Do you ever feel like you’ve stirred up a hornet’s nest?
That’s exactly how I felt yesterday. It’s like everything that could go wrong went wrong. I felt attacked from every angle. Then my husband came home from work and said it all hit the fan with him too. Both of us were like what in the world is going on here? And what’s crazy about all this is we just went through a pretty difficult trial and felt like we had obeyed the Lord and handled it God’s way.
As Skip and I talked through everything, we both came to the conclusion that this had to be a spiritual attack. After all, any time we are trying our best to follow the Lord, Satan will most definitely come out guns a blazing. We should expect an attack.
It made me think of King Hezekiah in 2 Kings. He was a king who followed the Lord. 2 Kings 18:3 says, “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” Then he received a threatening letter from a man named Sennacherib, telling him that the God he depended on was deceiving him. To take a look at the evidence. Check out the latest news headlines. The kings of Assyria were “bad to the bone.” They were making their rounds conquering all the countries, completely destroying them. Then, to drive his point home, Sennacherib goes on to list several of the gods and kings who were demolished by the Assyrians. (2 Kings 19:10-12)
So what does Hezekiah do after he read that intimidating letter?
Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 2 Kings 19:14
After he read the letter, he went up to the temple and spread it out before the Lord.
I absolutely love that!
Is that what I do? Is that my first reaction when issues and trials arise in my life? Do I immediately pray and spread my problems out before the Lord?
But wait. It gets better. I love Hezekiah’s prayer. He doesn’t start his prayer off by telling God the problem, He starts by telling God (and reminding himself) who GOD is!
And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: “LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 2 Kings 19:15
First, Hezekiah declares who God is.
I am involved with a prison ministry in the town where I live. Once a month, a few ladies and I take turns sharing with the ladies in the county jail. This past month it was my turn to share a message with them. It is so interesting how God works. I go hoping to be a blessing to them, and they are the ones who end up being the blessing to me. One of the ladies shared a quote with me that I thought was so powerful. She said, “Don’t tell God how big your problems are. Tell your problems how big your God is.”
But practically living that out is tough. When problems start coming my way, I quickly forget how big my God is.
Second, Hezekiah tells God what the problem is.
Give ear, LORD, and hear; open your eyes, LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God. “It is true, LORD, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. 2 Kings 19:16-18
When Hezekiah tells God the problem, he does it with the right perspective. Hezekiah can now see that letter through the right lens–the lens of knowing who his God is, “the living God.”
See, it’s not that our God isn’t a big God. He most certainly is! We just need to allow Him to be BIG within us.
So then Hezekiah tells God the facts. Yes, it was true that the Assyrian armies had destroyed all those other nations and their gods. But as we know, there’s always more to the story. The real truth was their so-called gods were fakes. They were made by human hands. They weren’t real. They had no power to do anything, much less save anyone.
Finally, Hezekiah ends his prayer by asking God to deliver them.
Now, LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, LORD, are God.” 2 Kings 19:19
Why does Hezekiah want God to deliver them? What’s the end goal?
“So that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.”
So here’s Hezekiah’s 3 step problem solving strategy.
- He declares who God is.
- He tells God what the problem is.
- He asks for deliverance so God gets the glory.
Why do I want the Lord to deliver me from my problems? Is it for selfish reasons? Or is it to bring God glory and make His name famous so others will know that He alone is God?
So last night I took a page out of Hezekiah’s’ book and tried out his 3 step problem solving strategy. I spread out everything that happened before the Lord in prayer. I told the Lord (and reminded myself) who HE is. I turned on my praise music and spent some time worshipping Him. Then I asked Him to work out these problems so that He will get the glory and others will know He is God.
Are my problems still there? Yep. Do I know how they will be resolved? Nope.
But I can tell you this. It feels really good knowing that my problems are in very powerful hands.
As my friend Stacey always says, “God’s got this!”
Yes, He most certainly does.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
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“, because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…” (Romans 8:29 NET)