November 23, 2015

2 Chronicles 32:7-8 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.”

Hezekiah was one of Judah’s good kings, and the reason why is found in the last verse of the previous chapter: “In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered.” (2 Chronicles 31:21) It was because of the relationship that he had developed with God through seeking Him actively that he was able to make such a confident declaration to his people. What we have here is a very true statement, but not one to be made lightly. I always remember that the German army, even in WWII, had “Gott mit Uns,” God with Us, on their belt buckles, even though they were serving Hitler. We cannot presume on God, or on some encounter we may have had with Him in the past, if we are not walking with Him, pressing into Him, on a daily basis. He is absolutely faithful, but He calls on us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. (Matthew 6:33) We have numbers of Scriptures that echo what Hezekiah said here, perhaps most notably 1 John 4:4. “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” However, Jesus stressed that we are to remain in Him and allow Him to remain in us through His Word. (John 15:4-7) If we aren’t walking in humble, obedient fellowship with Him, then words like Hezekiah’s are empty boasts.

This is certainly appropriate for me. I may be a “professional Christian,” but if I’m not walking in humble obedience, feeding on His Word and letting it have its full work in me, then letters before or after my name mean nothing. However, I do seek His kingdom and His righteousness, so the attacks of the enemy should not shake me. We have my wife’s health situation which isn’t fully cleared up yet, though she is out of the hospital, and yesterday my right ear went on strike. The devil would like to rattle me with such things, but I need to keep pressing in for more of God, allowing Him to use even the tricks of the devil for good and blessing. The more I am focused on the negatives, the more victory I am handing the enemy, and he doesn’t deserve any of it.

Father, thank You for the response of the man whose wife was killed by terrorists in Paris recently, refusing them the victory of his hatred. Help me do no less, but trust You fully in all things, resting, relaxing, and rejoicing in You whatever is going on in or around me, so that all of Your plans involving me may be fulfilled, on Your schedule and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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