October 17, 2014
I am typing up my devotion and quiet time notes for Oct. 17, 2014. This time of prayer and meditation turned out to be very productive as far as I had a lot that I wanted to get written down so that I would not forget what I was learning and being taught by my Lord. I felt led to share with you what I was compelled to write down and never forget.
Please seek the Lord’s face before you continue to read and ask Jesus to minister to you with the Holy Spirit’s presence and guidance into His Truth for the glory of the Father, in Jesus’ name.
Part of my prayer time was written: Thank You LORD, for so many answers to prayer and for being faithful and for upholding us and for teaching me more and more how to love. May Your love flow in us even more as a family and may we be vessels filled by You for Your use for Your glory. Thank You, LORD, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Isaiah 29:13 The LORD says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.”
Isaiah 29:22 Therefore this is what the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, says to the house of Jacob: “No longer will Jacob be ashamed; no longer will their faces grow pale. 23 When they see among them their children, the work of My hands, they will keep my name holy; they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the GOD of Israel. 24 Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding; those who complain will accept instruction.
In Isaiah 30:1-5 the LORD talks about His obstinate children who put their trust and hope in Egypt, or others, for help that He did not tell them to seek. The LORD did not lead Israel by His Spirit to form an alliance with Egypt. The people of Israel were carrying out plans that did not come from the LORD and they thought that they could find refuge and protection from Egypt.
Do we not do the same thing today? We chase after dreams and desires that come from our own selfish or misguided wants and make our own plans that do not come to us by the LROD’S Spirit. Instead of teaching our children to ask the LORD for direction and to hear His voice of guidance for their lives, we tell them to do well in school and choose a career of ease and with the most earning potential and we push them to conform to the pattern of the world. And we, also, seek the highest paying jobs and the paths of least resistance without seeking what the LORD’S will is for us or finding out what path He wants for us to take. (I am not putting down anyone who seeks a professional career. It is not wrong to be wealthy or successful in the world’s eyes, necessarily – what is wrong is seeking our own way with no regard for our Father and without seeking His blessing and His favor or His heart for us.)
Today, we as a people, even followers of Jesus, do not really know what it means to hear His voice and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Instead, we believe that if we follow certain rules or guidelines and do our best to stay within those guidelines, then everything will work out for us.
Instead of looking to Egypt today for our protection or refuge, we look to many other man made sources of help, safety, protection, refuge and guidance. Instead of always consulting our LORD first and foremost in any and all decisions that we make – we check into what the latest report is from the world on just about any issue, need or problem that we have. We make our own plans and consult the world about how to carry them out. We come up with our own means to success, our own definition of success, our own plans to prosper ourselves and then we check what everyone else has done or is doing to see how we should do it the best and fastest and easiest way.
When we run into a problem or a snag we don’t first go to the LORD for the answer. Instead, we seek advice from every other outlet. We look to the news, we look to scientific research, we check with our doctors, we look to education, we expect the government to have all of the answers (or we used to), and we expect the world to have figured it out or have a cure or an answer somewhere. Egypt for the world today and believers today is science, modern medicine, politics, government and its agencies, horoscopes, numerology, psychology, man made weapons of this world and the advice of friends and family.
Does humankind really believe we have all of the answers or that we have figured it all out to where we do not need our Creator?
All of this that Israel did angered the LORD, greatly, mainly because He knew that mere man, even a nation of men, cannot protect His people from calamity, destruction or disease. Man’s best efforts cannot totally protect him from harm – especially when he is disregarding the natural order of things as they were created to perform and the information given to him in the Bible regarding how to live on this earth and be blessed. The LORD set forth guidelines to protect us because He knows how intricately all things work together that have been created and He knows what will harm us and what will not harm us and what will actually benefit us. Also, He alone has the supernatural power and vision and knowledge to protect us when we do make mistakes and open doors for illness or destruction to ourselves. God is able to supernaturally protect us from pests, plagues, disasters, enemies and even consequences of our own actions. He is more inclined to protect us in this way when we are seeking Him and looking to Him for this kind of help. Wouldn’t you rather help someone who wants you to help them?
The LORD is angered by Israel’s refusal to listen to Him, their refusal to follow Him and their refusal to look to Him for guidance, help and love. But, He also still loves them and longs to meet their every need – even the need for rebuke and/or punishment to get them back to doing life the way that will ultimately give them greater peace, joy and fulfillment. Because God loves His people and all mankind, all humanity, He will never just let us go our own way and do whatever we, in our limited understanding, think feels good or seems OK or right. The LORD always steps in before we totally destroy ourselves and it is because of His love that He does this.
Isaiah 30:18 “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!
With God being a God of justice – if He allows the wicked to do whatever they want and use up other people and oppress the poor and needy and store up wealth for themselves and deprive others and not care about the needs of others – then He would not be a God of justice. However; He is just! He will not allow the wicked to abuse others forever. He gives the wicked and rebellious time and chances to repent and to turn to Him and He does not allow the suffering of others to go on and on. He has compassion on the sinner and the rebellious, as well as those who suffer for His cause or as a result of sin in the world.
Only a Holy and Righteous and All Knowing God, full of love and mercy, justice and grace – could tend to the balance of all of this! Oh, LORD, how Amazing is Your great love for all! How awesome is Your ability to reign and rule and be just and compassionate! Your ways truly are so much higher than our own and Your understanding so much more than we could ever fathom! (Isaiah 55:8-9) We praise You our God!
Isaiah 30:15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”
That verse makes me remember Hebrews 4:1-13 where the writer of Hebrews relates to us that Today is the day of salvation and that the promise of entering God’s rest still stands. Those who do not believe, who do not walk by faith in Jesus will not enter His rest. The gospel is of no value to those who do not combine the message of the gospel with faith. When we still trust in our own works or righteousness to please God or to earn His forgiveness we are falling short of His rest.
Hebrews 4:1 “Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; BUT THE MESSAGE THEY HEARD WAS OF NO VALUE TO THEM, BECAUSE THOSE WHO HEARD DID NOT COMBINE IT WITH FAITH.
Hebrews 4:3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, ‘So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ‘And yet His work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere He has spoken about the seventh day in these words: ‘And on the seventh day God rested from all His work.’ 5 And again in the passage above He says, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ 6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later He spoke through David, as was said before: ‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.’ 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, the, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. 11 Let us; therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. 12 For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
What is missing today from those of us who profess Christ, who have knowledge of His teachings and believe they are good and true but lack the power of God in our lives? Could it be that faith is what is missing? Could it be that putting those professions of faith and beliefs in Jesus and in the power of God and the work of the Holy Spirit into practice is what will truly bring forth the movement of God that we have been thirsting for in our country and in our lives?
Let us put our trust in Jesus – turn from following our own understanding and making our own plans and rest in Christ’s finished work and walk in the healing, victory over sin and darkness, peace, authority of His name and Holy Spirit power that He was beaten, bled and died and was resurrected and ascended unto heaven for – our freedom and that freedom is to be used to bring sight, open deaf ears, heal the sick, release the prisoners and set the captives free and to cast out the powers of evil. Let’s stop striving to be forgiven and start living to love.