Pastor Chuck Smith: Venture of Faith—Part 4

Venture of Faith—Part 4

Pastor Chuck Smith: Venture of Faith—Part 4

Originally published in issue 29 of Calvary Chapel Magazine

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6 KJV

There’s a passage of Scripture that has meant very much to me through the years. Second Chronicles Chapter 14 begins the story of the reign of King Asa over Judah. He was 25 years old when he ascended to the throne. Shortly after the beginning of his reign, the Ethiopians invaded the land, joining together with a confederacy of other nations with an army of a million men plus chariots. When Asa received the report of this huge invading army, he prayed unto the Lord 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 no man prevail against thee” (verse 11).

Now, I like this. He wasn’t saying, “God, I have a plan. I want You to bless the plan.” He wasn’t saying, “Now God, I have it all figured out. Please bless our program.” It wasn’t, “God, get on my side.” Instead, it was, “God, I’m coming on Your side. In Your name we’re going to go out against them. Don’t let man prevail against You. They aren’t going to prevail against me because I don’t have anything. I don’t have any power. But, Lord, that doesn’t make any difference to You. I’m going out in Your name. Don’t let them prevail against You. They can beat me, but don’t let them beat You.”

God gave Asa the victory over the Ethiopians. As Asa was coming back, the prophet of the Lord came out to meet him, and the Lord said through the prophet, “Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you” (15:2). As he began his reign as king over Judah, Asa received a great word from the Lord: The LORD will be with you as long as you be with Him. If you seek Him, He will be available. He will be found of you. But if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.

God is simply looking for people who are in harmony with what He desires in order that He might show Himself strong on their behalf.

Under the reign of Asa, the kingdom was prosperous, and the people were blessed. But toward the latter part of his reign, when he was wealthy and successful, the northern kingdom of Israel decided to invade Judah. They began to build fortified cities north of Jerusalem. They prepared to set up a siege prior to attacking Judah.

When Asa saw them building their fortified cities, he realized what their plan was and took money out of the temple treasury. He sent it to Ben-Hadad, the king of Syria, to hire the Syrians to attack Israel from the north. The Syrians came down from the Golan Heights and began to attack the northern part of Israel. The king of Israel then had to take the troops that were building the fortified cities and deploy them northward to defend against this attack by the Syrians. As the troops left the fortified cities, the men of Judah went out and dismantled the cities.

It seems that the strategy was successful. Asa was no doubt smug and glorying in what money can do. We can hire the Syrians. They’re mercenaries, and they’ll protect us!

Hanani the prophet came out to Asa and said to 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. Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand” (2 Chronicles 16:7–8). When you had no strength and were faced with the invading army of the Ethiopians, you trusted in the Lord, and He delivered you. But now that you’ve grown powerful and strong, you’re trusting in your own devices. Don’t you know that “the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9)?

God is simply looking for people who are in harmony with what He desires in order that He might show Himself strong on their behalf. And as we abide in Him, step out in faith, and remain open and flexible, He will guide us and He will work.

We will conclude our Ventures of Faith series and our look at Calvary Distinctives in the next installment.

All verses above are quoted from the King James Version.

© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.

sponsors & partners