• Rev. Mark Tews

Our God is Greater

The king of Assyria, Sennacherib, sent an army to Hezekiah, the king of Judah, to blaspheme the God of Israel and threaten the Israelites with total destruction. Hezekiah sent his servants to the prophet Isaiah to ask how Hezekiah should respond. “Isaiah said to them, ‘Tell your master, “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.”’” (2 Kings 19:6).

Many people in the Bible are known for things they did with God’s help. David, the shepherd boy killed the giant Goliath. Moses led the Israelites out of slavery and to the promised land after forty years in the wilderness. Joshua led the Israelites in the victory over Jericho. Do you know what Hezekiah was known for? Hezekiah revived the faith of the people of Israel. “Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. He held fast to the Lord and did not stop following Him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses.” (2 Kings 18:5–6).

Hezekiah was a good king and a godly man, but that was not the case with his father, Ahaz, one of the most wicked kings in Israel’s history. Ahaz followed in the steps of previous corrupt and evil kings, even sacrificing one of his sons in fire. With a father and a background like that, one could wonder how Hezekiah became such a noble and spiritually-minded man. Where did his faith in God and his spiritual character come from? It could only have been from the Holy Spirit working directly in his life. Hezekiah had the prophet Isaiah as a mentor. Isaiah spoke for God’s truth and righteousness during that godless age of Israel and Hezekiah listened to him.

There are many voices speaking in the world today. Some are gifted speakers with loud voices, some are popular and good looking, some are well educated, some are influential businessmen with lots of money. Some voices in this world speak God’s truth, but many seek to lead us astray. They tempt and lure others into their own sinful ways, through intimidation or shame, justifying themselves along the way. Who are you listening to and why? Those who don’t speak God’s truth only spread lies and fear into your life. Hezekiah stayed close to the Lord and listened to Him through Isaiah. To be able to hear God, you must be still and be close to Him. Our Mighty God tends to speak to us in a calm, small voice.

Before he could restore Israel’s faith, Hezekiah had to demolish all idol worship. God rejects all false idol worship and had done so for generations before Hezekiah. A similar work of demolition has to take place in our lives before we can experience the full work of salvation through Christ Jesus. Our old nature has to die and our new nature has to be nurtured to grow. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Some sinful habits can be demolished fairly quickly; others will have to be fought off through the Word of God and making the right choices. You have to get to the root of the problem and pull the root out to let your new nature grow in. When gardeners want to do a good job of weeding a flower bed, they get down on their knees to do a thorough job. Likewise, we need to get down on our knees and pray for God’s forgiveness with a repentant heart while ridding ourselves of the sinful habits. If we don't look after our spiritual garden, then it will grow into a big mess. If we neglect our prayer life, then the wrong things will come into our lives and start taking root.

Hezekiah was very dedicated and passionate and he wanted to see the revival of his land. He sent messengers throughout the country calling the people back to God that proclaimed: “People of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that He may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria.” (2 Chronicles 30:6). Hezekiah faced a lot of opposition, including the Assyrian army. He cried out for God’s help because he knew he couldn’t do it alone. God answered his prayers for help so that Hezekiah’s armies won and the land was healed. “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Many people pray in different ways. Some pray long prayers, others short. Some pray once a day, others many times a day. Some pray aloud for all to hear, others quietly and alone. I’ll let you in on the secret to prayer: It isn't HOW you pray, it's WHO YOU PRAY TO that makes the difference. Prayer isn't a punishment and it’s not a ritual. Prayer is for us to be able to talk to God our Maker. We need Him and His instruction in our lives. He will give us the answers (whether we like them or not) and He will tell us what to do when we ask and listen.

However big your problems and however crazy our world, FEAR NOT! Our God is greater than all of it! Pray in accordance with Gods’ Will and dare to ask Him for the impossible, trusting that nothing is impossible for the Lord your God. Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26).