What Rises to the Surface?

Throughout our lives we will all experience testing concurrent with the blessing of God. What rises to the surface during these tests? Hezekiah’s life is an example and picture of how important it is to guard our hearts in all things.

History teaches us just as if we were to watch a video replay of an event – showing us what to do and not to do. It does not have to repeat itself if we can learn to respond correctly with humility when God blesses us in extravagant ways.

Hezekiah prospered in all his works. However, regarding the
ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, whom they sent to him to
inquire about the wonder that was done in the land, God withdrew
from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his

2 Chronicles 32:30-31

A History of Restoration

Hezekiah was one of the better kings that served in the time of the kings. He restored much of what had been lost over the reign of many kings who did “what was evil in the sight of the LORD”.

In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the LORD and repaired them.

2 Chronicles 29:3

In addition to bringing restoration to the temple, he also reinstated the Levitical worship, the priesthood and brought back celebrating the Passover in Israel. Because of this God blessed him, prospered the land and Israel in very apparent ways.

His heart became proud because of his great possessions, accomplishments and prosperity. This opens the door to sickness in his life – but God has mercy and heals him. Yet, He does not return to the Lord in a significant way putting himself in a bad position regarding his relationship with the Lord.

But Hezekiah did not make return according to the benefit done to him, for his heart was proud. Therefore, wrath came upon him and Judah and Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 32:25

Gods’ Extravagant Blessing

There was such extravagant prosperity that princes of other nations came to see just how Israel was prospering in such an extensive way. This proved to be an opportunity for a final test in Hezekiah’s life – as God “withdrew Himself from Hezekiah”. What this means carries some mystery. In what way did God remove Himself? As we look at this story, we also must balance it with New Testament realities – that in Christ we have better promises. While there are lessons to be gleaned from this, just as all the OT stories give us lessons, so we want to remember that in Christ is the fulness of God.

We can know in full assurance of faith that God is not only with us, but in us as permanent dwelling places – as we are temples of the Holy Spirit. In this sense, God is not going anywhere from us. It is only by our choice or falling into idolatry.

Revealing the Heart

In Hezekiah’s life we see God is testing Him. Over all these years God has been depositing and gracing into Hezekiah’s heart revelation, understanding, and wisdom with the outward manifestation of favor, blessing and overflow into the nation of Israel.

Now God lifts Himself in a certain context of Hezekiah’s life to test him and see what is in his heart. Obviously for Hezekiah – this was his last chance to change his direction.

Firstly, realizing this is judgement on Hezekiah, taking a different angle in a broader sense – how can we apply this to our lives? Outside of the aspect of “judgement” and looking at it through the lens of “faithfulness” I believe that the LORD deposits into us so much over the years as we remain faithful to Him, practice His Presence and walk in His ways. Then possibly there are times where He says, “OK. I’ve put this in you. I’m going to step back and see what you do with it.” You could look at this from the context of the “parable of talents”. This is what God has given to each of us then our ensuing faithfulness with that He has given. Our lives are a “long obedience”.

God’s Invisible Test

Do we even realize when we are in a “test”? Some tests that God gives can be over a span of time and seem like something cloaked in the backdrop of our lives where God is waiting to see the manifestation of our faith and obedience. This is not regarding a prophetic word you received thirty years ago – but in what God is speaking through His still, even faint, small voice to your heart personally. What has He been depositing over the years is core to your life that needs to be seen in the earth. Many times, these things become clearer as we awaken our sensitivity to them through fasting and prayer – seeking the face of God.

Sometimes we’ve gotten used to doing things a certain way. We’ve developed a pattern. We may be used to getting “the word” from God before we move. But maybe God is stepping back to see what you will do as you are seemingly not getting anything new from Him. After all, most of society is addicted to having something new. As the saying goes, “the grass is greener on the other side”. That’s why in marketing there is always the need for a “new” push or product. It’s the cravings of human nature. What God is doing with Hezekiah is seeing what choices he will make – will he cave to pleasing man or go back to seeking the LORD?

Hezekiah prospered in all his works. However, regarding the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, whom they sent to him to inquire about the wonder that was done in the land.

2 Chronicles 32:30-31

These princes from other nations are giving him special attention now – what is he going to do with it? Will he keep the LORD first or be lifted in the pride of his heart? God has really blessed him in a peculiar way. Will Hezekiah now boast in his flesh – in what he has, has done or accomplished? Or will he give God the credit, not caring about the opinions of men. This is the challenge of the blessing. There is a silence that comes because great favor, gifts and increase has been poured out. The question is do we realize when we are in a “test” from the LORD?

What You Value the Most

The key is to always seek His face, pursue His heart, treasure His Presence above all other things. It’s all too easy to get caught up in religious work, things to do, ways to stay occupied and miss what are true riches. For He is our inheritance. Sow to the flesh and reap corruption. Sow to the Spirit and reap life everlasting. Keeping the main thing the main thing is essential in our walk with God. God never changes, but human nature faulters. It’s good to know where your heart is for that will help you see what you really treasure the most.

We can see throughout Israel’s history that God blessed but then with that blessing they fell away from the Lord. The truth is God’s nature is to bless so we can’t avoid it. It’s going to happen when we make Him the center of our lives – spirit, soul and body. The blessing is never the issue. The issue is the heart of man.

The blessing just reveals what is already there. It’s not like it just suddenly appeared – it is only brought to the surface by different elements. Experiencing God’s extravagant blessing shouldn’t change your focus – it should fuel your focus, intensify your thankfulness, give more opportunity for generosity and cause you to thrive in the things of God.

What is it that satisfies your soul, that meets your need and brings contentment? Only the Presence of God can do this. If His Presence is not where you find your life, then your focus is off. There is no replacement for living encounters with God – our daily bread, the bread of His Presence. There is no replacement for the waters of His Spirit – to know how to drink from the wells of salvation. Absolutely nothing compares to this. It can’t be bought. It must be discovered by those who hunger and thirst for the Living God.

We need the wisdom of God to realize how to handle His blessing and that nothing sways us from our full pursuit of Him. Only He is our treasure and our exceedingly great reward!

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