King Ahaz of Judah is going to fix things.

Syria and Israel have joined forces to conquer him, and it’s only a matter of time until the battle begins (Isaiah 7). By night, he lies awake in terror, his heart shaking “as the trees of the forest shake before the wind” (Is 7:2).

By day, Ahaz shouts down his fears with busy.

Today. he’s out inspecting the water supply to the city, making sure the country’s infrastructure is ready for war. Yesterday, he robbed gold and silver from the temple and sent it to the wicked king of the mighty Assyria, asking for protection (2 Kings 16:8). Though Ahaz sits on a throne established by the Lord Most High, he’s made a thousand offerings to every god he can think of, begging for mercy “on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree” (2 Kings 16:4).

King Ahaz of Judah is going to fix things.

The Lord sends the Prophet Isaiah out to meet him — to promise — after all this — that He will save him and his nation. Try me, God says. I’ll prove it to you.

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven” (Isaiah 7:10).

But Ahaz has already made plans he can taste and touch; he is busy saving himself. The king covers his refusal of God’s help in a mask of false humility:

I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test (Isaiah 7:11).

Like Ahaz, we are not worried God is lying. we are worried He’s telling the truth.

If He is, we’ll have to break the treaties we’ve made with our routines and addictions. We’ll have to get a refund on the payments of our faith — more precious than gold — that we’ve made toward our plans and our comforts. We’ll have to believe more in tomorrow than today — more in God than the savior we’ve fashioned out of ourselves.

If God is telling the truth, He wants us to test His faithfulness from the heights of the heavens to the depths of the grave. Come find me in the high and the low, He says. That’s where I’ll be.

But we are going to fix things.

We take credit for our victories instead of accounting them to His goodness. We see losses as evidence of His absence rather than a deep place where He can show Himself to be enough.

When we find no eternity in either highs or lows, we ask only for the shallows of good and manageable circumstances. We exchange a sacred life for survival — a life that praises God for one that praises us.

Try me, He says. I’ll prove it to you.

For a life that proves the Lord, we can’t stay where we only prove ourselves.

To exalt Him, we’re going to have to do more than just exist.