Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
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.
There once was a young woman living the best she thought she could as a divorced, single mother of two little boys. She was strong and independent; hurt but would not be hurt again. She was also carefree and rebellious. I can say this because that young woman was me. It seems like another lifetime ago, but yet it’s the same woman. Reading today’s scripture, I was reminded of that young woman who walked in a way that is not good, following my own devices. My mother would get my boys for church and beg me to go with her, but I refused. “You can come and get the boys, but stop asking me,” I finally told her. With my hand in her face, in God’s face, I refused the offer. God called to me but I would not seek him nor call on his name. Oh, the heartache that my choices and lack of integrity brought to me, my parents and my sons. But one day…
Circumstances and brokenness drove me to my knees in repentance of a life of sin. That day I found forgiveness; perfect and complete forgiveness. I deserved death, but Jesus died for me. As today’s scripture says, he was faithful not to destroy when he probably should have. I deserved nothing good from the Lord, yet He is faithful to His word and to His promise. What a blessing that those two boys learned to love and serve God in ways I never could have dreamed or even planned for their lives.
Oh, Lord, I thank you that you are good and you have a plan for each of us. You truly are faithful and just to forgive us our sins and all unrighteousness when we confess it to you. Thank you that you can take the ugly messes we make of our lives and turn them to glorious blessings. This is available for “whosoever will” call upon your name. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
Go with God!