Isaiah 4:6 Shelter And Refuge

It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain. Isaiah 4:6

Despite the fact that God was in the process of destroying Judah and Jerusalem, He had plans already in store to build it up again. God was going build a shelter over Mount Zion–Jerusalem. In the manner of protection that God gave Moses and the Israelites in the desert, He would be a cloud by day and a flame of fire during the night.

At times, clouds can seem like a bad thing. They tend to indicate rain or storms, and they block the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Yet, they can be a blessing in blocking out the heat of the sun. Knowing that rain is coming can be a blessing for the farmer.

In the same way, a flame of fire can appear sometimes as a bad thing. Seeing flames in a field or on a home is usually a bad thing to be occurring. Yet, flames will also provide warmth. In the night, the flame can keep the wild animals away while one is camping. Burning a field, can often remove the unwanted weeds, diseased plants and cut back the bugs, all of which can be a blessing.

God is over your life both day and night. He provides shelter and refuge for you to dwell in. When you are in His presence, nothing can do anything to you without His permission.

The world is going to try hard to get you to fall and give up on God. The world does not want you to succeed as you follow Jesus. Satan does not want you to be a good witness of who Jesus is.

Yet, God will put a hedge of protection around you that will shelter you in the heat of the day. When the world is putting pressure on you to commit a sin, you can run to God for shelter. When the world is threatening you in the dark to harm you, you can flee to God for refuge.

God will never leave you out in the cold to be destroyed. He is there for you, to take care of you and provide for all of your needs. Trust Him and do what He asks of you and see His great hand of love and mercy.

I pray today that you will know God’s protection in your life; that you will run to God for shelter; that you will know God’s peace in the storm; and that you will not give in to the ways of this world.

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Isaiah 3:9-10 It Will Be Ok…For Some

The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves. Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Isaiah 3:9-10

Isaiah is describing the coming destruction of Jerusalem and Judah. God had chosen to destroy the nation, because they had refused to follow Him. The nation of Judah had chosen to openly sin as much as they could against God. It was open rebellion against God.

The destruction would be great. People would seek for someone to protect them and lead them, but would be unable to find anyone. All supplies would be cut off. No one would have food, clothing or shelter. It would be a time of great disaster, all of which was brought on because of their sin.

As this destruction would occur, there would also be people in the city and the nation who followed God faithfully. Isaiah tells them that it will be well with them, despite what is going on around them. The reason they would be alright is that they had followed and obeyed God. They lived for God.

Times have not really changed anything. Nations have chosen to walk away from God and do their own thing. Sin is being paraded as a good thing in many nations. As this occurs, God is bringing punishment upon the nations. Wars, unrest, sickness, desease, violence, takeovers, and destruction are occurring, because of the sin.

In every nation there is a remnant of believers who are still striving to obey and follow Jesus. They are trying to serve God with their whole life. You may be one of those believers.

As you are watching the world around you begin to crumble, fear may rise up in your heart. Fear of the destruction taking you out also. Fear of feeling the pain of the destruction.

Yet, as a believer in Jesus, you can know that it is well with your soul. In the end you will be ok, because God is on your side. He is with you and will carry you through whatever is going on around you.

In the end, Jesus will bring you home to heaven with Him for eternity, because you chose to follow Him, rather than the world.

Who are you following and trusting today?

I pray today that you will know Jesus; that you will trust God is in control; that God will remove fear of destruction from you; and that you will know God’s peace in your life.

Isaiah 2:22 Stop Trusting In People

Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem? Isaiah 2:22

Isaiah was talking about the day of the Lord that is to come. It would be a day when God takes out His wrath upon all mankind for refusing to follow Him. Every person will attempt to flee from His presence and anger, and yet will not be able to do so. As he finishes this chapter, he tells everyone to stop believing in mere humans.

People like to trust other people all the time. There is a certain amount of trust that everyone has. One trusts that the other driver will stay on his side of the road. One trusts that the cook in a restaurant will cook the food safely.

Others will put greater trust in people, such as trusting those in government positions to fix various problems in society. Trusting that the police force will be able to stop all crime from occurring. Trusting that the economy will get better. Trusting in their job to provide all their needed finances. The list for trust goes on infinitely.

The problem with all of this trust is that it is all in mere humans. Humans can do some things, but they are not really in full control of anything, but their own personal thoughts and actions. And even those things are being led by the devil.

