In the last blog, I wrote about negative voices and how we must choose whether to listen to them or ignore them. Isaiah 36 tells the story of an official Hebrew trio who were driven to despair through an enemy’s threats. When they relayed his words to King Hezekiah, he, too responded with despair. But then he did something worth noting.
First, he went into the Temple of the Lord (Isaiah 37:1). Second, he sought help by sending his assistants to speak with the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 37:2).
I believe Hezekiah’s response shows a lot of wisdom and sets a great example for us. When we’re dealing with a negative voice – whether an actual person verbalizing his opinion or the enemy whispering lies in our heads – it’s easy to become discouraged. If or when that happens, we can turn it around by doing what the king did – take our concerns to God and if necessary, solicit the help of godly friends. Doing so helps put the situation into proper perspective and gives courage.
How did God respond to Hezekiah? He said, “Do not be disturbed by this blasphemous speech (emphasis mine) against me from the Assyrian king’s messengers. Listen! I myself will move against him, and the king will receive a message that he is needed at home. So he will return to his land, where I will have him killed with a sword” (vv. 6,7).
The negative voice sent Hezekiah and the official trio into a royal tailspin, but God told them not to worry about it. He reminded them that He was in control and aware of the words that were spoken. He would hold that person accountable for the message spoken against Him and His people.
Likewise, negative voices can intimidate us, make us feel as though there’s something wrong with us, or steal our joy and enthusiasm for what we believe God has called us to do – if we let them. But we can overcome by remembering that when we’re living according to His pleasure and purposes, God will take responsibility for us and come to our defense. Our job is to keep our focus on Him.
What practical advice can you offer re: rising above the negative voice and message we often hear?