The Invitation

To me, 2 Kings 19 has always been a powerful invitation from God to deal with being overwhelmed, and I think of it often. The enemy sent a threatening letter to King Hezekiah, mocking his faith, declaring themselves superior in every way, and vowing to destroy him. Though he had power, the king was overcome with fear and frustration.

He could have reacted in the same spirit, and either escalated the intimidating rhetoric, or outright declared war on his accusers. Instead, “After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went to the temple, spread it out before the Lord, and prayed” (2 Kings 19:14, 15a).

Instead of justifying his poor decisions, complaining about the circumstances, and demanding vengeance, he took responsibility for himself by acknowledging some of their criticism, even though they’d twisted truth to suit themselves. Rather than trying to make the enemy submit to his authority, Hezekiah submitted himself to God’s grace.

Respond from who you are in God’s Spirit instead of reacting in the spirit of something else. Lay out your wounds, fears, judgments, and any un-renewed thoughts before him, and ask him for a fresh encounter with his grace.

Refuse to fight on the enemy’s terms. Don’t give in to seeing circumstances through his bitterness, hate, lies, and threats. You are a representative of God’s faith, hope, and love, not a victim of propaganda, despair, and condemnation. Feed yourself on God’s goodness before dealing with the enemy’s hatred.

Let your capacity to receive God’s love grow until you have no capacity to be offended. It’s possible to have some control over those you hate, but you only have true influence with those you love.

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