I think we all realize that it is easy to talk a “good game.” It is easy to present ourselves to others in a positive light. Just like we do that to others, we also do that to ourselves. We are able to talk up ourselves to ourself! I was recently reminded that walking by faith is more than our self-perception or what we say, it is really revealed in our actions.
The prophet Isaiah is sent to King Ahaz over the southern nation of Judah. He was an heir of King David. Now, it is easy to confuse Ahaz with Ahab an earlier King of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Just remember that Ahab with a “b” was married to Jezebel. King Ahaz had a problem. The northern tribe of Israel and formed an alliance with Syria to take control of Judah militarily. The knowledge of the advance coalition struck fear in the King and the people.
The Lord sent the prophet Isaiah and his son to engage Judah’s monarch. The Lord’s message was to not be fearful but to trust the Lord. It is easy to say we trust the Lord, it is way more difficult when a situation has overtaken us. But in this situation the Lord communicates that this foreign coupe would not succeed. I would encourage you to read Isaiah 7. It is also the passage we get the prophecy that is applied to Jesus in Isaiah 7:14. The prophecy of a virgin giving birth, as a sign, had two fulfillments. Once in Ahaz’s day and the other in the birth of Jesus. Interesting stuff! But now we get to the focus of my question, “Am I Making Excuses For Not Walking By Faith?”
I want to draw your attention to King Ahaz’ response to God’s offer to give him a sign of this promise. Notice his response, “But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.”” (Isaiah 7:12) It is possible that Ahaz may have been thinking of the admonition to not put the Lord to the test. The challenge here is that that passage refers to testing the Lord with their unbelief in the form of grumbling and complaining. Here the Lord is offering to give Ahaz a sign to strengthen his faith. Yet, Ahaz refuses to engage.
Looking back over the Lord’s working in my life, He has worked when I have stepped out in faith, trusting Him to work. Ahaz’s step of faith was to put God’s Word, a promise of a sign, into action. The Lord went ahead and gave His sign, touched on earlier, as a proof of His trustworthiness. I wonder how often we miss the Lord’s blessings in our lives, and growth because we are unwilling to take the Lord up on His promises. Instead, we attempt to solve the situation in our own way. Thankfully the Lord protected His people in spite of the King’s lack of faith. He does that in our lives as well.
Let me encourage you to trust the Lord with the “situation” you are facing. Let me encourage you to dig into what God has promised in your situation or direction that He provides. It is then that fear will be diminished and hope, joy and peace overtake us. We will stop making excuses and start truly walking by faith!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson