Well, it’s January! Resolutions have been made and I bet that on day four, someone is already feeling defeated. Want to know how I know? Cuz’ its me. Yep. Yesterday I cried twice. So just in case you are there too, I wanted to share a few things with you.
In my morning quite time, (that happens not-so-daily and never before 9am, hello resolution number 1) I have been reading in Isaiah. Specifically, chapters 36-39 about the reign of Hezekiah and the attacks of the king of Assyria. I wanted to share a few things with you as you walk through this first month of 2017.
Isaiah 37:3 “They told him; This is what Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the point of birth and there is no strength to deliver them. It may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria has sent to ridicule the living God, and that he will rebuke him for the words the LORD your God has heard. Therefore pray for the remnant that still survives.” When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, ‘This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard- those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.'”
I think that most of the time my life looks a lot like verse 3. “No strength to deliver.”
I’ve struggled with depression off and on for most of my adult life, and what I’ve found for myself is that it’s very often a spiritual issue. Whether it’s a good day, not so good day, or the pits of despair kind of day, there is still this common theme of not enough strength. I feel things deeply. Happy or sad, I get in there deep up to my neck and often over my head. My strength quickly fades. Maybe you can relate? As I was reading through Isaiah 37, the Holy Spirit brought a few things to light. A step by step guide for me and my tiny strength. I hope it will encourage you this new year.
Vs. 5 “Therefore, Pray”
Vs. 6 ” the LORD says: Do not be afraid”
Vs. 7 “Listen!”
- Pray for the remnant- that last bit of strength, faith, courage… whatever it may be. That one mustard seed you have left. He can use it.
- Don’t be afraid – umm…yeah… not sure how to do that one yet, but He knows that too, so just keep going.
- Listen! “He will return to his own country and there I will have him cut down with the sword.” WOW! Our enemy is already dealt with. God’s got it- I guess that’s how to not be afraid. Sounds a bit more possible now, yes?
If you continue on in verse 10 you will read about messengers coming to deliver a letter to Hezekiah that had been sent by his enemy, the king of Assyria. What did Hezekiah do? He laid it out before the LORD. Starting in verse 14, Hezekiah’s prayer is so beautiful. I especially love the beginning where it says “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.”
Man, I wish that was always my first response, don’t you?
Lay it out there. Let it all out. Let the ugly stuff show- He sees it anyway. He hears the words your enemy speaks to you and the lies you’ve told yourself for years. It’s no secret to Him. SPREAD IT OUT.
Instead, start listening to the words your Lord has written on your HEART. The things that are true and lovely and praiseworthy. He is faithful. I can guarantee you that the LORD has already defeated your enemy, so the next time he comes at you with his words meant to destroy you, spread them out before the LORD.
Want to have a fabulous year? Let this be the resolution of your heart.
• Pray • Don’t be afraid • Listen!