Dear Precious Friends,
On this beautiful new day and the most sacred of weeks, Holy Week, I pray you are being filled with God's word, precious time with Him, and remembering His promises which keep us focused on truth. His promises are YES and AMEN. When doubt and fear try to sneak in we have to realize what is going on and immediately turn to the truth of God's word. Here are just a few promises for us to take in... WOW!
We have all been through an unbelievable 15 months and our lives have been changed. In the midst of Covid many of us had very difficult and life altering happenings.
When we look at this image from Isaiah 58:8 and delve into what was happening at that time, we can relate in an entirely different way now that we have been through and are still in a Pandemic.
God wants us to turn to Him with sincere hearts and deep trust in Him. God cannot bless people who block Him out...
What do you mean you may ask?
God wanted to bless His people, but their hearts were not open to receive the blessing God wants to give His people... When we cry to Him, He says I'M RIGHT HERE..... HELLO.........but where are our hearts?
He guides us continually... We are like watered gardens... God wants to bless us but we have to know what it means to be a follower, His word, and trust Him and rest in Him knowing we can fully trust Him... and when we truly trust Him, He greatly blesses us and guides us we delight in Him.
He says when we come to Him in the name of Jesus, Our Savior and our heart is right, He will move mountains in the name of Jesus through us...
Look at the similarities below between when this was written and now:
We learn in verses 2-5 what the chief sin of the nation was; namely, HYPOCRISY. In verse 2 we see that the people were going through all the outward motions of obeying and worshipping God. It reads, “Yet they seek Me by day and delight to know My ways, As a nation that had done righteousness and has not forsaken the ordinance of God. They ask Me for just decisions, They delight in the nearness of God.” This sounds good and I’m sure they appeared to be a pious and God-fearing people to all who saw them going through their rounds of daily rituals.
But God, who sees the heart, was not responding to them and in verse 3 they accuse Him of being indifferent to their acts of devotion, “Why have we fasted and You do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?” The Lord then reveals to them that their fasting was a sham, for it was NOT accompanied by righteous living, but by selfishness and contention. WHERE IS THEIR HEART...? WHERE IS OUR HEART WHEN WE ASK FOR OUR NEEDS?
Verses 3-5 says, “Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire, and drive hard all your workers. Behold, you fast for contention and strife with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high. Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD?” Again, it was all for show; it looked good to other men, but God saw that their hearts were far from Him and they were nothing but hypocrites.
Hundreds of years later the Lord Jesus would accuse the religious leaders of His day of the very same sin, for in Matthew 6:18 He told His disciples, “Moreover when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that THEY MAY APPEAR UNTO MEN TO FAST.” This is a solemn warning to us today, for the Lord desires TRUTH in our lives.
He wants our HEARTS, dear precious friends, not OUTWARD RELIGION that is done to please men and to exalt ourselves.
In verses 6-7 the Lord tells His people that a TRUE FAST would be accompanied by: 1) not oppressing the people; and 2) meeting the needs of the poor. They read, “Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke?
WHAT ARE OUR ACTIONS WHEN WE CRY OUT TO THE LORD? WE ASK FOR THINGS, BUT WHAT ARE WE DOING?
And finally, in verses 8-14 the Lord promises to bless them richly if they repent and replace their "acts of religion" with true Godliness and acts of mercy; and by honoring Him according to His word.
Isaiah promised that those who were poor in spirit, gentle in heart, hungered for righteousness, mourned for their sin and trusted God’s word would be comforted and blessed by the Lord. They would receive mercy and grace in time of need and be granted God’s gracious healing and spiritual wholeness.
HE PROMISES THE SAME TO US!!!!
"Then your light will break out like the first rays of dawn, were Isaiah's words of comfort to this little, faithful remnant. Your recovery will speedily spring forth and your righteousness will go before you."
The faithfulness of Israel’s remnant is likened to the breaking forth of the first rays of morning light, rising from the blackness of night.. heralding in the fast approaching warmth and hope that daylight brings. Although they may have to wait for their renewal and restoration, it will certainly come – at the appointed time and will not be slow – for they are promised it will spring forth speedily, and they were further guaranteed that their righteousness would go before them.
WOW WOW WOW! THIS IS US MY FRIENDS!
This little, believing remnant of Israel’s were not only promised spiritual renewal and restoration but that the glory of the LORD would be their rear guard. The faith of this remnant of Israel – and indeed of all Old Testament saints is credited to them as righteousness, as it was to Abraham of old. And the assurance of God’s glorious presence, power, protection and providence is to be their eternal reward.
He promises the same to us!!! He came to seek and save the lost, not only to save us but for us to be delivered, made whole, restored, given hope... a tenacious hope!!!
WE CAN HAVE HIS PRESENCE, HIS POWER, HIS PROTECTION AND PROVIDENCE!
People are looking to us for answers right now my friends! Full redemption and restoration may take awhile, we are WIPS! WORKS IN PROGRESS! We must keep seeking Him with our whole hearts, Repent and show by how we live that He is our Lord, know Him through His word and time with Him, go to Him and live like the overcomer's we are!!! Stand on His promises which are Yes and Amen. Trust the miracle of life He has given us and know as long as we have breath God has work for us and great plans for us no matter our condition. HE WANTS OUR HEARTS TO BE PURE, OUR INTENTIONS TO BE ABOUT HIM BEING NUMBER ONE IN OUR LIVES AND OUR ACTIONS TO SHOW WE ARE HIS REMNANTS.
Let's all remember these truths as we embrace the gift of a new day and ask God for forgiveness and live with expectancy that His promises are true.