Sunday, November 5, 2017
The 55th Chapter of Isaiah spoke to my heart this week. I was reminded about being spiritually “thirsty” and how God desires to quench my thirst if I merely come to Him.
The emphasis, of course, is upon seeking Him—i.e. seeing Him, and not my work or my family or my friends, as the water fountain for my soul, but Him and Him alone. It goes without saying that if I don’t look for Him I am not going to find Him.
There are some things required of me by God. He sets the standard—not me. I must bear in mind that even though He loves me, He will be God whether I find Him or not. I will be poorer, worse off, in peril, and far less of what I am than I could without God—-but God will be not less God with or without me. It’s a sober reality: God does not need me… I need God. And yet He loves me!
And so Isaiah wisely gives counsel to people like me: “Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.”
This is the same thing preached throughout the Bible. We must turn away from what is wrong—-even our thoughts—-and turn to God. He will have mercy and forgive us. But it is important to note that it is not just confession, but turning away from that which is wrong and turning to God. The prisons are full of people that eventually confess their crime! Turning away from crime is a different matter.
In coming to God I am still, 45 years after my conversion, realizing that what Isaiah said about God’s character is true: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways”. How true!!! God does things different from how I think he ought to do them! He answers prayers differently that I expect; He reveals things in surprising ways; He appears to be indifferent to my frustration and suffering at times; etc. And so I can agree with Isaiah: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
But I can take to the bank the integrity and promises of God- because He cannot lie or break a promise. He has promised me that if I seek Him with all my heart, and that if in all I do acknowledge Him, that He will not only direct my paths, but according to Isaiah: You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.