“And so in the matter of the envoys of the princes of Babylon, who had been sent to him to inquire about the sign that had been done in the land, God left him to himself, in order to test him and to know all that was in his heart.”
2 Chronicles 32:31 (ESV)
If you read the story of King Hezekiah, you’ll see that he was one of the good kings of Judah. Most of the time, He sought the Lord and trusted in Him for deliverance. But no one is perfect. Several times, he went off on his own without seeking God’s direction, and the above verse is one of those times.
Notice we aren’t talking about a battle or some major, life-changing decision. Or it doesn’t seem so. Hezekiah had visitors, and he was showing them around. Seems normal enough, if you ask me. Read again what God says, “God left him to himself, in order to test him and to know all that was in his heart.”
Sometimes God Takes Off the Training Wheels
Hezekiah knew God, he spent time in His presence, turned to Him during some pretty dark times, listened to the prophet Isaiah, and consistently inquired of God for direction. I’d say he did pretty well by human standards. God had been teaching him, guiding him, and preparing him.
Like a child learning to ride a bike, it was time for God to step back and see how he did on his own. God knows this about the human heart: when “important” people are around, we like to show off. So instead of thanking the envoys and showing them due consideration, Hezekiah allowed his ego to take over. He showed off everything he had acquired to impress these diplomats from out of town.
God was displeased with Hezekiah because his heart wasn’t set on pleasing God but on impressing the Babylonian entourage. And because of this, his kingdom would later fall to the Babylonians.
Perhaps you can relate to Hezekiah; I know I can. We do pretty good most of the time, but sometimes, we just want to show off our accomplishments. We forget we can do nothing without God. We can’t even properly host visitors without Him. We either become inhospitable hosts or we show off everything we have and take credit for the blessings God has bestowed on us.
Never Stop Training
When God takes the training wheels off and leaves us on our own, remember that He never really leaves us. Like a good father who lets go of the bike, He stays close. He’s ready to steady us along the way and pick us up when we fall. He’ll tell us to hit the brakes when we’re going too fast, and He’ll encourage us to challenge our abilities through the turns and obstacles we face.
We don’t stop training just because the training wheels are off. We keep honoring God with our decisions. We continue listening and asking God what to do in both the big and seemingly small decisions of life. We train for the seasons when it’s hard to hear His voice.
God Wants Our Hearts
God knew Hezekiah’s heart before Hezekiah did. God let him decide how to entertain his visitors so he could discover his own heart. And God does that for me and for you. It’s easy to think God doesn’t care when He leaves us to make our own decisions. But the truth is quite the opposite. God loves us and wants to show us the places where our hearts will lead us astray.
And when we find these places, we can turn them over to God and ask Him to forgive us, cleanse us, and renew a pure heart and right spirit within us. God wants our whole heart, not just bits and pieces of it. God wants to heal our broken places and bind up our wounds so we can walk with Him in wholeness.
We are our true selves when our hearts stay aligned with God’s. We are walking in God’s purpose for us when we surrender to His will. God created us. When we invite Him into every part of our lives, we walk in victory, faith, and fulfillment.
Father, thank you for loving us enough to let us strike out on our own while never abandoning us to live life without you. Help us draw near to you in order to develop hearts that seek to honor You. When you reveal the dark places, help us be brave and confident in Your love so we can allow you to shine Your light into the darkness. Light up our hearts, cleanse our souls, ignite a love for you in our spirits that draws us ever closer to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Spread the spark of hope everywhere you go,
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I want to follow Jesus! How do I get started?
“This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.
1 John 4:13-15
If you are ready to join the family of God, simply believe and ask. You can choose your own words or pray the prayer below. God hears your heart, simply confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and let the Spirit lead you.
“Father, I want to be yours. Forgive me of my sins. I believe that you sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and thank you for the gift of salvation through Him. I invite the Holy Spirit into my heart and surrender my life to You. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Feel free to spend time just talking to God and sharing your heart with Him. Let Him speak to you and listen as He leads you forward into new life. Welcome to the family.
Need to talk or have questions? Feel free to reach out and contact me.