Tuesday, January 29, 2013

...spread it out before the Lord

"... and Hezekiah spread it out before the Lord."

we (our church staff, my family and friends) are reading through the Bible this year together.  and when i say this year, i'm not referring to an actual year, as in 12 months. no, we've decided to do it in 3. months. as in, 90 days.  i've read through the Bible in a year's time before, and honestly, found it quite challenging.  so to attempt it in 90 days??? i admit i balked at the idea initially.  mainly, because i didn't trust myself to follow through.  however, so far so good. in fact... so far, so great! it's like a crash course in theology and history.   and i love doing it in a large group. we keep each other accountable and have much to talk about! in addition, because there is so much reading required on a daily basis, i find that i'm not wasting as much time on other things.  as much as i hate to reveal it... i clearly thrive in a structured environment.

the past couple of days, my reading has taken me through 1 and 2 Kings.  these books tell of all the kings of Judah and Israel and of their obedience... or more often their disobedience... to the Lord and whether or not they followed His commands.  most did not. most led the people away from the Lord. it's actually quite heart-breaking and frustrating to read time and again of the peoples idiotic behavior and the kings disregard for God's law.  God is clear all throughout scripture that obedience brings blessing, and that disobedience will not go unpunished.

so, when we finally come to Hezekiah, in 2 Kings 18, it's like this oasis.  this light.  Hezekiah loves the LORD! in verses 5-7 it says..."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 and the Lord was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook...".  in most of the previous chapters we learn what NOT to do. now, we have this beautiful example of what TO DO.  Hezekiah was brave and strong but he was also wise.  he didn't jump in to things without seeking counsel.  in chapter 19 he is faced with a difficult situation.  he received a letter, a disrespectful, defiant and downright derisive letter meant to provoke and intimidate.  however, rather than respond in rage, the Bible says that when he received the letter he read it, then "he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord and Hezekiah prayed..."

oh,  how often i've been faced with sticky situations or confusing circumstances,  difficult decisions or forks in the road and i've responded with immediate action based on fear or anger or even excitement without stopping, praying, waiting, listening.  i want to learn from King Hezekiah and be a woman that:

trusts God
holds fast to God
follows God
obeys God
waits on (and for) God

starting now. in the photo above i've spread out some things before the Lord.  3 notebooks that represent ideas, plans and songs,  and my computer which represents a couple of books i've been working on as well as new music.  i have A LOT of ideas.  but i don't want to get ahead of God, i want to wait on him.  listen. and yield my heart and head to him.

what do you need to spread out before the Lord?  a need, a relationship, a job?
surrender and trust. nothing is too hard for HIM


Babs Coppedge said...

So, so loved this ... this morning. Just a confirmed settling of trust, holding and obedience ... regardless of situations or circumstances. I've been up since 3:30am processing with God "a yesterday" that was sticky and confusing. I didn't want to move forward in my emotions or reactions but (like you wrote) in prayer, waiting and listening. The imagery of spreading things out before the Lord will stick in my heart today. Thanks for sharing what you are learning.

Unknown said...

I really was blessed in reading this. I am at a place in my life where I know I need to walk away from some things and draw nearer to other things. In the midst of this I'm presented with opportunities from both sides. It's like there is a battle for my soul - SERIOUSLY! Thank you for providing this word. I will rest in it, and trust in the Lord to continue directing my path.

Crystal Lewis said...

xoxo Kam and Babs Coppedge.... Thanks so much for sharing your journey's too! its such a vulnerable thing to share honestly and yet we'll never know how God truly uses our stories until Heaven!