Sunday, May 5, 2013

What Are You Trusting In?

"What are you trusting in that makes you so confident?"

Those were the words spoken by the Assyrians standing just outside the city of Judah (2 Kings 18:19-24). This may be ancient history, but there is modern day application to this story. The Assyrians had already conquered nearby Samaria. Now they were standing outside the city of Judah politely, but firmly requesting that King Hezekiah surrender.

Typically we think of conquerors as those who storm the gates. They shoot first and ask questions later. But sometimes the enemy stands outside and attempts to use reason to gain control. Why not? If bloodshed can be avoided with a little attack on the mind, give it a try.

King Hezekiah was one of those good guys. He trusted the Lord, obeyed God, and removed pagan shrines in the land. He followed in the footsteps of his ancestor, King David. Consequently, the Lord blessed him. But,the enemy still showed up. Hezekiah tried to smooth over any wrongs his people had done to the Assyrians. He offered reparations of gold and silver. It did no good. The Assyrians weren't interested.

That's when the mind games began. The enemy was standing outside their city walls asking them to surrender. When Hezekiah refused, the Assyrian representative accused them of relying on their own intellect or on another army to rescue them. After Hezekiah refused to surrender, the Assyrian man pulled out all the stops by suggesting that God wanted them to surrender. He implied that God had led them to have Judah surrender because of something they had done.

Here's where the present-day life application comes in. We're cruising along in our lives, trying to follow God's path, being obedient yet not always succeeding. The enemy sneaks up beside us to remind us of those times we've failed and entices us to surrender. He fills our heads with doubt and fear. We try to stand firm in our faith, trusting that the path we're on is the one God want us on. Inside we wonder if he's right...Maybe God did send this circumstance to get me back into His will or to punish me? 

Hezekiah stayed firm in his faith. He prayed rather than responding to those threats (2 Kings 19). The Lord responded by delivering them. In fact, more than 100,000 Assyrians died in their sleep. God stepped in and helped calm their fears and He took care of the enemy. Hezekiah did not trust in his intellect. He did not trust in the strength of his army or Egypt's army. He trusted God.

The enemy seems to be telling me to "throw in the towel," with lies such as: 
The odds of finding a mate at your age are very low. It's time to give up. 
You don't have what it takes to write. There are plenty of writers out there already.

I could go on and on with a laundry list of lies, doubts, and fears. When I hear these, I need to remember to pray and consult the Lord. I need to remember to trust in the God, His promises, and not in anything or anyone else.

What lies are you listening to? Have you consulted the Lord about it?

I'll end with these verses from Psalm 56:1-7.

O God, have mercy on me, for people are hounding me.  
My foes attack me all day long. 
I am constantly hounded by those who slander me, 
and many are boldly attacking me.  
But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. 
I praise God for what he has promised.  
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?  
What can mere mortals do to me?  
They are always twisting what I say;  
they spend their days plotting to harm me. 
They come together to spy on me— 
watching my every step, eager to kill me.  
Don’t let them get away with their wickedness; 
in your anger, O God, bring them down.

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