I would like to talk about the need to give God 100% and why we should not be afraid of doing so. To illustrate this point I have chosen the story of one of Israel's kings who learned why it was important to give God your all. The king's name was ASA.
Asa, king of Judah - Background
After the death of Solomon, Israel became a divided country with a North and South Kingdom that were either at war with each other or sometimes allied against other countries. Both North and South had their own kings.
During one of these North/South conflicts, the Northern king attacked the Southern king and started to mount a blockade that prevented people from going into or leaving the South. The king of the Southern kingdom at the time was a man names ASA. The Bible says that Asa was a pretty good king but his one problem was that he never gave God 100%, he always held back.
Now when Asa saw that he was being blockaded by the Northern Kingdom, he made a deal with the leaders of what is now called Syria to attack the Northern Kingdom. He paid for this military help by selling off the gold and silver from the temple.
This strategy worked and the Northern Kingdom gave up the blockade, however, Asa in winning the battle with the enemy lost the war in the eyes of God.
In II Chronicles 16:7-9, we see what God says to Asa through the prophet Hanani about his solution to the problem:
7At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, "Because you have relied on the king of Aram and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Aram has escaped out of your hand. 8Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubim an immense army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand. 9For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.
- II Chronicles 16:7-9
He rebukes him because instead of relying on God for victory, instead of putting 100% of his heart in God's hand he trusted foreign mercenaries to do the job. The prophet reminds him of former kings who were in similar situations who chose to trust God and won great victories.
In the next verse he gives Asa 2 reasons why he should have trusted God 100%:
1. God sees perfectly
His eyes see into every heart, every situation: He weighs all the options. God makes no mistakes. If you are experiencing something or facing something, it is not because of divine error. Asa's problem with the North was completely in God's view and control. God had a solution but Asa did not ask for it.
2. God not only supports, He strongly supports (vs. 9b)
I think there is a relationship here between how much we trust God and how much help we get. The verse says that strong support goes to the ones who strongly trust in God. God helped Asa (he managed to avert the crisis by using the foreign armies) but had he completely trusted God he would have won a complete victory over the enemy instead of a partial one. As it was, his lack of devotion was reflected in his ongoing trouble with this nation he could have defeated once for all had he trusted completely in God. Instead, he settled for a partial and temporary victory.
What part of your heart have you given to the Lord? Perhaps a better question would be, "what part are you still holding back?" Maybe your incomplete victories, obstacles, stress and unhappiness in your life can be traced to that portion of your heart that you still have not give to God.