Do You Half-Heartedly Worship?

The Bible’s Second Chronicles, chapter 25 tells the story of King Amaziah’s life and leadership. Early in chapter 25, we read that he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord yet not with a whole heart.

In Amaziah we see a picture of the temptation to go part way, to do some of what God is saying to do, but not all of what God is saying to do, or not with a whole heart. Later in 2 Chronicles 25:15, the Lord is angry with Amaziah because he’s seeking other gods, foreign gods, instead of God alone.

The reign of Amaziah is divided into two parts (1) vs. 1-13, the good years, marked by obedience, divine blessings, and victory, and (2) vs. 14-28, the bad years of idolatry, defeat, and regicide. (Regicide is the killing of a king or queen).

In chapter 25, King Amaziah gets an army together to attack Edom. He assembles men from Judah but also pays soldiers from the Northern Kingdom of Israel to fight for him. He’s feeling pretty good about this battle. But a man of God comes to the king and lets him know that fighting alongside men from Israel is a bad idea.

2 Chronicles 25 is also told in 2 Kings 14:1-22.

Seek the Lord and His Glory

Amaziah worked to consolidate his kingdom and assemble an army. They marched off to battle against their enemies. But in all of this, there is no mention of seeking the Lord and His glory. It was all for Amaziah.

A popular TV preacher encourages people to pursue their dream. That’s okay if one condition (which the TV preacher never mentions) is met: whether you got your dream from God. If your dream is in line with God’s purpose and glory, then pursue it! But if you’re just out to pursue your dream, then you’re just into American success. You’re living for yourself, not for God. God’s glory and His purpose must be the aim of all our ambition.

Following the Lord As Usual

Amaziah is another example of someone who followed the Lord nominally but did not fully commit his heart.

Amaziah made an agreement to pay Israelite soldiers to fight for him but was then warned that this was not of God’s direction.  Amaziah was more concerned about the money he doled out rather than the obedience God asked of him.

In the passage of 2 Chronicles 25:8–9, Amaziah is asking questions like, “Can God really provide for us as we go into battle?” A man of God comes to the king and lets him know that fighting with the men from Israel, that he paid to fight, would not invoke God’s blessing. And the man of God tells him to go with the strength of the mercenaries and God will use the enemy to defeat him.

Amaziah then says, “What do we do about the hundred talents that I’ve already given in the army of Israel?” And the man of God says, “The Lord can give you much more than this.”

Half-Heartedness and Human Wisdom

Human wisdom often makes good sense and it works, but it leaves God out. Those methods worked in Amaziah’s battle with Edom. But there was one major problem: Amaziah never sought the Lord’s mind on these matters.

A lot of pastors try to build the church like that. They learn the latest techniques, study the target audience, set goals, advertise, recruit workers, and manage everything properly. A lot of these church growth methods work well. But if faith in God and obedience to His Word isn’t at the heart of what they’re doing, then they’re operating on human wisdom. It all becomes wood, hay, and stubble at best. If the Lord isn’t in it, then even if it works, they’re just building a monument to ourselves.

2 Chronicles 25:9 means: God rewards those who seek him and, as the prophet pointed out, if we trust the Lord, he can give us much more than it costs us.

In Summary

Bottom line: don’t be like Amaziah. If you have been blessed with fruitful times, continue to praise God. If you have been blessed with struggles (and growth), continue to praise God.

Pray and ask the Lord to reveal your idols. You may be surprised.

I encourage you not to go with God part of the way, or most of the way, or to trust in God some, while you let questions linger. He really can provide for you. Look up and see there is only one God who is worthy of all our worship today, our whole hearts. You can trust him with your whole heart. You can trust him with everything, without hesitation or reservation. You can trust He’s able to give you much more than you even know to ask for.

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In conclusion, consider what the Daily Bread email message sent on 3/17/2023 says,

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2 Chronicles 25:8 – But if you do go, do it, be strong for the battle; yet God will bring you down before the enemy, for God has power to help and to bring down.” (NASB)

When going through some hard times, withdrawing to work through them alone, within depression, is the wrong decision. Even if you fight alone courageously, God can defeat you. In your darkest hour, you need faith and fortitude, so pray to God, and let Him guide you. God has the power to help.

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