People try to do good, but are often caught up in selfish motives, which in turn bring about the wrong choices. They can only see in the immediate, they cannot see the future or into the hearts of others. These are things that only God can do.

God is the only one who is truly in control. Regardless of how bad things turn out, God can work it out for your good. He can turn any situation around in a moment.

You must put all of your trust in God. Trust that God will guide the other person driving down the road. Trust that God will provide for your needs when a bad situation occurs. Trust that it is God is providing the abundant blessings in your life.

Man is just vapor in light of eternity. Who will you trust today? Man or God?

I pray today that you will know God personally; that you will trust Him with all of your life; that you will not put all your trust in man; and that you will live your life for God.

Cleansing Fire

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Living out in the country on six acres of land has a lot of brush, branches and debris. Over time it can clutter the land and create an eyesore to be seen. Along with that, it also creates a spot for unwanted critters, such as snakes and opossums, to hide in.

Along with just regular branches that fall, and the brush that dies and we move into the burn pile, we also had tree full size oak trees that had fallen that needed to be burned up. The trees had fallen on our house about a month ago. You can read about that in my post: God’s Protection And Favor.

In the past we have attempted to sell or even give away the oak wood for fireplaces, if someone wanted to come and cut it up and haul it. We never had anyone take us up on it. Probably because we live in central Texas where it is always hot year round (at least hot to a northerner from Wisconsin). So we learned to just move it into a burn pile and burn it.

I had to do it soon before the burn bans start taking effect in this area. Usually about mid-July is when the burn bans start, unless we are in an exceptionally dry year or very wet year. This year has been neither very wet or dry.

The burn that you see in the picture above is just one of two large piles of wood and brush. It also includes some old chairs that were broken beyond repair and not saleable. I cleared some area around both piles of wood to keep the fire from getting out of control. The brush and weeds were cut back to keep it from spreading where it was not desired. I also kept a water hose on and ready near the fire. Every so often I would spray water around the base of the fire to keep the grass from catching on fire and spreading.

As I was burning this pile I was thinking about how burning in that spot is great for the ground around it. For one it removes all of the weeds. It also puts a lot of nutrients back into the ground.

In past years I have seen where a large area of forest had been burned to the ground. Years later, usually ten or more, one will see the ground where the fire had been growing lush and green with a lot of vegetation. I have known a few people, much older than I am, that used to burn their yards every other year for that same reason. It would clean out the unwanted weeds and put much needed nutrients into the ground. The grass always grew much more green than anyone else in the area.

While thinking about these things, God pointed to me that there are fires in our lives at times to do the very same thing. God looks at our lives and sees some unwanted weeds growing in our personal lives. These are weeds of deception, lies, impure thoughts, cheating, jealousy, pride, anger, and the list goes on. They do not belong in the life of a believer.

Situations come up in our lives that are painful and hurt a lot. They may feel like fire burning around you. Although there may be a million different reasons why God is allowing that fire in your life, one of them may be to clean out garbage in your life.

When there is a large fire that is burning, people look to someone else for help and strength to stop it. A fire in your life may be the thing needed to push you back towards God. It may help you focus back on what is really important in your life and get rid of the rest. Or at least not put so much time in the rest.

As you focus back on God and get back into His word and times of prayer, it will give you the needed nutrients to really live a full life after the fire dies out. It will strengthen you for greater works for God.

Going through a fire will also give you a testimony of God’s work in your life and His provision through the tough times. It can light a fire of testimony to be a witness to those in the world.

Just as with the fire that I burned on my property was controlled to keep it from becoming a wild fire, the fires in your life are controlled by God. Satan cannot give you anything more than God allows. There is nothing that God will allow in your life that, with His help and strength, you cannot overcome.

During the times that you are going through the fire, ask God to reveal to you how you can grow closer to Him and how you can use that fire as a witness to others. Do not allow the fire to force you to get out of control and remove God from the picture.

Never forget that God works all things for the good of those who love Him. That fire in your life can be a good thing. It can remove unwanted stuff and get your focus back on what is really important–God.

Isaiah 1:4 Forsaking The Lord

Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. Isaiah 1:4

It is easy to stand on the side and see the sins of others, and then blame them for the conditions of a nation. All over the nation there are many Christians who are pointing fingers at the sins of others. They often state that the nation has become a sinful nation because of others.

Although it is true that the nation has become very sinful in many different ways, one cannot just blame others for this occurrence. In reality it is a group effort to cause a whole nation to become sinful and turn away from God. It is a process of individual people slowly turning away from God.

