Church or AA?
He did not listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God . . . 2 Chronicles 35:22
When I first attended Alcoholics Anonymous, I was irritated by their insistence that I had a persistent problem. I believed that once I came to Christ, I was set free. Other Christians confirmed for me that AA was a lie. As a Christian, I don’t have an ongoing struggle. I am delivered. Despite accepting this belief, I relapsed. Twice.
I have seen this frequently. Well-meaning Christians, believing they have the word of God on their side, often dismiss a secular teaching simply because it is secular. That many addicts have ongoing struggles despite having come to Christ is a reality though, and to pretend otherwise, is absolute nonsense. Because of the teaching of AA – which has a biblical foundation – I had to go back to the Bible myself, to find why I still struggled.
Today’s passage tells of truth coming from an unlikely source. In the story, King Josiah confronted King Neco of Egypt on the battlefield. In an odd twist, God spoke through the pagan King, telling Josiah to relent. Neco’s quarrel was not with Josiah. It would seem, that because Neco was not an Israelite, Josiah dismissed his claim on God’s truth. Josiah paid for this error with his life.
Truth is truth, whether or not it comes from church or other Christians. We often miss this. In our pride, that we think no one else can ever be right and that we can never be wrong. If we want to truly know God’s truth though, we will humble ourselves and accept that sometimes, truth comes from unlikely sources.
There are of course, many lies brought to us by the world. How then, are we to know? We must measure everything by the word of God. Does scripture back this up? We must inquire of other Christians who have struggled as we have. Finally, we must go to God, asking Him for wisdom.
It was only through much prayer and reading, that I came to understand that though I am eternally forgiven and spiritually transformed, I carry some persistent flaws in my flesh nature. I learned that like Paul’s thorn in the flesh, my addictive tendencies will always exert some influence on me. God uses some struggles to keep me dependent on Him. Because of Christ, I do not need to live enslaved, but to pretend that my flesh has been made perfect, is unbiblical nonsense.