Tuesday, October 8, 2019

A Hard Truth

"Go and tell Hezekiah, “Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: ‘I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will add to your days fifteen years.’” Isaiah 38:5

When we are experiencing God's blessing, it is easy to believe that God knows what is best. But when He allows sorrow in our lives, we may be tempted to question His wisdom.
The Lord told King Hezekiah that his life was coming to an end. God advised him to prepare himself for death and to make arrangements to turn over the kingdom. Instead, Hezekiah pled for his life, begging God to spare him from death (Isa. 38:3).

God loved the righteous Hezekiah and, in His grace, granted him an additional fifteen years to live. During those added years, Manasseh was born, and he eventually succeeded Hezekiah as king of Judah. Manasseh, who reigned for fifty-five years, was the most evil king ever to rule over Judah (2 Kings 21:1).

Manasseh encouraged the worship of idolatry throughout the nation. He passed his own son through fire according to the abominable practices of idolatry. He shed much innocent blood during his reign; every part of the nation suffered from his cruelty. Manasseh's wickedness provoked God to anger, but Manasseh ignored God's warning (2 Kings 21:16; 2 Chron. 33:10). All these hardships were caused by Manasseh, a king who would never have been born if Hezekiah had accepted God's will for his life!" - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day

I have heard it.
I have said it.
Out loud and to myself. 

"But Lord if only you would..."
"But why?..."
"Please God..."

Are we really so different from King Hezekiah?  Read what Blackaby said again.   We knowingly are telling God, who knows EVERY SINGLE possible outcome, to do something different on account of our understanding.

Now this isn't entirely a bad, so to speak, thing.  Unlike this example of King Hezekiah, there were other times when requests were made that were right to be made.  But his example is a good one in light of the story of Job.

Job, by the end of his book, had come to realize that there was more going on in this Universe than his finite mind could possibly comprehend.

As I said, I am no different, neither I gather are you.  We plead our cause.  But you see there IS a difference between the two examples that I gave and those today with the indwelling Holy Spirit.  They didn't have the indwelling Holy Spirit. 

Our prayers, our pleas are asked for! They are desired communication between the followers of Christ and the Holy One of God.  

What happens in the lives of believers is an ever increasing shift from our will be done to His will be done.  From our wants and desires to His wants and desires.

The only part of King Hezekiah's request that is slightly baffling to me, unless in its its truest form is a selfish request, is the request itself.  Yes, God had indeed blessed and caused his Kingdom to prosper.  Yet, when God tells you your time is near that you will be leaving this life, it baffles me to want to stay rather than enter into His rest! 

When we are going through this life, all the time, we seek answers.  Both great and small.  We need to know in order to not be afraid of what's going to happen.

Sometimes we ask for things to avoid other things.  We ask for this in order to get that.

The strange truth is this...unless a tree experiences the storm, it will never grow strong roots.  It will never stand tall. It will never thrive like it should or would had it not been through the storm.

My always asking for something to be taken away might not be what God says is best for me.  In order to get to a place where He wants me to be, I indeed might have to go through a lion's den or two.
I might indeed need to face a hostile crowd in order to show Christ to one person. We have the most sinful nature. We fight the greatest fight within ourselves.  We struggle with a great struggle to get ourselves off the throne of our lives and to keep Jesus on that Throne.

It never is our will be done.

It always always always should be "Thy Will be Done".

When my plans and desires conflict with what God's obviously doing, I am the one who needs to step aside from trying to control things.  God knows what He is doing.  It's up to me to trust Him.

Jesus was obedient, obedient to the point of death on the cross.  He told the world, in His actions, that the Father's Will be done, not His will be done.

It's the hardest thing for me to do, and I would say for you too, is to give up that Throne.

But what we soon forget is just how much better it always is when He makes the tough decisions and we don't.

Be mindful of your prayers.  It's easy to do a Hezekiah and maybe not really think through your requests.  But if indeed your requests align with what God is doing  you will always see the hand of God in it.

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