November 20, 2023
All of us have some enemies along the way. Their motivations are varied, but they arrive in our lives nonetheless. Their attacks are often the most devastating and confusing moments of life. The question is not, will you have enemies, but how will you respond when the enemies come?
Spiritual leaders get more than their share. For our great Enemy, Satan himself, is in an unceasing battle against God. He opposes everything God wants, and he’s particularly vicious when he comes against the church and its leaders and people. It’s been going on since time began.
As Paul said, we must realize that our battle is not against flesh and blood, “but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)
WHAT DO WE DO?
An evil king (with a demonic master) came against godly King Hezekiah. This wicked adversary sat outside the walls for several days and used words to demoralize the people. Satan loves to attack with lies and innuendo.
“Thus says the king, ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you; nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, “The Lord will surely deliver us, this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” ‘Do not listen to Hezekiah,’ for thus says the king of Assyria, ‘Make your peace with me and come out to me, and eat each of his vine and each of his fig tree and drink each of the waters of his own cistern’”. (Isaiah 36:14-16)
STRIKING AT THE ROOT OF THE TREE
Hezekiah had become wise through years of following God. In this moment of crisis, his wisdom was tested, and he took the most essential step and gave us a model for dealing with those who oppose the work of God.
Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. Hezekiah prayed to the Lord (Isaiah 37:14)
Hezekiah enlisted the Lord of Hosts, the One who controlled the armies of heaven. He “spread it out before the Lord” and prayed. And notice the contents of His prayer, a powerful and effective pattern for us.
ACKNOWLEDGE THE LORD’S SOVEREIGN AUTHORITY
“O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.” (vs. 16)
PRAY BASED ON GOD’S HONOR
“Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and listen to all the words of Sennacherib, who sent them to reproach the living God.” (vs. 17)
REMEMBER THE WEAKNESS OF THE ENEMY COMPARED TO GOD
“Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have devastated all the countries and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them.” (vs. 18-19)
CRY OUT FOR GOD’S DELIVERANCE SO THE WORLD MAY SEE THAT THERE IS NO GOD LIKE OUR GOD
“Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, Lord, are God.” (vs. 20)
… came in an amazing, miraculous way. Sometimes, in God’s providence, He calls us to strap on our armor and go directly to war. Hezekiah’s deliverance was different.
Then the angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men arose early in the morning, behold, all of these were dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at Nineveh. It came about as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons killed him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son became king in his place. (Isaiah 37:36-38)
Prayer is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal, for prayer brings God into the equation. It must be our first response, not our last resort. Don’t waste your time worrying and living in fear. Don’t merely talk to others, although godly counsel is essential. Don’t devise some humanistic plan to try to fight the enemy in your own strength.
Spread it out before God and pray as Hezekiah prayed. And when God answers through a believer’s warfare praying, the enemy is always defeated God’s way, and God alone receives the glory.
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