I see my life this morning like a huge container filled with my personal agendas, failures, fears and plans. So I make the firm decision to pull the plug out. I can see all these things draining away. “I am empty now Lord, fill me with your desires for me, give me your hope for my life. I am quiet and wait on you”.
The song “Because he lives I can face tomorrow”, is ringing in my ears and heart.
“There is only one Reality and that is Jesus. Go outside and breathe the fresh air, touch the trees and the flowers, look out over the bay – that is not reality – that is going to pass away – it is here and it will be gone tomorrow. The only Reality that will last into eternity is Myself. You are scurrying around to see that your plans, your agenda is carried out. Stop fretting. The great plan I have includes the plan for your life – even the so-called insignificant details. Relax and trust Me. Stop trying to influence outcomes and rather know the security of being ‘In Me’ – and because I live, you need not fear tomorrow. Be a Mary and sit at My feet.”
Reading Isaiah 44:1-23 today. Firstly a timely reminder for myself and our blog. The opening vs admonishes Israel (He calls him Jacob, the weak unregenerated Israel), with the command “And now listen”. Then he reminds the people “this is the word of the Lord”. A refreshing reminder it is exactly because what we are reading is God’s word, that we should listen. Not superficially but in our hearts. To practice meditating on it and reminding ourselves that what we have heard God saying is personal, so that it becomes part of our lives.
Now, He addresses Israel (Jacob) in the most tender way, reminding them of His care for them and their intimate status as His servant. He desires to bless them and promises His Spirit upon their descendants. But perhaps the most potent word is in vs 5, His promise that there will be a time when they will know Him in a personal and intimate way. This refrain is picked up again in vs 21 where He adds His promise of forgiveness of their sins and an invitation to return to Him so that they can rejoice abundantly. This acts as a sort of bracket to include everything in between.
I am sure you can all see that this description goes way past the nation of Israel and embraces much of God’s promise of the New Covenant.
In the next few vv He once again presents Himself, as we have seen several times in the preceding chapters. After that there are 12 vv in which He mocks and ridicules the idols that the people have been worshipping.
I want us to focus on just two things He says about Himself here. vs 7(a) “Who like Me can announce the future?” Now, in that culture prediction of the future was huge and usually associated with special spiritual powers. God’s statement reveals that He not only has the foresight of the future. It is far more than that. He holds the future in His hands. He is the future. Everything that is going to happen in this world is part of the plan he has already prepared. Now friends, let me ask you, “What about us, how much do we want to know what the future holds?”. I want to suggest that much of our sense of security lies in “knowing” the future. Yes? What about our daily weather forecasts, political predictions, sports results, outcomes of relationships, family and babies, stock markets, oil prices? The list is endless. We live in a society which is half embedded in the future. Because these are so uncertain, we can easily live in the twilight of the “What if’s”. Do our lives reflect our understanding that we don’t need to find our security in predictions? Our security lies solely in the one who holds the future.
The other point I want to show you is in vs 9. Here God starts a mocking contrast of idols to the description of Himself as “The Rock”, steadfast and unmoving, in the previous vs (8). Once again we may shake our heads and laugh at those who trust in idols. But we don’t, do we? Well I suggest you reflect on how much time of your day you spend, excluding the Lord from your thoughts and plans. Worship is reflected by the time you spend in someone’s company and the importance you attach to them. How much of your future planning and thoughts involve in a total trust in the Lord.
I find it is easy to speak on these subjects, but when I examine my own mind and heart I realize how little I trust Jesus for the everyday part of my life. I continually want to control the outcome of what is happening. Do I cut a piece of wood and have a braai with half while I fashion a figure from the rest, so that I can worship it? Of course not. The devil is far more subtle than that. “Did God really say?” That is why we must keep listening in the right way to the Lord.
- Assyria Attacks
- God's Purpose for His People.
- God is with Us.
- Wisdom expressed in Perseverance and Hope.
- God's Swears to Keep the Promise, for Our Assurance.
- Yahweh, the only Living God.
- Did God Make a Mistake with the Old Covenant?
- God's Way, Often Puzzling, Never Wrong.
- God's Majesty meets our Humanity.
- Prayer Prepares Us.