A time of testing always follows devoted love and service to God.

Scripture:
But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart. – 2 Chronicles 32:31

Observation:
Hezekiah had enjoyed a succesful reign as king of Judah and had peace on every side because he sought God wholeheartedly when enemies warred against Judea. He was known as a man, who “In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered.” Over time, though, Hezekiah became proud and faced the wrath of God. He humbled himself before God and repented and abated God’s wrath during his reign. Then near the end of his life and reign, Hezekiah received a delegation of Babylonian envoys, who came to inquire about the day the sun went backwards. When they arrived and questioned him, Hezekiah showed them everything he had in the kingdom and the temple of God. God allowed this event to test Hezekiah and to know all that was in his heart.

Application:
When we serve God and seek him with all our heart and soul, he blesses our obedience and favors us among men. In Hezekiah’s case, he received great riches and notoriety. There is a caution we must heed when God pours out his blessing and favor on us. The caution is that we must always remain humble before God and give him the glory for the blessing and favor we receive. We can neither earn nor buy either his blessing or favor. God gives them to whom he desires, period.

Hezekiah experienced great riches and fame as his granddad, Solomon, had done. In time, he became proud and faced the potential wrath of God until he and the people humbled themselves before God and sought his forgiveness. He, once again, had great wealth and fame, so much so that dignitaries from Babylon came to learn of the day God made the sun go backwards just as a sign to Hezekiah that he would be healed of his lethal disease and add 15 years to his life. Some where during these latter years of his life, he must have become a bit inclined toward pride again because God reportedly left him to be tested and to know the contents of the king’s heart.

Are you serving God wholeheartedly? Do you seek him with all that’s in you? Do you love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? Has he poured out his blessing on you because of your obedience and love for him? Then I charge you to be careful and to remain humble before God because it is so easy to fall into pride and arrogance. The blessings and favor of God can make a person think, over time, that they have done well for themselves and possibly turn away from God because of the lusts of one’s heart.

Hear the word of the LORD, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Pr. 16:18) Secondly, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Cor. 10:12) Thirdly, “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.” (Is. 42:8)  We are to remember to avoid lusts and pride in 1 John 2:16, ” For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”

God will test you at times just as he did Job and Hezekiah. God will bless you and favor you, but he will see what you are made of sometime. He wants to know whether all your wholehearted service and seeking him is genuine or fake. Even Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit of God to be tempted of the devil, and he faced the temptations of the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and pride of life (see Matt. 4:1-11). No human being is exempt from being tested, NOT TEMPTED, by God. Trust me. The more he bestows upon you, the greater he will test you. Guaranteed!

Prayer:
Father, You have been speaking to me for days about seeking you with all my heart and soul, serving you with all my heart and soul, and loving you with all my heart and soul. I surmise that soon you will begin testing me in these areas of my life to see just what I am made of like you did with Hezekiah. I don’t have great wealth and notoriety, but you have blessed my family with plenty on which we live and share with others. You know that I love, serve, and seek you wholeheartedly. I’ve asked for your Spirit to produce his fruit in me and for it to be evident in my life. I know that temptations of the lusts of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life are waiting in the wings to come on the scene to test me. I ask you to walk with me through these tests because I know right now that in my power and ability I AM UNABLE to pass them alone. I need and want your guidance when these trials come. I humble myself before you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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