Beware the Half Heart

Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart. Then Amaziah assembled the men of Judah… and found that they were 300,000 choice men, fit for war, able to handle spear and shield. He hired also 100,000 mighty men of valor from Israel for 100 talents of silver. But a man of God came to him and said, ‘O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the Lord is not with all these Ephraimites. But go, act, be strong for the battle. Why should you suppose that God will cast you down before the enemy? For God has power to help or to cast down.” And Amaziah said to the man of God, ‘But what shall we do about the hundred talents that I have given to the army of Israel?’ The man of God answered, ‘The Lord is able to give you much more than this.’ Then Amaziah discharged the army that had come to him from Ephraim to go home again. Amaziah took courage and led out his people and went to the Valley of Salt and struck down 10,000 men of Seir… After Amaziah came from striking down the Edomites, he brought the gods of the men of Seir and set them up as his gods and worshiped them, making offerings to them. Therefore the Lord was angry with Amaziah and sent to him a prophet, who said to him, ‘Why have you sought the gods of a people who did not deliver their own people from your hand?’ But as he was speaking, the king said to him, ‘Have we made you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you be struck down?'” 2 Chronicles 25:1-2,5-11,14-16

What makes us at one moment devoted and obedient, even at current loss or discomfort or hard consequences, and the next, greedy and rebellious? A half heart. Amaziah seems to be doing so well when he is willing to give up money spent and his own plans for the better way outlined by the man of God, and has great victory fighting in God’s power His way, but then immediately takes and bows to foreign gods and rejects the warning from another God-sent prophet. It seems unwise and unbelievable to us, yet how have we done the same?

Suspension Bridge, W Coast NZ

When have I taken an assignment, done it well, and wanted some credit, while the calling and enabling came from God? When have I, devoted to my Lord, gone to, or left, church with my own agenda? How many things and plans do I treasure as much or more than I value God’s plans for me? How whole is my heart for my Jesus? It either is, or it isn’t; there is no fraction when it comes to true worship. The half-heart is a weak heart, prone to wander and rebel, and we must take care to guard against it.

Lord, give me an undivided heart, that I may fear You above man and praise You all my days. May I never give glory to another, or take any for myself; You alone are worthy of my full allegiance and worship. (Psalm 86:11; Isaiah 48:11)

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