Intimidation—that is one of the chief strategies of your Enemy, the devil, to weaken your spiritual resolve and diminish your dependence upon the sufficiency of your God. He has used that bluster against God’s people from the beginning of time, and you will not be an exception. Sooner of later, Satan will throw the book of spiritual intimidation at you, hoping to steer you away from full surrender to God to full surrender to him. When that happens, don’t carry on a conversation with the Intimidator, talk to God.
Going Deep // Focus: 2 Kings 18:33-36
The Assyrian king’s chief of staff said, “Don’t listen to Hezekiah when he tries to mislead you by saying, ‘The Lord will rescue us!’ Have the gods of any other nations ever saved their people from the king of Assyria? What happened to the gods of Hamath and Arpad? And what about the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Did any god rescue Samaria from my power? What god of any nation has ever been able to save its people from my power? So what makes you think that the Lord can rescue Jerusalem from me?” But the people were silent and did not utter a word because Hezekiah had commanded them, “Do not answer him.”
Intimidation—that is one of the chief strategies of your Enemy, the devil, to weaken your spiritual resolve and diminish your dependence upon the sufficiency of your God. He has used that bluster against God’s people from the beginning of time, and you will not be an exception. Sooner of later, Satan will throw the book of spiritual intimidation at you, hoping to steer you away from full surrender to God to full surrender to him.
That is exactly what he did with the citizens of Jerusalem. Through the commander-in-chief of the greatest army in the world of that day, the Assyrians, threats were loudly and publically proclaimed as they laid siege to Jerusalem. As a matter of fact, their intimidations and threats weren’t just bluster, the Assyrian army could actually back it up. All one had to do was look as the devastation they had caused to the north as Israel lay in ruins. What they were saying was true.
But that is beside the point. You see, they were not in charge; God was. They may have been the greatest military in the world, and they may have been riding a winning streak of one victory after another, but they failed to realize that they were only successful by God’s permission. He had the Assyrians on a leash, and they had mistaken slack in that leash for permission to go wherever they chose and do whatever they wanted. Not true. And God was about to yank their chain.
Do you know that is true of your life as well? Your circumstances, as dark as they may be, are not free to wreak whatever havoc they desire on you. They are on a leash, and while there may be slack in the leash for now, God can yank it back whenever he choses. One day, sooner or later, he will, and when he does, you will be okay, because you have put your trust in him.
So don’t talk to your intimidator. He, or she, or whatever that may be for you, will never back down simply because you talk back. Give him credit, Satan is persistent: just because he will ultimately lose, and he has no doubts that he will, has never led him to just give up and go away. Don’t give him the time of day, for you will only give away your confidence in God if you engage in a dialogue. Though he is no longer king, follow Hezekiah’s order: don’t utter a word.
Rather, take it to Jesus. Pour out your complaint to him. Dump your fears in his lap. Cast your cares upon him, for he cares for you. (1 Peter 1:7). Give God your worries and let him worry about it (by the way, he never worries). Present your needs and concerns to God through prayer. Do that, because the act of supplication is actually renewing your confidence in the sufficiency of God.
When you do that, here is what happens—every time. It happens not just because I say so, but because God says so: “The peace of God, which transcends human understanding, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7) God will command his peace to protect you while he is taking care of the threat against your security.
That happened for Hezekiah; it will happen for you, too. That is God’s promise!