WOULD YOU ALSO REJECT HIS WILL?
"`This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.' Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, `Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.' And Hezekiah wept bitterly" (2 Kings 20:1-3 NIV).
King Hezekiah of Judah was unique out of the other kings of Judah. While most of the other kings did not have good records in their relationship with God, he did "what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God" (2 Chronicles 31:20 NIV). God in turn gave him success over many powerful kings of his time. When it was an appropriate time for him to leave the stage, he was terribly ill to the point of death. At this God sent prophet Isaiah to him to announce his impending death. That was the absolute will of God for him. God wanted him to leave the stage when the ovation was loudest. However, he rejected the absolute will of God. He prayed to God for His permissive will, and God added another fifteen years to his life. Unfortunately, the added years became his peril. The Bible says, "But Hezekiah's heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the LORD's wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem" (2 Chronicles 32:25 NIV). Part of his pride was the demonstration of his strength to the visiting envoys of a Babylonian king – an act that God intensely condemned (2 Kings 20:16-18; 2 Chronicles 32:31). Even the birth of his wicked son and successor, Manasseh, took place during these added years. Hezekiah would have had a clean record if he had accepted the absolute will of God for his life.
Jesus Christ also nearly fell into this trap of permissive will of God when He faced His suffering and death. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done" (Luke 22:42 NIV). He accepted the absolute will of God. He even cried on the cross to demonstrate the agony of that will of God (Mark 15: 34). However, the absolute will of God for Jesus, and His (i.e. Jesus') acceptance of it gave Him a name above every other name (Philippians 2:10-11). This singular action of Jesus Christ has also given every Christian the hope that is beyond any other hope that if we die today, we are going to reign with Him.
What is your attitude when God reveals His absolute will for you and that will is not "good"? Would you also reject the absolute will of God and request for His permissive will? Are you ready to accept God's "negative" response to your heart desire? Remember, "...God causes ALL things [even death] to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28 NASB).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
This message was first sent out on April 24, 2006.
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