|“Jesus summarized the Law in two commands: love God and your neighbor. You will never be able to adequately do this if you look to any source other than God for the meeting of your needs.” Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt H”)
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter Henrichsen
“Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord.” Isaiah 7:11-12
“Signs” play an important role in Scripture. They are expressions of God’s grace to aid the sinner in the task of believing. Under the pretence of reverence, King Ahaz declined God’s offer of a sign, exhausting the patience of the Almighty. The hardness of the king’s heart was cloaked in piety. Ahaz did not say that he didn’t believe in God. Rather his response showed an attempt to be more spiritual than Isaiah. We cannot know for sure why Ahaz did this, but he may have been afraid of being committed to a policy in which he had no confidence. If he had asked for a sign and received it, he would then be committed to whatever God told him.
In a way analogous to God’s offer to King Ahaz, He promises us that if we will devote ourselves to His cause, He will greatly reward us in heaven. I frequently hear believers say that they could never be motivated by so base a thing as eternal profit; such motivation smacks of selfishness. This kind of piety may be a cloak covering a fear of God holding them accountable for how they invested their lives, an accounting that appreciably influences their standard of living in eternity. Not wanting such accountability, they hide behind piety.
You will always have difficulty understanding your own motives; they are at best murky and suspect. But when you find yourself resisting a clear offer from God, as did Ahaz, you had better have good cause and a pure motive, lest you exhaust the patience of the Almighty.
Amos 1-3 Revelation 6 (New King James Version)
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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in Prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91:2
Devote yourselves to Prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The Prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
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