Isaiah 58:2-3 Doing Your Own Thing

For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers.” Isaiah 58:2-3

Israel had claimed to be the nation that God loved and was over. They claimed God as their God. When they were going through tough situations, they would cry out to God, yet God was silent with them. God allowed trouble to come into their lives. The reason was because, even though they cried out to God, they were not trying to live for God. They were doing their own thing, rather than what God wanted.

People in churches all over the world are seeking to know God and His ways every Sunday morning. Throughout the days of their week, many cry out to God for help in situations in their life. Yet, just like the Israelites, many are not attempting to live for God.

Believers cry out to God for help, while at the same time refusing to forgive, or holding onto anger, or lying, or stealing, or gossiping. As one does this, they wonder why God is not showing up in their lives. God cannot be around sin and will not honor those who do not serve Him.

You have to take an honest look at your own life to see where you are at. If you are like many people, you are probably crying out to God for some help in an area of your life. You may be feeling as though God is no where near and does not hear you.

Ask yourself if you are really living for God. Are you serving God with your life? Or are you doing your own thing?

Are you trying to get help from God so that you can look good, or get better things?

Or are you asking for help so that you may build His kingdom more?

As you go before God, do what He wants, not as you please. God will hear you then.

I pray today that you will know God’s desire for your life; that you will obey the commands of God; that you will not put God on the side of your life; and that you will truly know God.

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Isaiah 50:2 Where Were You?

When I came, why was there no one? When I called, why was there no one to answer? Was my arm too short to deliver you? Do I lack the strength to rescue  you? Isaiah 50:2

People often remember where they were when some great event happened. For many years people talked about where they were when President Kennedy was killed. Later is was when President Reagan was shot. More currently it is when 9/11 occurred.

In not-so-broadcast news it may be events in a person’s life. Some of these might be when the marriage proposal occurred, or the first date, the purchase of the first car or house, or one of some other great significance in a person’s personal life.

God is asking this question of where everyone was when He came by to help them. The Israelites were going through a bad time because of their sin. God wanted to help them, but as He called out to them, no one would answer.

Even today, God is not silent. Each day He is calling out to people to help guide them and deliver them from many troubles. However, most people are not really listening for His voice. They are busy trying to solve the problem themselves or seeking someone else out to help them solve the situation.

This can even occur with believers. Believers get caught up listening to speakers and singers and other believers, more than listening to what God has to say. In the busyness of this world believers need to stop and listen to what God is trying to say.

Just as people are quick to answer a text message, so you must be willing and quick to answer God when He calls. God has the strength, resources and ability to rescue you from any situation you are in. He has the wisdom to guide you through any situation also.

As you go through your day, may God never have to ask at the end of the day, “Where were you?”

Take time each day, and all throughout the day to stop and listen for God’s voice. He is waiting to talk with you. May you never be so busy that you miss a call from God or overlook seeing Him when He is there with you.

I pray today that you will know God’s voice; that you will hear and listen to what God says; that you will always make time for God; and that you will trust that He can and will deliver you from all troubles.

Isaiah 34:1 Get Near And Listen

Come near, you nations, and listen: pay attention, you peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world, and all that comes out of it! Isaiah 34:1

Isaiah is calling all the nations to gather around and listen to what God is saying. God is angry with the nations, because of all the sin that is occurring. Isaiah is pointing to a future time in which God is going to bring out judgment upon all the nations. They will be judged for their sins and destroyed.

That call for the nations to listen has never changed. The time of God’s full judgment upon the nations and the people has yet to fully come. The final, ultimate judgment will be when Jesus returns to take His people home to heaven for all eternity. At that time God will judge every person by what they have done or not done.

Even today, people need to get together and listen to what God has to say. The world tries to say that God does not exist or is silent. Many believers will even say that God is silent and does not really speak to anyone anymore.

When Jesus left the earth, He sent back to the earth His Holy Spirit to be with each believer. God is still speaking today through His Holy Spirit.

What God has to say may be different for each person, but it is still important. He will point out things that need to change in your life, sins that need to be repented of and tossed out. God will also speak to you about what to say when you have an opportunity to be His witness. He will open doors for you to share the gospel message and His love and mercy with those around you.

If you are keeping your ears closed, you will not hear what God is trying to tell you. You will not hear what God is doing in this world. You will not hear how God is doing miracles in the lives of others and in your own life.

Turn off the phone and the music and listen for God to speak. Be willing to be silent for a moment and hear Him. He has great things to tell you, if you will just listen.

I pray today that you will hear God’s voice in your life; that you will follow God’s instructions; that you will be God’s voice to this world; and that God will do great things in and through you.

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.

