fruitage of the spirit's journal

Expressions from the Heart

Staying Spiritually Alert


Isaiah 38:1-7

 

j0438492Maintaining a state of spiritual alertness may be difficult when we’re faced with challenges, particularly if we were unprepared spiritually or emotionally. Last week’s study revealed how there is a great divide between seeking God’s will and true worship of Him; this week’s lesson shows us how we bridge the gap. To worship God in truth involves knowing God’s heart and remaining in His presence (by keeping alert of our spirituality). Maintaining spiritual alertness requires that we adhere to certain truths about our Lord.  In our study of Hezekiah, we learn that he maintained spiritual alertness, despite the troubles facing him.

 

Staying spiritually alert requires an ever present awareness of the following seven principles revealed in Hezekiah’s life (Outline by Sandy Maddox)

 

1.      Vs 1: In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus sys the LORD, ‘Set your ousein order, for you shall die and not live.’

God Speaks Personally – God spoke “personally” to Hezekiah.  God speaks to us through his word, our friends & family, a pastor giving a sermon; or sometimes He communicates directly to our heart and moves us to action or understanding. The important lesson in this scripture is to hear God’s voice when He is speaking to you.

 

2.      Vs 2: The Hezekiah turned his face to the wall…

Position Yourself – Hezekiah physically moved himself to be in a quiet place with the Lord; after the terrible news, he needed a moment with God. How do we bring ourselves to a moment with God? Is our first reaction to call a family member or friend when we’re faced with a problem? “Turning to the wall” signifies that Hezekiah did not want to call on anyone but his God of salvation.

 

3.      Vs 2: …and prayed to the Lord.

Petition the Lord – Hezekiah went straight to the source where he knew he would find comfort. He appealed to God, seeking Him. He had witnessed God’s mighty hand and knew that He is the only one to deliver him from death that was called upon him.

 

4.      Vs 3: and said, “Remember now, O LORD, I beseech You, how I have waked before You in truth and with a while heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.”

Present your past and your purpose – Hezekiah knew he was a faithful servant. Unlike his father, Ahaz, who didn’t trust in God and sought the help of a nation that God would soon bring judgment upon, Hezekiah only looked to the Lord.

 

5.      Vs 3: And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Pour out – Hezekiah cried out to God. He had no anger, bitterness or resentment; but he had tears of agony. Hezekiah had just been told he was going to die; he believed it because he believes in God’s promises; he had nothing left to say or do. He already pleaded his case before the great Judge and there was nothing left to do. How many times have we felt defeated in our situations – where there is nothing left we can do but pour ourselves with ourcries.

 

6.      Vs 4&5: Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah, saying, “Go an say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the LORD, the god of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.”

Prayers are heard – Although there is no telling how long before God told Isaiah He would add fifteen years to his life, we know that Hezekiah remained faithful and spiritually alert during the difficult time. How long are we willing to wait before we lose faith in our Lord? God hears prayers before they are prayed! Isa 65:24. Knowing this truth about our Lord helps us maintain spiritual alertness.

 

7.      Vs 7: “This shall be the sign to you from the LORD, that he LORD will do this thing that He has spoken.

Promise of His presence provided – God is a keeper of promises. When we know this truth, there is no disconnect between seeking God’s will for us and worshiping Him in truth.

 

*As we model a lifestyle of spiritual alerness, we open ourselves to receiving God’s grace, guidance and the ability to discern His perfect will.

 

Thank you, Sandy, for another great lesson! We look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts on this lesson. Blessings.

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March 30, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments

  1. Linda and Sandy,
    Again, what a great lesson on faith. We are encouraged to “keep awake” and “be wise because the days are evil.” An outline like this helps us focus in on how to achieve that goal. I appreciate each of the seven principles Sandy outlines in Hezekiah’s life. With this I can identify areas of strengths and weakness and direct my prayers accordingly.

    The key point that rang out to me as I read Linda’s comments was this, “maintaining spiritual alertness requires that we adhere to certain truths about our Lord.” Each priniciple Sandy outlines tells us something we can trust about our God. I have to ask myself how much I trust Him in each of these principles. With this thought coupled with a scripture that ran through my head the entire time I was reading, I realized that if we are to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, we need His Spirit to follow these priniciples of alertness. The verses that flowed through me as I read this were from 1 Cor 2:10-16 about how we discern things through His Spirit. It is the mind of Christ indwelling that allows us to hear God speak, position ourselves before Him, petition Him in prayer, present our very being, pour out our pain, see the answers come, and know His Presence. Hezekaih walked in this truth and remained spiritually alert and leaves a wonderful example for us to follow.

    Thanks for the lesson!

    Comment by Julie | March 31, 2009

    • Thank you Julie for the affirmation and insight. I am so glad you are following along. This study in Isaiah has been so applicable to our walk with Christ and so relevant to us today. But isn’t that the way scripture is – fresh and new every day!!

      I enjoy keeping in touch!

      Blessings Abundant,

      Sandy

      Comment by Sandy Maddox | March 31, 2009

  2. During the study, I realized that Hezekiah didn’t have to remind God of his faithfulness (Verse 3) – God already knew he was faithful. Hezekiah was merely showing his complete trust in the (only) One who would deliver him. Hezekiah was confident the Lord would keep His promise. Hezekiah knew God’s heart; it wasn’t his good deeds that earned Hezekiah’s favor with Him…it was his FAITH. When I think about the “position” Hezekiah was in – he had absolutely nothing left to say or do. He remained in quietness and knew God would be faithful. Our amazing Father allows us to come to a point of powerlessness so that we can experience his mercy and grace. How AWESOME is He!! Sometimes I feel that way – POWERLESS. But it’s then that God lifts me up and shows His promise to me and He lifts me up. Amen and Amen.

    Comment by Linda | March 31, 2009


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