Seeing yesterday’s account and today’s back-to-back puts them in stark contrast with one another.
Yesterday, Asa trusted God to deliver him though he was grossly outnumbered and surrounded.
Today, he reached out instead to another king, essentially robbed the temple of gold and silver that had been given to God in order to bribe this king to help him, when all he needed to do was cry out to God and trust His deliverance!
Of course, in reality years had passed. How easy it is to forget the boldness of our youth to trust God! How difficult it is to continue with that boldness when we become comfortable, well-fed, and complacent.
And in our complacency, how uncomfortable it is when someone challenges us about it. When someone asks pointed questions about our spiritual growth, our personal devotion or worship patterns, or our time in God’s Word we can immediately react defensively.
“Well, you know, we are so busy just trying to keep a job to pay the bills.”
“I’ve done dozens of Bible studies. I know God’s Word.”
“I’ve been a Christian for longer than you’ve been alive!”
But are we still following Him, or have we sat down alongside the path and taken a nap? Or have we let Him get so far beyond our view that we’ve wandered off the path altogether?
I love the way our pastor put it last Sunday when relating a story of someone telling him, “You believe once saved, always saved, right? So I got saved, and now I pretty much do what I want, because I’m covered.” He said, “It is true that once saved, always saved. It is also true that once saved, forever following.” The proof of our salvation isn’t our fervor in the moment, the holiness of the water we were baptized in, or the boldness of our initial witness.
True salvation is seen in the “perseverance of the saints.”
Are we still following thirty-six years later?
Or have we turned to other sources for our rescue?
When brothers and sisters in the faith ask tough questions, do we thank God for the accountability and the opportunity to repent and return to our first love? Or do we get bitter and dig our heels in deeper?