Friday, July 26, 2013

Was thinking today that just because you know something is the Lord’s will and you have decided to trust the Lord in it…does NOT mean that it still won’t be hard.  It doesn’t mean that it still won’t hurt sometimes to go through it.  Even if you accept the situation and you profess your trust there is no quick magic fix every time that means everything will go smoothly.  You still have to daily…every time the situation comes up…give it to the Lord.  You still have to hold on and endure while those bonds are burned off.  Until you make it through and come out on the other side you have to keep trusting Him to help you walk through it; and keep looking for those little signs along the way that let you know you’re on the right track.  He’ll help you make those steps…even if they’re itty bitty baby steps.          

Monday, July 1, 2013

Hezekiah vs. The King of Assyria

Reading in 2 Chronicles 32 today:

As I was reading I began to see a picture written out before me.  I know you all know this already; but sometimes it just helps to be reminded :0) the story is of Hezekiah going to battle with the King of Assyria.  I encourage you to read it yourself.  He does a much better of telling the story than I can.

When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib king of Assyria was looking for a fight there are some things he did… (2 Chron. 32:3-6)

v  He took counsel with the princes and the mighty men of Israel to stop all the water flowing in Jerusalem.  Why?  So that when Assyria came to fight they would not find much water.  Water is a life source. 

Ø  How can we apply this?  He sought counsel to do what?  Stop the life source?  Stop anything that would give what he is fighting strength.  Quit feeding it.  If we are fighting something in our life we need to cut off the things that would give it strength.  The things that feed what we’re fighting. 

Ø  Ex.  If we are fighting a disease you have to cut off the life source of that disease.  Diabetes you have to cut off sugar etc…  What are you allowing that is feeding the very thing you are trying to fight off?  Are you fighting a bad spirit…hurt feelings…a habit…whatever it is cut off the life source? 

v  He built up all the wall that was broken.  He built up his defense.  (Prov. 25:28  He that [hath] no rule over his own spirit [is like] a city [that is] broken down, [and] without walls.)

Ø  We have to repair all our breaches.  Get control of our spirit.  Make sure that our defense is secure.  Make sure there is nothing between you and the Lord.  Make sure that there is nothing between you and your brother.  If there is we must repair it and make the wall strong or the enemy will just get in another way. 

v  He made darts and shields. Built up his arsenal…his weapons of warfare (2 Corinthians 10:4  For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 

Ø  Make sure that you are full of the Holy Ghost and the word of God.  Put on the WHOLE armor of God.  So that you are fully equipped to face the enemy.  Look up scriptures…memorize them…memorize songs…spend some time on your knees…this is how you fight.   

v  Gathered the people together and encouraged them. 

Ø  Gather together with the people of the Lord and gain your strength.  Come to church.  This is where we are encouraged by the words of life coming forth…by the testimonies of those who have fought battles and won…and by the songs of Zion.  (Hebrews 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.)

Hezekiah did all these things in preparation for the battle.  He couldn’t just go out and fight without a defense or he would be taken in the fight.  He had to build up a defense and seek the Lord.  Hezekiah spoke to the people encouraging them that they could win the battle.  After he spoke it says that the people rested in the words of Hezekiah.  They rested…why…how?  Because they knew that the one who was fighting their battle was greater than the ones fighting against them.  (Romans 8:31  What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us)

What is that Bro. John Seaton said this weekend?  Caleb and Joshua had a different report. They had a victorious report.   Quit listening to the report of the other spies of the land and start listening to the Holy Ghost inside you.  Listen to the Ministry…the saints of the Body of Christ.  They have a different report.  What is their report?? We are WELL ABLE to take the land. We CAN be an overcomer!!!!   Yes it may be a battle…yes some of it may be an uphill climb.  But remember as Hezekiah said “be strong and courageous”!!!  There are more with us HALLELUIA than are with them!!!  We’ve got the Son of God in our corner!!!

