Summary: Do you want God to be on your side?
Let me ask you a question: Do you want God to be on your side? That’s a pretty easy question to answer. I wouldn’t be surprised if we all unanimously responded, “Yes!” Who wouldn’t want the only all-knowing, all-powerful God on their side? Romans 8:31 - “If God is for us, who can be against us?” You’d be a fool to say, “Nah! I don’t want any help from God. I’m just fine on my own, thank you very much.” And yet, it’s not enough to simply say, “Yes, I want God on my side.” The question should not be, Do you want God to be on your side? but rather: Are you on God’s side? Everyone wants God on their side, but Who is on the Lord’s side?
In II Chronicles 15 “The Spirit of God came upon a man named Azariah” and God sent him to King Asa with this message: II Chron. 15:2 King Asa, “The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.”
God had just helped King Asa and his armies win a great victory against their enemies, the Cushites. It’s no surprise that they won when you read Asa’s prayer prior to the battle (found in the previous chapter.) II Chronicles 14:11 – “Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, ‘Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O Lord, you are our God; do not let men prevail against you.’” And God heard Asa’s prayer, crushing his enemies before him.
On the heels of this great victory, God inspires a man to go to the King he loved and say, “The secret to victory is not to assume God is on your side, but to make sure you’re on His.” That verse and one other that comes from the “life and times” of Asa are really what I would call the “key verses” or the two most important pieces of advice that God shared with us through his life. The second verse is found one chapter later in II Chronicles 16:9 – “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” Let’s break down these two verses:
1. “The Lord is with you when you are with Him.” Illustr. – Wife who complained that her husband no longer put his arm around her when they were in the car together. If there’s distance between you and God, guess who moved? Not the, “friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Not the one who said, “Never will I leave you or forsake you. I am with you always to the end of the world.” God hasn’t moved! He is there for you, completely available every day. His mercies are “new every morning.” Any distance between God and me was created either by sin or neglect on my part. And even then, God is quick to “close the gap” between us the instant I reach for Him.
In Acts 19, a group of Jews called the Seven Sons of Sceva learned there’s a big difference between calling on the name of Jesus and truly having His power working in your life. They tried to cast demons out of a man and got in over their heads. They used a religious formula without knowing the Man. They confronted this demon-possessed guy and said, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” The evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, BUT WHO ARE YOU?” And the demon possessed man jumped them and gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.