“In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, and he answered him and gave him a sign. But Hezekiah did not respond according to the benefit done to him, for his heart was proud. Therefore wrath came upon him and upon Judah and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.” ~ 2 Chronicles 32: 24-26 (NRSV)
There is a challenge presented in this text. The challenge for me is to understand the effect of my response of answered prayer. Like Hezekiah, I’ve received answers from the Lord in prayer and I’ve not responded according to the benefit done to me. I’m learning that when God answers prayers, my response to the answers are not according to what He has said. Sometimes, fear or worry or guilt or shame or lack of trust for what has yet to be provided stunts my understanding of the answer and I find myself still stuck in my problem or issue or circumstance or situation. When we pray, God gives us answers (maybe not immediately but He does answer our prayers). After we’ve prayed and have asked of God and still find ourselves where we’ve been, perhaps it’s not because God hasn’t answered but maybe it’s because we operate in our issues or problems or circumstances or situations as if we never received an answer. Remember, He answered! Use it, it works! Every time I’ve applied the answer given, I always get the problem solved if I’ve responded according to the benefit of being answered when I’ve taken the initiative to ask!
* Quick Questions:
1. Have you found yourself sick and to the point of death in your life? Perhaps (because of) , (with) yourself, where you are, who you are around, etc.
2. Have you prayed and haven’t listened for a response?
3. Perhaps, you’ve listened for a response. After receiving the response, what was your reaction?
4. Have you changed your reaction to some answers that were provided because you’ve experienced wrath?
5. Have you been given responsibility over someone or something and have neglected his/her/its well being because of your pride?
* Quick Thoughts:
1. We pray in sickness, what do we do in health?
2. Sometimes, we don’t pray inaccurately but our response to the answer provided causes us to live outside of our benefit.
3. What’s in our hearts? It has to come out. Whether that release brings destruction or re-building.
4. Sometimes, we will fail. However, when we have access to the answer to every question and problem our only failure is not using that access.
5. Our response renders our return.