While reading the book of Chronicles this morning a familiar scenario is played out where a king aligns himself with a neighboring kingdom without first consulting God. But God’s seemingly infinite mercy sends a prophet to warn him of the ill-advised and unholy alliance and requires the king to step out in faith. At that moment God leaves the king with the choice of either going into battle on his own, wholly dependant on his own strength, limited knowledge, strategic aptitude and an army that outnumbers his enemy… or, reduce the size of his army in obedience to God and go into battle in the Lord’s strength. The kings decision will result in saving his life and victory, or die along with his followers (talk about a restless, sleepless night making that decision).
I noticed that the king was not asked to muster up the largest, strongest and smartest army he could and then ask God to watch his back or fill in any weaknesses. God would hardly be the hero in that scenario. In fact, when are we ever asked to live on our own smarts or strength? Instead, God asks that I wholly lean on Him; to cast ALL my cares on him. Even Jesus modeled this principle when he said, “Apart from the Father, I can do nothing.” To ask God for His help only when my strength runs out is as silly as an elephant and me tied to a log and asking the elephant to pull only when I am no longer able move it.
I don’t believe God wants me to call on Him only when I’m stuck, drowning or helpless. He’s not a supplement like some energy bar or multi-vitamin. I believe God would rather have me sit on the back of the elephant in awe and wonder of His strength as He performs His mighty works. Of course then there would be the temptation to take the credit for moving the logs, but that’s for another writing.