February 27, 2015
Thank you, Lord, for what You revealed to me this morning during my time studying in Isaiah. Help me put into practice these three simple yet life-changing lessons that are buried within the following verses:
“Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the LORD & spread it out before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: ‘O LORD Almighty, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven & earth. Give ear, O LORD, & hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see;…’ ” -Isaiah 37:14-17
1) Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. In our lives, when we face new circumstances or receive news, we must pause to “read the letter” by intentionally evaluating what confronts/surrounds us. Rather than just going through the motions, we should be mindful & intentional in regards to evaluating what is going on & how He wants to use it for our good (Romans 8:28).
2a) Hezekiah went up to the temple of the LORD… In our lives, we need to immediately take matters to the LORD. We need to go up to the temple of the Lord [whether that is finding a quiet space in our home, car, office at work, on a walk, or at church] & present to Him what we are dealing with. Although nothing comes as a surprise to Him, if we take the opportunity to pour out our hearts and focus on His Presence, our hearts & minds will be open to what He wants to tell us & how He wants to grow us.
2b) …and spread it out (the letter from the messengers) before the LORD. It’s neat how Hezekiah spreads out the letter before the Lord like, “Here God, this is what I’m dealing with! Help me, please, because I want to honor You & I sure do need Your help! You’re the BEST!” Rather than dealing with difficult issues by ourselves or first venting to a friend or loved one (isn’t there a fine line between gossip & seeking godly counsel? It’s one I often blur!), we need to train ourselves to do like David does in the Psalms– vent to our Best Friend & Loved One, the Lord! We need to get in the habit of “spreading out (our concerns/circumstances) before the Lord” so that He can mold us, teach us, & rescue us from the sin that will result if we try to handle matters in our own strength.
3) And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: ‘O LORD Almighty, God of Israel,…'” I love the example Hezekiah sets by the way He seeks the Lord in prayer. As our Best Friend & Loved One, our Creator is pleased when we talk to Him & remain in Him. Not that we should commune with Him using fancy words or with everything figured out, but rather with the acknowledgement & dependency that HE is our Almighty God and Wonderful Counselor. When we go before Him, and “spread out” our concerns/worries/frustrations/joys/circumstances/struggles with open hearts and surrendered spirits, He will guide our footsteps & mold our hearts & minds into His likeness.