Summary: Pt 7 deals with Hezekiah’s ability to follow God and find success in "everything he did."
The Secrets to Successful Living
Pt 7 – Hezekiah’s Hat Trick
As we bring this series on successful Christian living to a close today, we’ve talked about idea’s of changing our measure of success, keeping Christ central to life, Boundaries and Balance, simplifying life, living a deeper spiritual life with Christ, unifying life. I want to close today by looking at one man who puts life all together and becomes as the scriptures say “successful in everything he did.”
His name is Hezekiah – the King of the southern kingdom of Judah.
Let me set up the passage for you with a little history. Hezekiah lived around 700 BC – He was the son of Ahaz king of Judah – now Ahaz was a bad man – an evil king – his name means “he has grasped,” Ahaz, Hezekiah’s father – participated in the most monstrous idolatry – he ignored God and allowed the Assyrians to dominate Judah – he set up an idol inside the temple. Hezekiah was born into a nation bereft of a real knowledge of God, they had become a wicked and idolatrous nation – but into the depths of this Chaos comes a lone figure who would bring reform to a nation. How’d he do it? How did he live such a decidedly different life? Lets look at the secrets of Hezekiah’s spiritual success in an evil nation.
Hezekiah pulls of a spiritual hat-trick. A hat-trick in sports is when an athlete succeeds in three attempts at something – in hockey and soccer it’s scoring three goals. Hezekiah lives the Spiritual Hat-Trick – read this passage with me. He puts together all the concepts we have been talking about and he lives them.
He trusted God v.5 – the Hebrew word for trust is to lean on as a foundation. Hezekiah trusted God as the foundation of his life. I want you to understand this morning that this life is just too hard to be lived alone. How often do you get the feeling deep inside you that this life is just too much for us, too much to cope with, too much to handle? For all of our religion and all of our strutting we too often feel alone and weary and afraid in a world that seems to overwhelm us. We feel a deep and cosmic loneliness that we try to fill with every imaginable excess. Religion leaves us with no answers to those empty questions. But into this whole big picture steps God in all His regal majesty and invites us into a life consuming relationship with Him. I remember vividly as a small child getting lost at the Va. State Fair – I was probably 7 or 8 years old – but I remember the emptiness and fear of being lost. I also remember the moment that my father walked into the police office there – running to him and throwing my arms around his neck and feeling the strength of his arms as he lifted me into the air and held me tight. I remember feeling safe. Today I find that strength that unparalleled power and comfort in the arms of God – who is the foundation of life.
He Remained Faithful to God v.6 – That word clung is the Hebrew word dabaq -(daw-bak) -To cling to-to Abide- Adhere - sense of holding on with all your might. The reality of most of our spiritual history – biblically and today – is a cycle of following and falling away. Of failure and repentance – of fading and renewal. For some reason we have a hard time remaining faithful to God over the long haul. Our spiritual lives are full of fits and starts instead of a long term relationship. We tend to be spiritual sprinters – running hard and fast but having to stop and rest. Hezekiah shows us a life that clings to God – that runs the race with endurance – that realizes that slow and steady wins the race. If we are going to be successful in this life it won’t be because we blaze brightly for a few moments but because we burn steady over the course of our lives. Paul says “I have run the race I have finished the course” - if we want to be successful in this life we need to make a life commitment to Jesus. One that doesn’t flag or fail – but that endures day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year. What might your life accomplish if it was dedicated wholly to God over the long years that remain?
He Obeyed All of God’s Commandments – v.6b – If you want to be successful in this life you are going to have to do life God’s way. God spoke to Joshua when He called him to lead the people into the promised land and this is what he said, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” Paul said “…he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” It all means the same thing. If you want to live abundantly you have to do it God’s way. You cannot go your own way, do your own thing, and make your own rules and then expect God to bless it. God has given us an instruction manual for life - here it is - read it, know it, live it and your way will be abundant. It gives us the rules for marriage, for purity, for raising children, for living - and we ignore those rules to our own peril. You will never be successful in disobedience to God. You will never be successful outside of obedience to the life God has given for us. When will we get it through our collective heads that God is Sovereign and He calls the shots?