(2 Chron. 32:27-28   Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that [is] with him: for [there be] more with us than with him: With him [is] an arm of flesh; but with us [is] the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah)

After the people were at rest then the battle began:  (2 Chron. 32:9-19)

Sennacherib king of Assyria came out and began talking.  He wasn’t coming against them with swords and spears yet…it was his words.  He came at Israel mocking their trust in the Lord and in Hezekiah…telling them that Hezekiah had persuaded them all to give over themselves to die by famine and thirst.  How many times does the devil…your mind…whatever tell you that the Lord won’t help you. He’s just gonna leave you there to die and you might as well give up now?  It is one of the greatest victories if he can get you to doubt the fact that the Lord loves you enough to see you through. 

Then Sennacherib says to Israel “Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto ALL the people of other lands”?  He was really pouring it on thick!!  How many times does he bring up all the battles that you have fought and lost?  How many times you have failed?  How many times you have given up?  He would love for you to focus on your losses than your wins.  It discourages you when you look at all the work you have yet to do.  There is a saying out there that says “When the devil reminds you of your past remind him of his future”.  He would like you to look back; but as Bro. Seaton said this weekend you can look back at the wake of the boat to see where you’ve come from; but if you keep looking behind you there’s gonna be a big wreck in front of you!! 

Sennacherib tells them that those other gods of those lands couldn’t save those people so what makes them think that their God would save them!!!  Have you heard these words before in your own life?  I know I have!!  Then he would like you to look around at all those others that have tried and failed.  How many of your friends have dropped out of the picture?  Could your God save them?  Hmmm he is a sneaky one.  Keep your focus.  This is YOUR chance.  We can’t focus on what’s around us; we have to keep our eyes on HIM.  (Psalms 91:7  A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee.)

“There’s a little path I’m on The Lord and me.

A path laid out that’s just for me.

When I begin to deviate from the path,

Question the path, or forget the path

That’s when distractions set in.

I begin to doubt the path,

Worry about the path, and lose the path.

But if I can remember the path of the Lord and me,

Safe and steady my path will be.

Lord keep my eyes stayed on Thee.”

“I’m gonna keep on working till He comes till He comes

There’s nothing in this world worth turning around to see

My eye is on the prize that’s awaitin’ me by and by

And I’m gonna keep on workin’ till He comes”

Then it says that the Assyrians went to work…talking against them…telling them that it was hopeless.  Then they began to cry out in the Jews own language.  Talking to them on their own level.  How many times has the devil talked right down your alley?  Telling you exactly what you “NEED” to hear?  He even sends you special encouragers to use your own words against you.  I know many times my thoughts are what I fight more than anything. 

(2 Chron. 32:20)

In all the midst of this is says that then Hezekiah began to cry out to the Lord.  He began to pray and seek strength from the Lord.  I imagine that the tricks of the Assyrians were working on some of the Israelites and he was probably getting pressure from within as well.  The fire was getting hot!!  He needed strength from on high to fight this battle!!

…and then what happened???

(2 Chron. 32:21-22)

The Lord sent an angel to take out all of Assyria’s officers…and mighty men and saved Hezekiah and Israel that day!! 

(2 Chron. 32:22  Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all [other], and guided them on every side.)

Never once in this chapter does it say that Israel had to raise a sword to fight.  The Lord set ambush when they began to trust and call on the Lord.  Sennacherib returned to his own city and his own people slew him.

Don’t give up on the Lord.  You put in the work and rest in Him and when the battle gets hot and the discouragement is fierce that’s when you call on the name of the Lord and He will send help!!!  He can set ambush and leave you standing in amazement at what happened!!!  He’s a great big MIGHTY God!!! 

So many times I question the certain circumstances
And things I could not understand.
Many times in trials my weakness blurs my vision
And that's when my frustration gets so out of hand.
It's then I am reminded, I've never been forsaken.
I've never had to stand one test alone.
As I look at all the victories, the Spirit rises up in me.
And It's through the fire my weakness is made strong.

I know within myself that I would surly perish
If I trust the hand of God, He'll shield the flame again.

He never promised that the cross would not get heavy
And the hill would not be hard to climb.
He never offered a victory without fighting.
He said help would always come in time.
Just remember when you're standing in the valley of decision
And the advisory says give in, Just hold on.

And He will take you through the fire again”

(Through the Fire – Gerald Crabb)