Move Beyond Your Circumstances In Christ

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
How do we get beyond our difficulties? How do we move forward? Many of us are still tripping up over old baggage–things that happened to us many years ago. If at the end of the day you can say you are successful, then you can claim victory.
2 Chronicles 32:30b
Hezekiah succeeded in everything he did.While you are not a failure, you can be a failure if you choose to do things your way and fail to be obedient to God. God’s way is really the only way. It applies to everyone and to every generation. What made Hezekiah successful in everything that he did? Here are some points of application for you to reference in the same ways that Hezekiah experienced in his successes:1. You are the only one that can make your life better. You need to be the better judge of character in those people you choose to surround you.2. You are not to feel sorry for yourself. Don’t dwell on matters that keep you on the sidelines.

3. You are to look for the open door, and, by faith, be willing to step through it.

4. You are to remain courageous. Don’t allow difficulty to cause you to lose courage. Press on, and don’t stop living in a positive way. You are to strive for the best in life.

5. You are to direct your thoughts to move you to act. Your thoughts are not to direct you or dictate to you what you are to do.

6. You choose to believe that God works everything together for good–to build you and shape your character.

Hezekiah could have made excuses for getting a raw deal out of life. He did not have a good household situation.
Hezekiah’s father Ahaz was not a godly man. He acted in regular disobedience to God.

2 Chronicles 28:1-5, 23-25
1 Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king and reigned 16 years in Jerusalem. He did not do what was right in the Lord’s sight like his ancestor David, 2 for he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and made cast images of the Baals. 3 He burned incense in the Valley of Hinnom and burned his children in the fire, imitating the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites. 4 He sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

5 So the Lord his God handed Ahaz over to the king of Aram. He attacked him and took many captives to Damascus.

Ahaz was also handed over to the king of Israel, who struck him with great force.

23 He sacrificed to the gods of Damascus which had defeated him; he said, “Since the gods of the kings of Aram are helping them, I will sacrifice to them so that they will help me.” But they were the downfall of him and of all Israel.

24 Then Ahaz gathered up the utensils of God’s temple, cut them into pieces, shut the doors of the Lord’s temple, and made himself altars on every street corner in Jerusalem. 25 He made high places in every city of Judah to offer incense to other gods, and he provoked the Lord, the God of his ancestors.

Ahaz was evil, and his actions caused his family and his people to suffer. Hezekiah was raised in this environment. How did Hezekiah overcome this? In the same way, each one of us has to do what Hezekiah did…to remain faithful to God in spite of what you see around you. A pebble thrown into the water has a ripple effect that travels out from it. Our faith has a similar effect on those around us.

Isaiah had influence on Ahaz during his lifetime, and Hezekiah likely heard it (Isaiah 7:9 below).

Isaiah 7:3-13
3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out with your son Shear-jashub to meet Ahaz at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, by the road to the Fuller’s Field. 4 Say to him: Calm down and be quiet. Don’t be afraid or cowardly because of these two smoldering stubs of firebrands, the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram, and the son of Remaliah. 5 For Aram, along with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has plotted harm against you. They say, 6 ‘Let us go up against Judah, terrorize it, and conquer it for ourselves. Then we can install Tabeel’s son as king in it.’”

7 This is what the Lord God says:

It will not happen; it will not occur.
8 The head of Aram is Damascus,
the head of Damascus is Rezin
(within 65 years
Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people),
9 the head of Ephraim is Samaria,
and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
then you will not stand at all.

10 Then the Lord spoke again to Ahaz: 11 “Ask for a sign from the Lord your God—from the depths of Sheol to the heights of heaven.”

12 But Ahaz replied, “I will not ask. I will not test the Lord.”

13 Isaiah said, “Listen, house of David! Is it not enough for you to try the patience of men? Will you also try the patience of my God?

Hezekiah became king at age 25 after Ahaz died. Note that the influence on Hezekiah’s life was not a reference to his natural father, Ahaz.

2 Chronicles 29:1-11
1 Hezekiah was 25 years old when he became king and reigned 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did what was right in the Lord’s sight just as his ancestor David had done.

3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the Lord’s temple and repaired them. 4 Then he brought in the priests and Levites and gathered them in the eastern public square. 5 He said to them, “Hear me, Levites. Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of Yahweh, the God of your ancestors. Remove everything impure from the holy place. 6 For our fathers were unfaithful and did what is evil in the sight of the Lord our God. They abandoned Him, turned their faces away from the Lord’s tabernacle, and turned their backs on Him.[b] 7 They also closed the doors of the portico, extinguished the lamps, did not burn incense, and did not offer burnt offerings in the holy place of the God of Israel. 8 Therefore, the wrath of the Lord was on Judah and Jerusalem, and He made them an object of terror, horror, and mockery,[c] as you see with your own eyes. 9 Our fathers fell by the sword, and our sons, our daughters, and our wives are in captivity because of this. 10 It is in my heart now to make a covenant with Yahweh, the God of Israel so that His burning anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, don’t be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand in His presence, to serve Him, and to be His ministers and burners of incense.”

Hezekiah did not do what his father did–he did what was right before God as David, his grandfather, had done. First, he opened the doors to the house of worship for his people. He wanted a relationship with God and knew that the same approach would be best for his people. He wanted to get people involved with this work…he wanted others–godly people–to help him to learn and grow in faith and worship together. It was a rebuilding process. Hezekiah had to gather the people willing to help clean out all of the things that defiled the temple.

There are times when you need to go back and evaluate the family in order to know what to avoid and to move away from those practices. You must acknowledge what was wrong in order to change the wrong patterns of family behavior from one generation to another. There are blessings in your obedience to God’s Word and in your resistance of those things that are outside of your obedience to Him.

When you praise and worship God, you build in yourself the character that will renew and reinforce your relationship with God. It is not about dwelling on the past or the tough times. It is about truly seeking Him as opposed to just acting it out and not just going through the motions. Is your heart willing to dedicate yourself to The Lord?

2 Chronicles 29:27-30; 30:1, 6
29:27 Then Hezekiah ordered that the burnt offering be offered on the altar. When the burnt offerings began, the song of the Lord and the trumpets began, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 The whole assembly was worshiping, singing the song, and blowing the trumpets—all of this continued until the burnt offering was completed. 29 When the burnt offerings were completed, the king and all those present with him bowed down and worshiped. 30 Then King Hezekiah and the officials told the Levites to sing praise to the Lord in the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with rejoicing and bowed down and worshiped.

30:1 Then Hezekiah sent word throughout all Israel and Judah, and he also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem to observe the Passover of Yahweh, the God of Israel.

6 So the couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the hand of the king and his officials, and according to the king’s command, saying, “Israelites, return to Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel so that He may return to those of you who remain, who have escaped from the grasp of the kings of Assyria.

If you see there are problems in your life, and even in your past, how will you choose to respond to them? Are you willing to humble yourself, acknowledge sin in your own life and repent of it, and make changes for the better? Are you willing to seek God, pray in earnest and continue to grow and build your relationship with Jesus Christ and serve Him? All of these are choices that you must make.

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