If you listen closely to the prophets in the Bible they often forewarn the people about things that are going to happen as well as proclaim God’s Word. The word prophet in Hebrew means; spokesperson. God’s people were quite deep into sin, disobedience, civic confusion and rebellion. Isaiah reminds us that our actions have consequences!
More often than not the people did not want to hear what God had to say. Right now in this 21st century things really are Not TOO much different from what was going on then!
Whenever I read Isaiah, I can feel the anguish and heart wrenching despair that intensively emits forth from his soul as the Prophet Isaiah speaks forth an oracle! Isaiah had a difficult mission. Quite often when you speak Truth you can expect to be labeled as “negative” or the bearer of “bad news.” Along with a lot of other flavorful words that I do not subscribe to. Isaiah was a visionary! He had the arduous task of speaking to a group of despondent people. Isaiah passionately shares of the purity of God, how powerful and loving God is and that God is a Holy God! Isaiah exalts God! He vehemently proclaims to the community at large the pitfalls of evil. Yet in return he is called everything but a child of God. He told them that the land was becoming a wasteland! He pleaded with them to turn Back to GOD!
Isaiah did not have some morbid desire to make anyone unhappy. He did not try to tell them anything just for the sake of making them feel bad! He was not a lunatic, neurotic, uncaring, self centered or mentally challenged in any way! It was because he was obedient to the call God had placed on his life. Although hurtful at times he did it to bring about good. To promote change and encourage the people to move towards God’s Way of life. Today our country is in a recession! Our government is knee deep in debt. Always on alert for terrorists both foreign and domestic, properties values have fallen drastically, homes have been lost, corporations have closed, careers lost, unemployment rates at an all time high, stock devalued, pensions lost, divorce at an all time high, families being pulled an torn apart, murder, crime you name it. I will not even begin to talk about the manipulation and underhanded, orchestrated schemes to undermine people’s integrity and misconstrue their character! The moral decline is unspeakable as well. Everybody knows it and no one wants to say it! GOD IS SPEAKING! You can only ignore Him as The Creator for so long! Lord Help us! Pandemonium and mayhem have really set in! But wait there is Hope! And yes there is Joy! “Those that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles….” Isaiah 40
This is Prime time for the Word of God to be shouted from the roof tops. It was never meant to be confined to a brick and mortar building anyway. Please don’t misinterpret what I am saying. There are some beautiful fabulous cathedrals, temples, worships centers and meeting places for the Church! But God never intended that they be full of people who are unhappy, hopeless and full of despair. He never intended for us to just go to church and go right back to another way of life! Nor did He want us to live legalistically unhappy! He intended for His Church to be an international universal family! Jesus came to fulfill the law. He sacrificed His life so we could be Free. FREE to WORSHIP HIM! “In Spirit and in TRUTH! ” To Praise Him through whatever trials, tests, obstacles or land mines the enemy tries to put in your path.
At some time we all are going to experience anxiety, conflict, grief or turmoil at some point in our lifetime. As followers of Jesus Christ we are going to have tribulations while in this world. Knowing this in advance will help you to prepare ahead. To acquire some preventative coping skills so you can be better prepared as you go through and not become stagnated and stay in. God has promised to be with us always!
Once the enemy knows and realizes that you “GET IT” that you are aware of his many entrapments, he will do all he can to harness and undermine your good intentions! He will use those who are weak but close to you, to try and pull you down! Remember he loves darkness. Therefore he slips around behind you in the dark lurking to undermine your sincere efforts to shed LIGHT to a world that is ignorant of his many devices. But get this; he can not do anymore than the Lord allows! HALLELUJAH!!! So if you are going through; You have to TRUST GOD! He may try to take everything that you have. But TRUST GOD! He may try to take your health or take the health of your love one, But TRUST GOD! He may try to divide your home, your marriage and your family, to uproot your children, But TRUST GOD! He may even try to take your life, But TRUST GOD! Always remember he can not do anymore than God allows! But know this when you are God’s child know that when its all said and done in the end WE WIN!
Think about this the enemy wants to steal your JOY! He will use any and everything to do just that! He wants to pull you down emotionally, physically and to lower your standard of living by compromising your principles! Your godly principles are the most INVALUABLE thing you possess! While going through you must open your spiritual eyes and ears!Those you have helped will often get selective amnesia. I often wondered where were all those people that Jesus helped when they crucified Him! It truly is much spiritual warfare about us. Our world and our country is in trouble! But our weapons are not carnal. Is your armor together? Know God intimately! Pray daily for His Precious Holy Spirit to fill you with His Presence. Then what ever comes your way as it gets too heavy. Do all you can do, then give it to Him and then STAND! TRUST GOD! Regardless of what happens the enemy can’t take your JOY! He will try so do not give it to him! When you know God intimately His Word becomes woven and deeply embedded into the fabric of who you are! “Your WORD have I hidden in my heart so I may not sin against YOU.” If you have let the shade be pulled down over your life and the enemy has inserted, regrets, depression, anxiety, stress, eating disorders, compulsive behaviors, addictions, manipulation, and anything else in as your daily companions that are not of Him. Let it or them go! You have the authority! Use it! Tell them they are not welcomed. Praise GOD!
