Today: Psalms 83; Acts 28:1-16; 2 Kings 19:14-37; 2 Kings 20
God shipwrecked Paul to bring His gospel message to the islanders of Malta. Then He allowed a snake to bite Paul so that the islanders would see God’s miraculous protection over him. When Paul didn’t suffer any ill effects from the venomous snake bite, they decided that he was a god.
We know that Paul would have told them emphatically that he was NOT a god. But now he had an attentive audience with whom he could share about the one TRUE God. Now Paul was someone they would listen to, someone their chief official would host in his own home for three days and give access to his own sick father. Through Paul, God healed Publius’ father and then everyone else on the island who came for healing. All because of a shipwreck and a snake bite… the gospel of Jesus had arrived to the islands!
How easy it would have been for Paul to get discouraged by all the crazy troubles he encountered… a ferocious 14 day storm, a shipwreck, and a snake bite! But this was all part of God’s plan to bring His message to Malta.
Any time God is moving there will be opposition. Don’t be surprised by your fiery ordeals. When we are following God, we can EXPECT troubles. Don’t get discouraged. God is still in charge, working out His perfect plan, putting us into position to do His will.
If you aren’t following God, then He’s allowing whatever struggle you are going through right now. He often allows us to go through difficult circumstances so that we will cry out to Him. He’s waiting for that shift, for us to stop trusting ourselves and seek Him out. Then He rushes in with His rest, peace and spiritual victory. THIS is why He waits sometimes… if He rushed in with a solution too quickly, we would think we did it ourselves, we wouldn’t recognize His hand in the saving.
EITHER WAY, GOD IS IN CONTROL. AND IF YOU WILL ONLY REACH OUT TO HIM, HE WILL HELP YOU THROUGH THIS DIFFICULT SITUATION.
2 Kings 19
HEZEKIAH’S PRAYER – OUR PRAYER TODAY
God speaks to us through the Old Testament; the physical promises He gave the Israelites are spiritual promises He gives us today. This story of God choosing Abraham and his descendants, guiding them to a promised land, is a physical example of OUR story. Through Jesus Christ, God has chosen us as well. Through the Holy Spirit He leads us to Himself. God Himself is our promised land.
I believe that Hezekiah’s prayer in 2 Kings 19 should be OUR prayer today. And I believe God’s answer to Hezekiah is also His promise to US.
Hezekiah cried out to God for deliverance from the Assyrian army. We cry out to God for deliverance as well. Our enemy (ultimately Satan) works through the rulers and powers of this earth to defeat and “ridicule the living God.” (v.16) They have “laid waste these nations and their lands. Then have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not god but really only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands.” (v.17-18)
I believe God has lifted His hand and allowed the enemy to have some victories, just as he did with the Assyrians in Hezekiah’s time. The enemy tried to take credit. But God ALLOWED the Assyrians to threaten and persecute Hezekiah. Just as He is allowing the enemy to become more powerful today.
We must share some of the blame. We had built up quite a cozy culture for ourselves over the years, set up our own system of false gods… all our many entertainments and comforts…
These past few years have torn down a lot of those entertainments and comforts. They’ve been ripped away from us and God has exposed so many of them for the false gods they are. The enemy, in trying to destroy us, has only pushed us toward the one TRUE God. We are waking up and realizing we are in the middle of a battle we had no idea existed. The harder the enemy clamps down on us, the more of us wake up and cry out as Hezekiah did, “Now, LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, LORD, are God.”
And that is EXACTLY why God is allowing it. He is working His perfect plan, putting all the pieces into position and drawing us to Himself. And great revival is already beginning all over the world RIGHT NOW.
VISIONS, WORDS & DREAMS
Just as God brought Isaiah to deliver His message to Hezekiah, “I have heard your prayer…” so again God is raising up prophets across the planet, giving people visions, prophetic words, dreams. I know this because it happened to me. Back in August 2019, I started having visions where God took my soul to heaven to pray for the world. Two years later I am still having these visions several times a week. But I’m nobody important. God is calling hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of us. He may likely be calling YOU too. Don’t be afraid to speak out and be bold about your faith. You will be joining in, with the rest of us, this amazing revival that God is bringing.
When I first started experiencing these visions I thought I was going crazy. I felt like I was alone. But in the past two years, God has connected me with many others who are also experiencing visions, prophetic words, and dreams. So many times I have had a vision and then find out later in a video or email that others have been given an exact same image, Scripture, or message, often on the same day. This one of the ways God sometimes confirms these messages. We aren’t crazy. The Holy Spirit REALLY is working powerfully. It is so exciting and marvelous to be a part of it. This is why I continue to grow bolder about it as I’ve shared more and more here. I can no longer be silent. And you shouldn’t be either. We serve a MIGHTY GOD!
GOD’S RESPONSE TO HEZEKIAH – HIS MESSAGE TO US
So here is God’s message to Hezekiah, the same message I believe He is telling US RIGHT NOW…
First, God addresses the enemy directly:
“Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel! By your messengers, you have ridiculed the Lord.
And this is what the enemy is saying (this is the enemy boasting about how he has infiltrated our churches):
And [the enemy has] said, ‘With my many chariots I have ascended the heights of the mountains, the utmost heights of Lebanon. I have cut down its tallest cedars, the choicest of its junipers.”
Then the enemy boast about how he has established his kingdoms all over the world:
“I have reached its remotest parts, the finest of its forests. I have dug wells in foreign lands and drunk the water there. With the soles of my feet I have dried up all the streams of Egypt.”
But here is GOD’s RESPONSE! God ALLOWED the enemy to do these things:
“Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained it — in days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass, that you have turned fortified cities into piles of stone.”
God has ALLOWED us to be drained of power, dismayed, shamed:
Their people, drained of power, are dismayed and put to shame. They are like plants in the field, like tender green shoots, like grass sprouting on the roof, scorched before it grows up.”
And finally HERE is what God tells the enemy He is GOING TO DO:
“But I know where you are and when you come and go and how you rage against me. Because you rage against me and because your insolence has reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will make you return by the way you came. For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”
HALLELUJAH. I believe this is God’s message to US TODAY!