Psalm 95:7-8 If You Can Hear

Today, if only you would hear his voice, “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness,” Psalm 95:7-8

While the Israelites were wandering around in the wilderness, they started to grumble and complain about Moses and Aaron. They also complained about the food and lack of water. Because of these complaints, they were made to wander in the wilderness for forty years.

The psalmist reminds the readers of that time in the wilderness. The purpose of reminding them, was because if they hear God’s voice, yet, continue to reject it, their hearts will be hardened.

A person who wants to toughen up his hands will continually beat them against something rough. The constant beating will harden the skin more and more until the nerves are hardened to the point of no longer feeling the pain. It is not something that occurs quickly but over time and repetition.

Believers must be willing to listen to God’s voice. It is easy for a person to ignore God’s voice and continue on with life as though nothing was said. The danger in that is there will come a point where the heart will be hardened to the point of no longer being able to hear God’s voice.

God does not like to shout. He likes to talk at a quiet regular level of speaking. The challenge you have as a believer in this world, is that you must be focused on listening to Him. There is a lot of other noise going on at the same time.

God speaks through directly telling you something, through His Word, through others, and through nature. You need to listen for what He is telling you. He will guide you in this life to have you ready for eternity.

If you choose to not listen to His voice when He speaks, you will slowly harden your heart to hearing Him. Do not ignore what God is saying. It is the same as hitting your hand against something rough to toughen your hands, it will toughen your heart, but in the wrong way.

If you continue to ignore God’s voice, you will get to a point where you can no longer hear Him.

Are you listening today?

I pray today that you will hear God’s voice; that you will obey God’s directions; that God will keep your heart soft and alive; and that God will tell you what to do.

Job 35:12 Does God Answer?

He does not answer when people cry out because of the arrogance of the wicked. Job 35:12

Elihu had continued his argument against Job. He is trying to point out that no one can teach God or control God. Here he states that God does not answer people when they cry out to Him. The reason for not answering is because of the wickedness of the people.

Very few people feel that God answers them directly. The majority of people feel that they cry out to God and God remains silent and does not seem to do anything. Often people believe that only “holy” people, such as the pastors, preachers and priests can hear from God. God will only talk to those who are “holy”.

Others will think that they are not worthy enough for God to even notice them, much less speak to them.

These thoughts, along with those of Elihu, are false beliefs in how God works. If God does not listen to a wicked person, then no person could possibly ever be saved. There is no way a person could call out to God to be saved, because every person is born into wickedness and has sinned.

David said that God is near to everyone who calls on Him in truth. When a person is truly trying to reach out to God for an answer, God will come near to him and answer.

The problem that most people have is either they are not listening for God to speak to them, or they do not like the answer God is giving them. God will always answer in one of three ways: not now–wait, no–never, or here is what was asked for.

The only time God may not answer at all, is when the request is trying to challenge God and prove He cannot be real or do something. Even then, God usually does answer, but most will not hear the answer.

Do not be afraid to cry out to God. When you do cry out to God, expect an answer. Believe that God has heard you and will answer your request. Then wait for His answer. Finally accept His answer to you.

You are not so far lost, that God cannot hear you or is unwilling to answer you. He is always near to those who call out to Him.

I pray today that you will be willing to call out to God for all your needs; that you will expect God to answer you; that you will hear God’s answer to you; and that you will accept God’s answer to you.

1 Samuel 3:10 Are You Listening?

The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10

Samuel was a young boy living in the temple with the high priest Eli. One night as he was sleeping he heard a voice call his name. He immediately runs to Eli thinking it was him, but it was not. After the second time of this happening, Eli realizes that it was God who was calling Samuel. Eli tells Samuel to answer God and listen to what He has to say. God calls Samuel a third time and Samuel answers Him and listens to Him.

At the time God had called Samuel, He had been silent for some time. The Israelites had turned away from God. Even Eli was not hearing from God anymore. When God decided to speak, it took a while for those hearing to know what was happening and who was speaking.

Many people today feel that God does not speak like that anymore. It is common to hear believers say that they cannot seem to hear God speaking.

It is not so much that God is not talking,  but that people are not really listening to what God has to say. People are filling their lives with the things and cares of this world. They are so busy that they cannot hear God speak and when they do hear Him, they don’t know who it really is and question it.

You may be in that position right now, wondering where God is and why He is silent. God is still there and always will be. He is also ready to speak and guide you in your life. He has many things to tell you, but you must be willing to listen.

Listening involves two things: physically hearing and then doing what was said.

Do not allow the things of this world to get you so busy that you cannot hear God’s voice talking to you. Do not let the cares of this world stop you from acting upon what you hear God say.

Ask yourself today if you are really listening to God.

I pray today that you will hear God’s voice clearly; that God will speak His truth into your life; that you will trust God’s Words and act upon them; and that you will not allow the noise of this world to drown out God’s talking to you.