God is the Ultimate Father, readily accessible to ALL who call upon Him sincerely, believe that His Son Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior, then begin implementing His principles in their life. His gift to you is His Precious Holy Spirit and His gift of Eternal life! No one or nobody can change that. Don’t try to be like someone else! Be the best you, you can be! Everywhere you are He is. So if you have let your JOY go because…. Take it back. “Though you have not seen Him, you LOVE Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious JOY, for you are receiving the goal of your FAITH, the SALVATION of your souls.” I PETER 1
One thing that you can always count on is God is everywhere you are. The question is do you invite His presence? Did you know that it really is “in Him we move and live and have our being.” To better understand this it is important to begin building an ongoing relationship with Him. Just think when something happens; don’t you prefer to talk to someone you know? God is not far away. He in fact is so close that you do not even have to say a Word for Him to hear you. He even knows your every thought! Our little finite minds cannot really conceive of God and all His fullness. But through FAITH we can develop our TRUST in Him.
When a trial comes you are still able to experience that Joy! As a matter of fact Isaiah says ; “God will keep you in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on HIM.” In order for this to be so you must learn to Trust Him. This trust grows as you develop an intimate personal relationship with Him! As you begin to think about God as the ultimate Father your possibilities are limitless. This is why it is so important to have the Lord in your life. As you focus on Him while going through God will then give you His peace to go through the conflict. God is a God of Peace and JOY!
There is a song that I want to share with you. If you are ever down and need a pick up! The Words are so profound and I am sure that wherever you are you will find the words helpful.This is one of the worship songs from the “Gospel Music Workshop of America”
I GOT MY JOY BACK
“I got my Joy back. I got a new lease on life. I got my Joy back, down in my soul. Since I let Him have full control. I’ll will let nothing separate me from His love again. He restored my Joy and revived my soul again! Just like the prodigal son. I found myself in the hog pen. Oh, you know how satan can dress up sin, satan will make wrong seem right. That’s why we’ve got to stay Prayed up, and Focused, and keep looking to the LIGHT
God has been so good to me. I thought I was exempted from trials and tests. From a little child I’ve been abundantly blessed. Every materialistic thing, I wanted, My Mother had it for me there. But I Thank God she NEVER forgot to lead me to the House of Prayer. But when my test came, I stumbled, but I did not fall, I had the Holy Ghost, embedded within me. In God I did REJOICE. That He would lead me, and guide me, when I couldn’t see my way. Yes, He restored my JOY, and He revived my soul again! ”
God can give you the “PEACE that surpasses understanding !” Patience is not a hallmark of our society! Sometimes we have to wait; Then Like an eagle we can soar high above the clouds! Its time to move towards getting your JOY BACK!
Have you been waiting on the Lord to answer your prayer? Are you uncertain as to what direction to go? Are you physically sick, mentally disturbed or depressed or just at your wits end? Are you worried, discouraged or confused? Are you experiencing anxiety or restlessness? Are you caught up in some type of addiction? Or are you just plain tired of the same ole….? Are you looking for something different in your life? Do you know if you are really walking in the will of the Lord? God is always speaking we just have to get better at listening. Have you ever thought about what to do as you wait on His response? What ever your situation may be good or bad. How about just try thanking God daily for who He is! Try embracing abiding in the fruit of His Spirit! God is truly worthy of our praise. God already knows what is going on. Yes, it’s okay to talk to Him anytime? He tells us to “pray without ceasing.” But while you are waiting for a response how about listening to some of the things He has already told us? Just try spending time delighting your self in His Word. Rest assured you will begin to see clearer, feel better and experience His peace. What ever the case may be the Word of the Lord says; “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
God tells us not to be anxious for anything? This does not mean that you can not get excited. But if you continue to worry why pray? If you are still heavy laden. Guess who is carrying your burden? You are. “Oh ye of little faith.” Yes, God wants you to be concerned. But first He wants us “to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.” So if you are feeling anxious. It means that it is important to check yourself. Check yourself by what someone thinks about you? By what someone says about you or by whatever …………? Of course not! The point is we are to take everything to God and be thankful whatever the outcome. Trust God and know He really does know what is best! If you have truly done this you will not be anxious. The peace of God will keep you. It will guard your heart and your mind. Not because I say so. But, because He says so and His Word is true. There is power in truly knowing God and power in knowing His marvelous Word. His Word is true!
God wants to be in every aspect of your life. But He does not force Himself on you. He does not have to. God is not like us that He has to go somewhere. He is already everywhere! “It is in Him we move and live and have our being.” There is nowhere that you can go where He is not. God is not like man, whatever our little finite minds think of Him, He is so much more! His Word says “if you make your bed in hell He is there.” If you have truly accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior you do not even have to worry about going to hell. Ephesians 1 tells us “Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession- to the praise of His glory.” There is peace and joy when you know that you truly belong to God! It is so very important to know God’s Word. God does not want you to walk in the flesh. Ephesians 1 also tells us God wants to “give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.” Do you really believe? This is why He says to be anxious for nothing! Jesus, Birth, Life, Death and Resurrection really does make all the difference in the world. It guaranteed Eternal Salvation for the true child of God. God’s Word has power! Only God is Sovereign! His Holy Spirit will illuminate His Word. It will be a “lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.”
