Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Isaiah 65:1-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
I was ready to be sought out by those who did not ask,
to be found by those who did not seek me.
I said, “Here I am, here I am,”
to a nation that did not call on my name.
I held out my hands all day long
to a rebellious people,
who walk in a way that is not good,
following their own devices;
a people who provoke me
to my face continually,
sacrificing in gardens
and offering incense on bricks;
who sit inside tombs,
and spend the night in secret places;
who eat swine’s flesh,
with broth of abominable things in their vessels;
who say, “Keep to yourself,
do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.”
These are a smoke in my nostrils,
a fire that burns all day long.
See, it is written before me:
I will not keep silent, but I will repay;
I will indeed repay into their laps
their iniquities and their ancestors’ iniquities together,
says the Lord;
because they offered incense on the mountains
and reviled me on the hills,
I will measure into their laps
full payment for their actions.
Thus says the Lord:
As the wine is found in the cluster,
and they say, “Do not destroy it,
for there is a blessing in it,”
so I will do for my servants’ sake,
and not destroy them all.
I will bring forth descendants from Jacob,
and from Judah inheritors of my mountains;
my chosen shall inherit it,
and my servants shall settle there.
Here we are again….it seems like every time we turn around in the Old Testament Israel is falling apart. They cannot keep their promises. They start wandering off following pagan gods, and practices that are against what the Lord says. Then God comes in and tells them, shape up or you’re not going to like what I do next, and they ignore the warnings and move on.
This sounds like my household growing up! I remember my Dad often telling me the chore list, and if I didn’t finish the chore list there were consequences. Things like being grounded. No TV for a week. I would have to clean the bathroom for the next month. I couldn’t go stay the night at my friend’s house on Friday…. did I listen? No, of course not. Like the Israelites, I figured my Dad would cave in, give me what I wanted anyway.
I was always surprised and angry when I had to face the consequence of my disobedience. But I had a choice. The same way the Israelites had a choice. The same way you and I today have a choice.
God is very clear in His instruction. Believe and follow Him and you will find eternal life, disobey and go it on your own eternal damnation. The choice is yours. What decision are you going to make today?
Blessings on your journey!
Our Sovereign Lord, why do we have to be so stubborn? Why can we not trust that You always know what is best for us? Why must we fight and struggle against Your word? Lord, please give us the strength and the wisdom to follow You and You alone. Help us be better representatives of Your kingdom. Forgive us where we fall short. In Jesus name, Amen.
Go with God!