December 9, 2016


Isaiah 7:12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.”

On the face of it this is a very pious response. After all, Deuteronomy 6:16 says not to test the Lord. However, we have to look at everything in context. In the first place, Ahaz was not a particularly pious person at all. Superstitious maybe, but not pious. If this had been part of a pattern of humility before God, Isaiah would not have gotten upset. Instead, this shows a distrust of Isaiah as God’s spokesman, perhaps a fear that Isaiah was setting a trap. It’s no wonder Isaiah was upset! However, God used Ahaz’ weakness and turned it around, speaking through Isaiah one of the most famous prophesies of the Messiah that He would be called Immanuel. (verse 14, Matthew 1:22-23) There is a major difference between distrusting God and distrusting whether you have heard Him accurately. That comes out in the famous story of Gideon and the fleece. (Judges 6:36-40) We are quite capable of making up “words from the Lord” in our own minds, plus there are plenty of lying spirits out there. Wanting to be sure you’ve heard accurately is no sin! However, it’s not smart to doubt God Himself. If He has made something clear, in His Word and in our hearts, then it is the height of foolishness to doubt it.

This is certainly applicable to us right now! We are still faced with the looming deadline for coming up with the funds for the land next door, if we are to be building the group home we feel the Lord has birthed in our hearts. Humanly speaking, the owner of the land had every reason to laugh when I told him over the phone that nothing was impossible for God. That said, it would be nice to have a sign that this really is His plan! I am reminded of what Jesus told Thomas: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) The church as a whole could use a real infusion of faith right now! However, I am not to descry others’ lack of faith, but rather seek to fix my own heart on my Lord. As we were getting ready to leave after our first look as a church at the land the church building sits on right now, the Lord gave us a horizontal rainbow off to the southeast. That helped sustain us through the difficulties of building and paying for this building. Whether He will do something similar in relation to the land next door is irrelevant; He wants us to trust Him regardless. That is my choice, whatever the final outcome.

Father, thank You for all You are allowing us to go through. Thank You for all You enabled us to get done yesterday. I ask Your anointing as I take the fliers around to the neighborhood this morning to invite people to our Christmas programs. May many people be touched by what they see, and may every strategy of the enemy to keep them from coming be defeated. May this house be filled with people, and even more by Your presence, so that many would repent and believe, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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