An Arm of Flesh
How many times have you had a problem that appeared to be too difficult to deal with, but you figured it out, and gave yourself the credit for figuring it out or you asked for help from someone else and gave them the glory? When we pride ourselves on the work of our hands, we are on a very slippery slope of idolatry. Idolatry is the worship of something or someone other than God and giving credit for our victories to someone or something other than God. When we depend on man to help us in our time of need,
we make man our god.
Now, there is nothing wrong with being confident in the fact that God has equipped us to do good work with our own hands, and as believers in Christ, we are to help one another when we are in need. But, the ownership of the outcome of what is accomplished in our lives belongs to no one but God. Yes, we can prepare, build up our walls, but when the enemy is encamped all around us, we make a grave mistake in placing out trust in the work of our hands or trusting in someone else to help us win the battle.
Let's see what happens when you put your trust in God and when you put your trust in man.
The one who places their trust in God versus the one who trusts in their own strength: 2 Chronicles Chapter 32 verses 1 through 22.
Hezekiah became king over Jerusalem. He did what was right in the sight of God. Hezekiah restored the Temple worship, destroyed the places of idol worship, and restarted the festivals required by God that had long been neglected. Because of Hezekiah's faithfulness to God, Hezekiah prospered greatly. (*the false prosperity gospel get their twisted doctrines from verses like these but that is another topic for discussion). His kingdom grew larger, he accumulated much wealth and property, and he was protected from his enemies. After Hezekiah settled into his kingdom, God sent an army to test Hezekiah's heart.
Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked the cities of King Hezekiah. We get a good example of how pride will lead to destruction. Sennacherib was very prideful, and he trusted in the work of his own hands, taking credit for all the victories over other nations. Sennacherib used 19 verses boasting about all that he had done, blaspheming God, and tried to intimidate king Hezekiah and the people of Israel to give into fearing his army. King Hezekiah responded to Sennacherib's threats by doing this: "Now because of this King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, prayed and cried out to heaven." vs 20. Did Hezekiah cower and say 'oh woo is me', 'what am I gonna do?' NO! King Hezekiah did not send for help from other kingdoms either. He asked for help from God. King Hezekiah placed his complete trust in the only One Who could truly help him! Did God have to take 19 verses to answer back Sennacherib? No, "Answer not a fool in his folly" Proverbs 26:4.
God took ONE verse to destroy Sennacherib and his army.
The danger we face is just like Hezekiah, our lives can be going very well and then disaster strikes: loss of a job, no money, children go astray, marriage breaks down, loss of home, or some new serious medical diagnosis, or the death of a loved one. It is at these moments when are own hearts are tested. Will we trust and depend on God or not? Unfortunately, if we are honest with ourselves, we tend to not trust God in those moments, and then we look all over the world looking for help and answers to our problem from the world, but only come to God as a last resort, and this is after we have completely messed up lives trying to fix the problem on our own. The story of Hezekiah is just one of many stories contrasting the lives of those who trust in man and riches instead of trusting in God. One thing is crystal clear, those who trusted in anything or anyone other than God ALWAYS ended in total destruction, this is the result of being cursed.
What does it mean to be cursed? Here is statement from BibleStudytools.com, "Nowhere in the Bible is the state of being cursed portrayed in more graphic terms than in Deuteronomy 28:16-68. The curse follows its victims everywhere, extending to progeny and all means of livelihood. It includes incurable diseases, slow starvation, abuse by enemies, exile, panic, confusion, and eventual madness."
We are faced with many trials and tribulations, But God, can deliver us from them all, IF we put our complete trust in Him and Him alone. Do you want to be cursed or blessed, the choice is up to you. (John 16:33)
There is going to be a Day of Judgment, and God will judge everyone who has ever lived, His wrath is going to poured out on all the wicked and ungodly. The eyes of the unrepentant wicked need to be opened and the ears unplugged so they can see and hear the truth. The Good News is Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, born of a virgin; Jesus lived and was brutally tortured and shed His blood and died but He rose from Dead, and now offers anyone who will believe in Him Salvation. What is a person being saved from? Hell, the most horrible place we can imagine, it is an eternal place of torture away from the true and living God in a place in which all of God's goodness is removed. Salvation is not just about being saved from hell and going to heaven, Salvation is also about being adopted into the kingdom of God, you can become a son or daughter of the Most High and you earn all the privileges of being a child of God. Salvation is a free gift from God, anyone who will believe will receive and have a real relationship with the true God. You can't work for it or buy your way into heaven because the price has already been paid with the Blood of Jesus Christ and Believing in Jesus gets us into the Kingdom of God and saves us from the righteous wrath of God. But that is not all, He gives us a new heart and mind NOW, and we receive some of His blessing from heaven NOW and are equipped to be able to live a life that is holy and acceptable to Him NOW.
1. Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is real, He lived and died and rose from the grave.
2. Believe that you are a sinner, repent-turn from your sins and realize and accept you need Jesus.
3. Believe in the blood that was shed for you and the forgiveness of your sins, and Confess that Jesus is your Lord and God.
4. Find a local Bible preaching church that does obey the commandment for water baptism for the remission of your sins and to identify yourself with Christ.
This is just the first step to a lifelong journey of growing in truth and love with the God who created this earth and everything in it, including every human being that has ever lived.
Bible verses related to this post: 2 Chronicles 32; Proverbs 26:4; Jeremiah 17:5 & 7-8; John 16:33;
Erica Harris is a God Gifted Christian Coach, Counselor, providing insights and truths from the Word of God, The Bible.