Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Living with the Enemy"

Isaiah 29:5a, 6a(amp) "...And in an instant, suddenly, you shall
be visited and delivered by the Lord of hosts..."

The Lord of hosts, Jehovah, can deliver us--in an instant-- from all our enemies. The question is "who are our enemies?" We see in this chapter that there are outward enemies and inward enemies, as well.

The greatest enemy is not wine...for being drunk with wine is only a symptom of a deeper problem. Nor is our greatest problem with those who seek to make war against us. Our greatest enemy is our spiritual blindness, our spiritual deafness...unwillingness to read, hear (obey) the Word of God.

Isaiah 29:13 "And so the Lord says, "These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away."

This is a call for us to examine ourselves: 2 Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!"

The enemy is the sin that lives in us...that's why we are blind, deaf and poor. The only way to deal with sin, to be delivered from to confess it to the LORD and repent...and in that day--deaf people will hear words read from a book, and blind people will see through the gloom and darkness. Those who are poor will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 29:18,19

The phrase "Holy One of Israel" is the Hebrew word "Yisra'el and is translated "God prevails." When we confess/repent from our sins, God will prevail in our hearts...we will be forgiven. We will be delivered from our blindness, deafness and our spiritual poverty and not only will we be changed, restored...but look what will happen around us:

"Those in error will then believe the truth, and those who constantly complain will accept instruction." Isaiah 29:24

Standing in Him,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Putting Down Roots"

"Isaiah 27:6  "The time is coming when my people will take root."

Being a backyard gardener, I've run into problems wit my plants dying on me because of root damage.  Sometimes the damage was caused by raccoons that come into my yard. They seem to love the roots that don't go too deep.  The little mask they wear hides the fact, that while cute, they can be very destructive.  They love to use their sharp claws to dig up and eat the roots of my favorite flowers.

At least you can see the raccoons coming...not so with the grub worms who invade my soil.  Everything on top looks great, the flowers are beautiful, leaves are green--then all of a sudden they die on you.  You can't se them from the outside, but these little pests are busy underneath the soil....chewing away at the roots.

Now weeds are don't see them at first, but eventually they will begin to reveal themselves.  They love to wrap themselves around the roots of your plants so they can't receive any nutrients.  If you let them grow too big, they will grab ahold and squeeze until every last ounce of life is choked out of them.

We can see from the garden that roots need to be protected.  Spiritually, we need to protect our roots too.  The responsibility for how deep our roots go belongs to us.  God always provides sufficient water, but we must develop roots that go deep enough to absorb that water.  

How do we develop deep roots?  For a plant it happens naturally:  The sun dries the soil from the top down.  As the water begins to dry, the roots keep looking for it.  So they grow deeper, where the soil has not dried out yet.  The same is true for us.  When Bible reading or prayer times seems lifeless, instead of giving up, we need to press on...continuing to seek Him.  In our seeking, we must remember the Gardener.

"A Psalm of David, regarding a time when David was in the wilderness of Judah.  "Oh God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water."

He has promised He will always provide enough water for those that are His:  "I, the LORD, watch over it: I water it continually."  Isaiah 27:3  But we need to go looking for it.  These kind of spiritual roots don't learn to get by with less of God; they find God at a deeper level.

"May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love."  Ephesians 3:17b