When Jesus humbled himself to the will of the Father, and took up the most difficult task of carrying our sin, he set his face like flint. I love this passage and this saying, “Set his face like flint.” It means to have a rock-hard determination to face a difficult obstacle. In this case, Jesus would be carrying the weight of the world.
In recent days, I have spoken to many, many women who are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. They feel the heaviness of the darkness in the spirit realm. They are facing personal emotional battles that have intensified during the past year. It feels so heavy and unbearable. For some, it is hard to grasp that Jesus already carried this weight- this depression- this anger- this pain- this fear to the cross.
He didn’t just carry one person’s pain, he carried everyone’s pain- even those who would never trust in him. He knew the gravity of this situation. His confidence was not in his physical ability to uphold under extreme distress, but his confidence was in the Father’s ability to uphold him. Let’s read this Messianic prophecy from Isaiah 50 that foretells what the Messiah would do for the love of the Father and the love of those he would save-
Isaiah 50 NIV
Israel’s Sin and the Servant’s Obedience
1This is what the Lord says:
“Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce
with which I sent her away?
Or to which of my creditors
did I sell you?
Because of your sins you were sold;
because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.
2When I came, why was there no one?
When I called, why was there no one to answer?
Was my arm too short to deliver you?
Do I lack the strength to rescue you?
By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea,
I turn rivers into a desert;
their fish rot for lack of water
and die of thirst.
3I clothe the heavens with darkness
and make sackcloth its covering.”
4The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.
5The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears;
I have not been rebellious,
I have not turned away.
6I offered my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face
from mocking and spitting.
7Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame.
8He who vindicates me is near.
Who then will bring charges against me?
Let us face each other!
Who is my accuser?
Let him confront me!
9It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me.
Who will condemn me?
They will all wear out like a garment;
the moths will eat them up.
10Who among you fears the Lord
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on their God.
11But now, all you who light fires
and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires
and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand:
You will lie down in torment.
What a wonderful passage! I just am in awe of what Jesus did for me. Let’s read that one more time. Go back and read again, looking for the things that the Messiah says that the Father will do for him. For example, in verse 4 it says, “He gives me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.” There are several other gems in there. When you find things Jesus the Messiah did, thank him for it. Take time to look!
In verse 7 the Messiah says, “Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced.”
Jesus relied on the Sovereign Lord, our Father in heaven, in his time of need. How much more do we need to spend extra time with him to be strengthened?
Jesus stood in the strength of the Father and put on his flinty game face to save us. He is a mighty warrior! When we trust in him, we are filled with his Spirit. We can walk in that same conviction of spirit and not be turned to the right or to the left. If Jesus, the Son of God, divine creator of the universe, needs to rely on the Father for strength- so do I!
I need to remember that my flaws, my weaknesses, my sin, my trembling were all paid for when Jesus went to the cross. Jesus paid it all and he rose up from the dead. There is no power that death has over me. Jesus has raised me up, because he loves me.
Let’s Pray today that the Sovereign Lord will help us to set our faces like flint, because he supports us.
My Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. I worship your holy name. I call on you to fill me with strength, Oh Lord! Support me, strengthen me, deliver me, uphold me. I want the same flinty resolve that Jesus was filled with when he went to the cross.
I want to serve you with the same resolve. I want to pour out my life for you, but I’m going to need you to pour into me- or I will be empty with nothing left to give. I need your strength, Oh Lord. I need your love to renew me. You have given me everything I need for life and godliness.
I worship your son Jesus. I praise you, Jesus! I thank you for your sacrifice. I thank you for your love. I praise you, because you overcame all evil with the light of your presence. You never sinned. You were perfect in every way. Fill me and perfect me by your Holy Spirit.
Lord, teach me. Strengthen me when I am weak. Pour into me. I love you. Fill me. I need your strength. I wait on you, Lord. I know you are here. Fill me with the knowledge of your will with all wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, in Jesus’ name.
(Pray for others this way. Pray for your friends and family who are in crisis.)
Lord, fill the church of Jesus Christ with this same resolve and backbone. Give us backbone to stand in the day of evil with great conviction and power. I pray that the enemy will flee in the face of this mighty army that you are raising up. Strengthen pastors, leaders, teachers and missionaries. Strengthen every person who calls on your name. Strengthen the weak and establish their steps, Oh Lord.
Lord, I pray that the body of Christ will stand firm in the convictions of the Holy Spirit. I pray against the accusing spirit that is set out to destroy the witness, resolve and testimony of the church. I pray you will destroy this accusing spirit with the breath of your mouth. I pray against the hopelessness that is invading the church. I pray that you will bring deliverance from the enemy. In Jesus’ name strengthen families. Turn the hearts of fathers and mothers to their children and children to their fathers and mothers, in Jesus’ name. Crush the spirit of rebellion in your church and raise up a mighty army, humble and peaceful and ready to deliver your powerful message of hope.
I pray we will set our faces like flint to share Jesus, even when there is more and more pressure on social media and the world to not say things that are in support of Christianity.
Lord, we set our faces like flint to pray for the fall of the abortion industry. I pray that you will set the captives free. Give women the urge to skip the abortion clinic and to stand up for their babies and to nurture them. Help them to do the right thing. Raise up the church to support the broken in the world.
Lord, we pray to set our faces like flint because of the great evil we are seeing. Raise up your light to shine in our hearts and in the darkness, in Jesus’ name. Lord, there is no force of power that can defeat you. Satan knows his time is short. I rejoice, because our redemption draws nigh.
I pray for protection over my family with the blood of Jesus. I pray you will watch over their going out and coming in now and forever, in Jesus name, Amen.