Winning the Battle of Faith
"And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD." Isaiah 37:14
Hezekiah's response to the severe attack upon his faith and the impending siege and defeat of Jerusalem provides us with enduring lessons for the spiritual warfare we face personally. Satan uses the same tactics to attack our faith in God just as he did Hezekiah's. Because he knows the great power of faith, Satan will stop at nothing to promote the unbelief that is able to rob us of every promise God gives us. There's a lot to learn from Hezekiah's fight of faith.
First he responds to this attack on his faith by pouring out his overwhelmed and sorrowful heart before God. He tore his clothes and put on sackcloth, an ancient Jewish custom to express a heart crying for God's help in distress.
He then goes directly to the Temple and lays his distress before God. At this point, Hezekiah has no idea what he should do or what God will do. He simply places his heavy burden before God, acting on the counsel of the words written by King David many years before. "Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you," is the hope scripture gives us (Ps. 55:22). God does care and He will take action. This hope gives us a peace that will begin to settle our hearts and rule over our minds. The great turmoil from the onslaught of Satan's attempts to produce hopeless unbelief can be calmed as we lay everything at His feet.
Secondly, Hezekiah asks a godly man to pray with him. That man is Isaiah. In this we see the wisdom we all should follow by seeking spiritual support from those who share in our same hope in God. Isaiah was confident in God's power found through prayer. As a result of prayer, Isaiah received a prophetic promise from God. It revealed that the King of Assyria would be distracted by other, greater military challenges to his empire. Hezekiah would never have received the comforting and reassuring promise of hope if he hadn't asked for prayer.
But don't think Satan will give up easily. Though this prophecy promises safety, the ambassador of the Assyrian king sends a threatening letter of doom. God is only deceiving you, he says, it's a false hope. Presented with this accusation against God is the "fact" that all the "gods" of the other nations Assyria had conquered were of no help, and the God of Israel will be no different. Hezekiah's response to this renewed threat is to take this new letter and lay it before God. Then he passionately prays. Hezekiah's prayer is centered on reaffirming his faith first in who God is as creator of all things in Heaven and on earth. That being the case, God obviously has ultimate power over all that He has made. He's a living Godnot a lifeless idol like that of the defeated nations. Faith is easy when you know who God really is.
Finally it becomes clear that Hezekiah hopes that God's answer to the Assyrian threat will show all the Earth the true greatness of God. Hezekiah did not seek to receive any attention or glory because of his faith and prayer. He wanted it to all go to the God who answers prayer. This final desire of Hezekiah assures that victory is on its way. Follow his faith and great divine interventions will follow in your life.
-Calvary Church Boise
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