Long Time Plans From God

O Lord, I will honor and praise your name,
for you are my God.
You do such wonderful things!
You planned them long ago,
and now you have accomplished them.
Isaiah 25:1 (NLT)

The joys, sorrow, desperation, satisfaction, excitement, or phase in life we find ourselves in my be a surprise to us, but these are not a surprise to God. No matter the situation, we must learn on a continuing basis to allow our Heavenly Father permission to guide us through the deep waters of our journey.

It works something like this:

  • God knows
  • God plans
  • We listen
  • We wait
  • God implements the plan promise
  • We are humbled and respond by humbly shining light, giving glory, to Him.

I just put this in a nice easy package, right? But with God, we should never do that. It all comes down to the TIMING of the ONE who created TIME ETERNAL. And that’s not you or me.

The powerful verse here in Isaiah 25 is that God DOES have the last word — HE ACCOMPLISHES … It’s not our strength or perhaps even our battle, it comes down to OBEDIENCE and FAITH.

U-Turns and Self-Imposed Roadblocks

roadblockGod has really called out the independent — er, DEPENDENT spirit here in Isaiah’s heart. This isn’t necessarily a moral or ethical viewpoint that he has gathered together just because he WANTS to do right. This is a MANDATE to do the “God Thing.”

The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. … Isaiah 8:11 (NLT)

For me, personally, this is what God wants as well. my world is pretty polluted with wanting to be both accepted and to be acceptable. The clear implication here is to think with our full HEART and MIND, but to ALLOW some kind of Holy Spirit filter to always be present. The words STRONG WARNING must be pretty serious considering their source.

Pick Me!

isaiah send meRemember the first Shrek movie? The donkey says the famous line, “Pick Me! Pick Me! Pick Me!” hilarious and yet it shows a sense of passion.

I’m sure it was the same way when King David in the Bible was chosen. His brothers were surely thinking, if not expressing the same kind of passion. If chosen — things would be different forever for any one of the that would be selected by Samuel the prophet to replace Saul.

When you look at Isaiah 6, it is a little different. As you know, the previous chapters laid out a vivid picture that was not easy for one trusting God to gaze upon. The need was great, if not incomprehensible. King Uzziah died, the corruptible and leprous, and a new day was now at hand.

Looking upward, Isaiah knew his request would be timely:

Isaiah 6:5 Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”

Some lessons from prayer time and meditation:

  • My words can be sinful
  • My words can hurt God
  • My words can hurt others
  • My words can mirror or echo my friends who disappoint God

After Isaiah had allowed God to purge this sin from him, he cried out, “GOD — PICK ME!”

And God not only PICKED him, but SENT him to GO and TELL others a holiness they had thus far ignored.

Sing a Song of Sadness

sad song prophetToday in Isaiah 5, the prophet is calling people out in the form of a song. It begins innocently enough, but quickly takes a turn. A turn of truth. In our world, nation, cities, and even in our families we could actually join along in some of the verses found there.

These are sickened words of the reality of the times. Many have rejected the truths they know through learning God’s Word.

Bottom line to this chapter? JUSTICE. God WILL get the last word.

Other places in the Bible mention that God is JUST — AND — FAITHFUL to forgive us and help us to REALLY LIVE. We can find our way – path – to start with at least, by gazing intently at His purity and holiness.

Everything Removed

Awakening Day 3

As I am praying today, I am looking at things I trust that should be shaken and/or removed from my life. I am going to take some time with this. I know this can become highly personal, so I will not be specific in this public forum. It’s kind of like another “Let Go and Let God” time for me.

In Isaiah 3, it starts out with a promise. Everything Israel had learned and come to trust would be taken removed. This was a big deal. It is “Job-like” — the Job in the Bible. But there is a HUGE difference. With Job, he was being TESTED and was BLAMELESS before God.

With the Israel people? They were being SHAKEN! And if you go down the list of what they were “trusting in” it seems horrendous to us. Some versions say EVERYTHING that SUPPLIES and
SUSTAINS. In fact we would NEVER become that way, right?

  • Every bit of bread
  • Every drop of water,
  • All their heroes
  • All their soldiers
  • All their judges
  • All their prophets
  • Fortune tellers
  • Elders
  • Army officers
  • High officials
  • Advisers
  • Skilled craftsmen
  • Astrologers

Let’s think about each one of these things in our lives that COMPETE with God. Wouldn’t it be better to SURRENDER them than to have them REMOVED? An act of surrender is an act of the HEART.

Why I Chose to Isaiah to Start

Tomorrow, (Monday, May 3) our church is beginning a 21 day fast. It can be something other than food, like Facebook, the Internet, LOST, 24, The Biggest Loser, or really anything. It’s what I’m calling “New School Fasting”. I will BEGIN by spending a lot of time in prayer and reading through the amazing book of Isaiah.

I recently saw pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Sacramento, California. One of the things mentioned there was that the book of Isaiah was the only full intact scroll to be found. I was intrigued and inspired to examine this wonderful book of prophecy, promises, encouragement, and hope. I am also leaving a lot of “God” options open with this journey. We always TALK about not putting God in a box, right. Sometimes big good expectations do not turn out to be GOD expectations. So I going forward with GOD ANTICIPATION!

What are your first thoughts going forward into this seeking/finding adventure?

If you want to listen to Sunday’s message online, just click here. It will help you get/stay up to speed on what’s up. Remember you can begin or re-start your FAST at any time. But I challenge you to do your best to keep at it and really make God the center of your seek/find time.