Many believers will say that they have not turned away from God. The question is: how many times has a person turned down being the witness God called him to be?

A nation is made up of people, individual people. It is individuals who cause a nation as a whole to follow God or reject Him. It is individuals who choose to allow sin to occur. It is individuals who refuse to be a witness of who Jesus is.

When a believer chooses to not be a witness for Jesus, he is causing someone else or the nation to continue to live in sin and reject God. Every believer must give every non-believer a chance to know God and choose or reject Him. Often many will keep quiet and make the choice for the other person.

In this way, many believers have turned their backs on God. This is where Isaiah says woe to that nation and its people.

You have to take a look at your own life. How are you doing at being His witness from day-to-day?

Are you willing to tell others about Jesus every time you get the chance?

Or are you keeping silent and not wanting to offend anyone?

One causes sin to continue, while the other is doing God’s will on this earth.

Are you in partnership with this world in causing great sin?

I pray today that you will be God’s witness every chance you get; that you will keep yourself from all sin; that you will tell everyone about Jesus; and that you will not turn your back on God.

Song Of Solomon 5:3 Being Available

I have taken off my robe–must I put it on again? I have washed my feet–must I soil them again? Song Of Solomon 5:3

In this passage, the bride has gone to bed. Her lover has shown up to see her. She does not want to get up, get dressed and go out to see him. She does care for him, but is too tired to want to do anything more. Later in this chapter she decides to get up and go to the door. By the time she gets there, he has left and she can no longer find him.

During the night when one is sleeping, it is easy to want to refuse to get up for anyone, for nearly any reason. Everyone wants to get their own beauty sleep. It takes time and effort to get up and become presentable, just to answer the door in the middle of the night.

The problem with refusing to answer the door, is that one may miss an important opportunity or person. Once that person leaves, he may never return again or it may be a long time for him to return.

God works the same way in a person’s life. There are times God knocks on the door of a person’s heart for a reason in the middle of the night. This is not just for salvation, but for God to want to use the person. He may be waking up the person to have him intercede in prayer for someone in need.

In your own life, God has plans for you. There are times when He wants you to do something when it is not convenient or fun. It could be during the day or during the night.

As you follow Jesus, you must be available during these times. God may have a word for you, or a word for someone else. He may have a miracle in store for you, or, again, for someone else.

If you choose to ignore His call in your life, you may miss out on His move and big plans for you. Do not allow yourself to ignore God when He stirs your heart to do something. You are here to serve Him, not just yourself, so you must always be available to do His will.

Be willing to get up and get dirty for God today.

I pray today that you will hear God’s voice at all times; that you will be willing to serve God at all times; that you will be available to do His work; and that you will not ignore God’s knock in your life.

Song Of Solomon 3:2 Searching For Love

I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares; I will search for the one my heart loves. So I looked for him but did not find him. Ecclesiastes 3:2

Losing or misplacing something of high importance is never a fun thing to deal with. Some things, such as a brush, can be frustrating when a person trying to get ready in the morning and cannot find it. Other things, such as the wallet or keys, are extremely frustrating and can cause a lot of fear. The level of fear goes even higher when the item is lost and the person was not at home when it happened.

People lose things around the house on a regular basis, but usually will find them with a lot of searching. Things lost out of the house are not usually found, no matter how much searching is done.

The more important the item is the harder and longer time a person will take to search for that item. Some things, people just ignore and go on without another thought about it.

In this verse, the bride is searching for her lover and cannot find him. She spends all night looking for him and begins to search up and down the streets. She does not rest until she finds him.

As a believer in Jesus, there may be times when God seems distant or lost to you. You are going through a tough situation and cry out to God. Your prayers seem to hit the ceiling and bounce down back at you. God appears to have left.

Some people at that point give up on God. They begin to reject God because it seems as though He has rejected them.

Jesus said that He would never leave you. God will never forsake you if you trust Him.

The challenge comes in how much are you willing to do to find God again?

Finding God means you will have to get into His word more. You will need to be praying more. You will need to be praising Him more. You will need to spend time with other believers more.

Searching for God may take some time and work, but He can be found. God is found by those who seek Him. Are you seeking Him today?

I pray today that you will find God in your life; that you will know God’s presence in your life; that you will forsake all things in order to have God’s presence in your life; and that you will not give up on God when He appears to be absent.