Guard Your Heart

There may be times when we settle into a spiritual comfort zone. We figure out a routine with God, how to serve Him and follow what He says. As a result of our obedience and faithfulness to God, He blesses us.

Our prayers change. Not only do we pray for ourselves, but we willingly pray for those around us. We want them to share an intimacy with God, similar to our own. We also desire good things for our enemies. When we are connected with God, we no longer pray about those who persecute us. We pray for them. We pray that they will be liberated as they surrender their hearts to God. We want our enemies to experience the joy of His love and His grace. We’re fueled by the answers to our prayers.

We saw this trend with Hezekiah. He trusted God and led the kingdom of Judah well because of his faithfulness to God. When Hezekiah prayed, it wasn’t to enlarge the territory of his realm or increase his riches. He asked God to rescue the nation from the promised attacks of their enemies. Hezekiah realized that the words from the enemy were attacking God and His character more than they were aimed at Hezekiah. He asked God to intervene, to let it be known that He is the only, true God. God answered those prayers.

When Hezekiah lay on his deathbed, he again turned to God, as was his custom, and asked Him to intervene once again. And God answered another prayer by extending Hezekiah’s life another fifteen years. In the excitement of his recovery, Hezekiah drifted from the diligence and humility he once knew.

When foreign visitors came to share their well-wishes and to gift Hezekiah, this was an opportune moment to testify of God’s goodness and healing power. As these visitors were not believers, this was potential for a teaching moment. Instead, Hezekiah used the chance to show off his stuff. He paraded them through his entire palace, including the royal treasuries. There was a consequence for this decision, that was felt by later generations.

There will be times when we feel strong, spiritually. And there will be times when we will fall to temptation, even undetected. We have to work to guard our spiritual connection with God. Humility isn’t a one and done event. Experiencing a period of humility will not sustain us for a lifetime. We have to choose, moment by moment, how to respond in each situation. Our faithfulness to God cannot last without our hearts being dedicated to serving Him at all times.

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