But the king refused. “No,” he said. “I will not test the Lord like that.”
The Lord sends a message to King Ahaz inviting him to ask God for a sign. But the king refuses, saying he will not test the Lord.
Isaiah responds that the lord will send him a sign anyway. A virgin will conceive and bear a son who will be called Immanuel. By the time the child grows up, he will be eating yoghurt and honey because the lands of the kings that Ahaz fears will be deserted; it will be a time of peace and prosperity.
There is a religious spirit that blinds the heart of its victim to the grace of God. Everywhere there are people who despise the mercy of God, preferring to prove their own righteousness.
If the Lord tells you to ask for a sign, it is because He wants to show you something amazing. It is arrogant and stupid to refuse to do what the Lord tells you to do on the grounds that you are too religious. Who are we to think that we are more righteous than God?
In Acts 10, Peter has a vision of a sheet containing all sorts of animals considered unclean. A voice tells him to eat, but Peter refuses because they are unclean. God rebukes him for calling unclean what He has declared to be clean.
We are not saved by religion. We are not put right with God by following rules. God forbid that we should ever get to the place where we start to believe that we know more than God about what pleases God! But this is the distortion that the religious spirit bring to our thinking.
Often our refusal to obey God comes from fear of people. We fear what people may say about us. We fear people more than we fear God.
The Lord wants us to break out of the prison of blind adherence to rules and regulations in order to walk in the freedom of the Holy Spirit.
True faith comes from at the point where we delight in the will of the Lord, regardless of religious fear or the fear of man.
Holy Spirit come and make me more sensitive to your commands. When you tell me to do things that offend the religious spirit, may I have the grace to obey you. Amen.