God says His peace will transcend the understanding of man. This does not mean it will take you out in a mystical never never land. Although we are in the world we are not supposed to be of the world. For example John the Baptist was a fore runner for Jesus Christ. John lived to please God! He went about telling others to “prepare for the coming of the Lord.” To “Repent!” The Word also tells you that they thought that he was strange. He dressed strange. He ate strange food. John even told the king he was wrong to marry his brother’s wife. John was aware that they did not understand him. But he was not looking to be understood. He knew that understanding really comes from God. When someone does not understand guess what? John knew where he was with the Lord. It is more important that you know where you are with the Lord. When this is the case you will experience His peace that surpasses the understanding of man. He will also guard your heart.
God’s Word is so precious. It is full of scenarios and situations to let us know that He has everything under His control. There was much division and strife within the Church then, just as it is now! Earnestly begin to study the Old Testament. You will find that there is nothing new under the sun. God truly is the Great “I AM” Meaning He is and always will be! Is anything to hard for God! If you really know His Word you should know better.
Colossians tells us that through His Son Jesus Christ He spoke everything into existence.
Now that is power! We never become the power. We have access to His power. Not for our own use, but to fulfill whatever His will is in our life. How do you even know what His will is? Just know, God will not direct you to do anything contrary to His Word. God loves us so much that He has given us His Son as our Savior. He has the power to save you from allowing sin to reign in your life. How do you do that? By being strengthened in your inner being. God’s LOVE surpasses the knowledge of man. Remember what He says about being anxious for nothing, through everything with prayer and thanksgiving……. Jesus Christ even became flesh for us. He was the Word of God wrapped in flesh! Now how can this be? It is by faith we know without a doubt His Word is true! Well what is faith? “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” He tells us “it is through faith that we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” God’s Word is so profoundly deep. It is through the faith that God has instilled in us we know that His Word is true. It really isn’t about us. It’s all about Him! He even tells us that it is “impossible to please Him without faith.”
How can you be sure if you have true faith? Faith is not just some magical force. It is a gift from God. There is much crime, deception, tragedy and natural disasters about us. This is just the beginning. Hold on, God has everything under His control! God has done so many wonderful things for us. He has given us a plethora of examples to enhance our trust and faith in Him. God even knows your name. Remember He is everywhere! Faith will help you to persevere, to endure, to not allow anything or anyone to take your eyes off the Lord. It does not mean that you will not go through some things. Quite the contrary. Jesus is our ultimate example. He is the only one who lived a sinless life. Look at all the things that they put Him through. He overcame sin in the flesh for us. To redeem us from the curse of sin. This does not mean that life will just be a bed of ease. No, you will have to go through some things. The key is what you do while going through. If you want His peace you have to do things His way. If you want Him to guard your heart? Guess what? You are going to have to do things His way.
God gives us an example of life akin to a race. Great spiritual rewards await us when we do things God’s way. But in this spiritual race we do not run for the rewards. It also goes far above and beyond earthly merits or recognition. God knows why you do or do not do some things. He sees beyond the surface. Our eternal rewards cannot be altered by man. Hallelujah! Let’s look at a few of His examples. His Word tells us that Moses parents hid him through faith. Moses persevered because He saw Him who was invisible. His focus was on God. By faith Jacob blessed both of Joseph’s sons. By faith Abraham offered His son Isaac as a sacrifice. (By the way Isaac was not a little boy at the time. He was a full grown man.) We no longer have to offer blood sacrifices. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. Now we offer Him the sacrifice of our PRAISE! By faith Noah warned the people of the upcoming flood. (Guess what? It had never rained.) Through faith only Noah and His family were saved. By faith Abel offered a better sacrifice than his brother. I believe that Cain’s gift came from the ground that God had just cursed? This is really deep. His Word even tells us that Enoch walked so closely with God he did not experience death. Enoch was commended as one that pleased God. God took Enoch. Not because he was so good. Only God is good. God does not need our permission to do anything. He is God all by Himself! Hallelujah! God tells us that when we walk in the Spirit there is no condemnation. Furthermore He says “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
Have you been waiting on the Lord to answer your prayer? Are you experiencing any of the things I mentioned earlier? Try delighting yourself in God’s Word. Repent! Try doing things His way. Sincerely draw near to God. Guess what? He will draw nigh to you. God’s Word has cleansing power. God’s Word is true. He knows if your heart is genuinely sincere. Hebrews says; “We are sure that we have a clear conscious and desire to live honorably in every way. I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon. May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ to Him be glory for ever and ever, Amen.” Do you want the peace that surpasses the understanding of man? Just remember to be anxious for nothing, in everything by prayer and petitions…….. Cast your cares and burdens upon the Lord. He will sustain you. “He will guard your heart and your mind. All praises be to the King of Kings and the Lord of lords! Let’s give Him the sacrifice of our PRAISE! To God be the GLORY!