing will redeem us from a lifeless existence apart from God. Only Jesus can save us. We must rely on Him alone.

Many times, after we enter into God's family, a funny thing happens. After a while, we stop relying on the very God who saves us. Instead, we rely upon ourselves. We rely on our work, or skills, our jobs, our strength, our human relationships, our riches and so on. Such was the case with king Asa as we'll soon see in his later years. But just like a newly saved person, this wasn't always the case. As a newly saved person, we seem to rely on God for everything. Asa was no exception to this. As a young believer, Asa was on fire for God. Asa was brought up by his godly father king Abijah, and Abijah knew how to rely upon God. We read in 2 Chronicles 13:3 that his army of 400,000 was outnumbered by king Jeroboam's 800,000. That's two to one! Abijah relied on God's strength rather than the number of his men, and they "...slew them a great slaughter; so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men."~2 Chronicles13:17. Verse 16 confirms that this was no fluke, as God delivered Israel into Judah's hand.

In Asa's early reign he faced a similar situation, only more so. He learned his lesson of reliance well from God and Abijah. When he was young, Asa was an ardent follower of God and His ways. Scripture tells us that he "did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God."~2 Chronicles 14:2. I guess God decided to test Asa's reliance. Zerah the Ethiopian had risen against him in 2 Chronicles 14. Zerah had one million men in his army. Asa had only 560,000 men. Talk about the odds being stacked against him! Let's see what happened:

"And Asa cried unto the LORD his God and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee. 12 So the LORD smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled. 13 And Asa and the people that were with him pursued them unto Gerar: and the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before the LORD, and before his host; and they carried away very much spoil. 14 And they smote all the cities round about Gerar; for the fear of the LORD came upon them: and they spoiled all the cities; for there was exceeding much spoil in them. 15 They smote also the tents of cattle, and carried away sheep and camels in abundance, and returned to Jerusalem."~2 Chronicles 14:11-15.

What a great victory! Asa had showed reliance toward God when he wasn't so comfortable. Asa had dedicated his life to throwing down the idols and groves that had infested the land. He even made a covenant that any man or woman who didn't seek God with all their heart and soul, whether great or small, would be put to death. But, time has a way of diluting our reliance. In thirty five years as king of Judah, Asa saw no war. Other than allowing the high places to remain in Israel, God saw Asa as perfect all his days; up until then, that is. Like I said, time has a way of making us forget what was once important in our lives. After gaining all of the spoils, riches and lands, Asa relaxed. There's nothing wrong with relaxing, but when relying on one's security becomes greater than relying on God, bad things happen. In 2 Chronicles 16 we see Asa wasn't the man he used to be. What had changed? His sense of reliance. One can read the chapter himself, but to encapsulate the story I'll hit on the main points.

In the 36th year of his reign, Asa once again developed an enemy, only this time in Israel. But instead of relying on God as he did against the Ethiopians years before, he decided to employ mercenaries from Syria. He used the gold and silver from the house of the LORD and the king's house. In other words, he rented a foreign army to fight his battles for him. Baasha, king of Israel was defeated and ceased his aggressive posture. But, after the win, Hanani the seer came to Asa and told him that he relied on the wrong thing. He told Asa that he had behaved foolishly before the LORD and because of it Asa would not to be free from wars the rest of his life. This brought rage to the heart of Asa and he imprisoned Hanani and others with him. But, what happened to Asa? In the 39th year of his reign, he had developed a great foot disease. But again, instead of relying on God to cure him, he relied on his doctors. Guess what? He didn't make it. He dies in the forty first year of his reign with stinking feet. What was once a great testimony for the reliance of God, his later lack of reliance became his down fall.

I point out this story to show us that even though there are a lot of folks who truly rely on God's goodness for their daily Provisions and Protection, most others within the Institutional 'Church' system have relied on the wrong things. They Proclaim that they rely on God, but if they're honest with themselves, what they really rely on is man. They pray to God that the banks will grant them a loan to build a building. When the loan comes through, they praise God, when in fact, the bank just see's this as a simple business transaction with a contract attached. How can one claim that God was in this when God never commanded us to buy a building and go into such great debt? The 'Church' says they rely on God when they have a Program to bring people in, but what they are really relying on is their Promoting abilities. They say they are relying on God to send them a pastor to lead them spiritually, but what they are really relying on is hiring a man to manage their business affairs. When they say they rely on God for healing, what they really rely on is their physicians. We start out in faith relying on God, but through the years of comfort and or sense of security, our reliance is focused on tangibles.

There are those right now who are reacting to this piece as Asa did with Hanani. They don't like to be told that they are behaving foolishly regarding their lack of reliance towards God. The average 'Church' member will bristle at such notions, but when we closely inspect their behavior, we see that I'm not far off the mark. Think about it; doesn't the average 'Church' member vote to hire a new pastor when the old one has left for greener pastures? That's like what Asa did hiring a mercenary to wage his battles for him. Pastors should be home grown, not hired from afar. See my article entitled, 'The Hireling' for more on this. At any rate, the similarities are close enough to take note of. Has the average Christian become as Asa was in his last years?

Do people rely on past experiences in the Institutional 'Church' too much? Members often say, "Well, the Bus Ministry had 30 people saved!", or "If it wasn't for the choir, I wouldn't have been in 'Church' to get saved." They say almost anything to justify man's model of an Institutional, business entity they call 'Church.' Asa did the same thing! He hired another entity to fight his battles. He hired physicians to heal his feet. What he didn't do was rely on God as he did before. Sure, the hiring of the Syrians worked out, but the end never justify the means. Our actions should be established by God, not of our own cunning or resources. God wasn't pleased with Asa because God was left out of the mix. It was as though Asa, through his actions said, "It's okay God. Why don't you sit this one out? I'll take care of it." What an insult! Haven't we done the same thing in our own lives within the Institutional 'Church?' We left God out by adopting man's formula for 'Church' and leaving behind God's model. Have we twisted the perception of relying upon God into reliance upon our own devices; yet still insisting we're relying on God? I wonder? In these examples, where does our dependency lay? Maybe serious thought should be expended in measuring what we truly rely on and how we do it?

When things are good, it's almost like we are relying on luck more than we do on the One Who saves us. Perhaps what we need is for things to heat up a bit as it did with Asa in his early reign. His back was against the wall and he sought out God with his whole heart and soul. Many Believers in China are praying for persecution to come our way here in the States. Not because they want to see harm come our way, but because they see the value of relying on God instead of our own abilities. When there is nowhere else to turn, hopefully, we too will see the value of reliance upon God. But will all of us see this? Perhaps not. Asa once did. He once relied upon his God and saw Him defeat a million men. But Asa ended up dying with stinking feet because he neglected to rely on the same God in his old age. How will our feet smell when we are tested? I pray that we'll realize that we need to rely on Jesus with all of our heart and soul. From the moment of salvation, throughout our lives as Believers, and in the face of death, who will we rely on? Thanks for visiting.


  1. Replies
    1. You're welcome Del. I hope this gets through to many believers.

  2. This is so true. I can't speak for others, but as for myself, it seems to be a daily battle to not jump the gun and handle things myself before asking God for guidance. I'm so thankful for God's grace and forgiveness!

    1. Yes, we all need to be thankful for that. We need Him more than He needs us. Thanks for the great comment.