So Ahaz, King of Judah, was under the threat of invasion. Other kings had allied together to overtake Judah and “the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.” (Isaiah 7:2) God instructed the prophet Isaiah to speak to Ahaz, giving him comfort and encouragement. But it is what He said in verse 9 that has captured my attention today.
“If you do not stand firm in your faith,
you will not stand at all.”
Invasion comes, and we scramble for a place to stand through it. Where do we often find our feet? Two places in particular come to mind right away.
Blame ~ it’s easier to stand firm if you have someone else to blame for what is happening. Some of us find our place of “this is not my fault” and that’s where our righteously indignant feet get planted.
Shame ~ we resign ourselves to whatever is coming, because we assume we deserve it. So many of God’s children stand in shame, unable to get their feet to move onto the solid ground of His forgiveness.
We all have our spot, our place that we plant our feet. We stand on our moral character, our common sense and on traditions. Some are standing in fear, in anger, and in resignation. Some are not standing at all. They are running. Running away from their situation, running to try to stay ahead of the invasion, running to stay in control, running in circles.
And God has said that we will all fall down. All but the one who has chosen to stand on one thing. Faith. It is the only piece of solid ground in existence…depending, of course, on where our faith rests.
So we dig a little deeper. What do we have faith in? What is it that gives us peaceful assurance and determination when our life is under the threat of invasion? We all know the “right” answer to that question, but for our hearts to be changed, we have to uncover the “real” answer. For many, our faith moves around a lot. It can look somewhat butterfly-ish at times, even though our faith in God is strong. In times of trial or under the threat of invasion, faith looks for a place to land. The overall character of God, the fact that He is good, or even the fact that He works everything out for our good can still leave our faith flitting around looking for something solid.
So we turn to people, reaching for someone who will tell us something we can rest our faith on. Someone who can tell us why this is happening and what we should do about it. Our faith wants to rest on something tangible, and unfortunately, it usually lands on people. Good people, wise people, but still just people.
Which leads me to the scripture that links up with Isaiah 7:9.
“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” 1Corinthians 2:4-5
I have gone through an invasion of the enemy. It brought destruction to my marriage and to my family. The invasion took place over many years, and during those years, I stood in all of the places I mentioned earlier. And I fell from every one of them. Then God broke in, took me by the hand and led me out of destruction and into His fire. While there, He fed me Isaiah 7:9 and 1Corinthians 2:4-5. He taught me that I could stand against the enemy’s destruction only by standing in faith, a faith at rest solely on His power. And then He proved that it is indeed the most solid place on this earth.
It was His power that overcame the destruction the enemy brought to my family. It was His power that turned our hearts and changed our minds, repaired our broken walls and brought restoration from ruin. Only the power of God could have healed the many wounds inflicted during the invasion of the enemy in our lives. And it is His power that is still at work, repairing, restoring and healing.
No matter what comes, or threatens to come, I will stand in faith. A faith at rest on the power of God to contend for me and my family, to overcome the enemy’s plans of invasion and to restore what has been destroyed.
It is in the incomparably great power of the One who is for me and not against me that my faith has found it’s resting place.