Isaiah 64:7 Don’t Be Given Up On

Mirrored mountains

No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and have given us over to our sins. Isaiah 64:7 

Having a relationship with someone takes work on both sides. Both persons must work at keep the relationship alive and active. If only one person does all the work, the relationship will usually come to an end.

People want to feel wanted and desired. If there is no feeling of being wanted in a relationship, the person will give it up and seek for someone else who will give what is needed.

The nation of Israel had chosen to quit calling upon God. The had chosen to remain in their sins, rather than seek God and obey Him in righteousness and holiness. So God let them stay in their sins and had hidden Himself from them.

God is always reaching out to people to draw them to Him. However, the more a person rejects God and does not want anything to do with Him, the further away they get from Him. There comes a point where they can no longer hear God’s voice or calling. It is at that point that God has given them over to their own desires and sins.

Many in this world have claimed to believe in God, but continue to live in sin on purpose. They refuse to change and live the holy life God has called them to live. It is a slow hardening of the heart. As this occurs, people no longer call out upon God and God lets them go their own way.

In a sense, He has given up on them. God is still calling, but they can no longer hear.

Believers are to keep their hearts pure and stay in a close relationship with God. Seeking and calling upon Him daily, so that no distance grows between them and God.

Take a look at your own life and think about how often you are calling upon God. This should be a daily occurrence, even hourly. You cannot live without God’s help and strength in your life.

Do not allow yourself to get caught up on self, things of this world and sin to where you no longer call upon God. Don’t let sin overtake you and pull you away from God.

Seek and call upon God daily. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will choose to turn from sin towards God; that you will hear God’s voice in your life; and that you will see God’s hand in your life each day.

Isaiah 58:2 The Appearance Of Eagerness To Know God

Eager girl

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 its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. Isaiah 58:2 

Eagerness is the deep desire for something to happen. People get very eager the closer they get to having a large vacation or when one is about to graduate. It is common for people to be eager for the weekend to arrive.

There are times that a person can give the appearance of being eager, but are really not that eager. Children often play being eager, while not wanting something to happen, only to make their parents happy.

Isaiah describes the people of Israel as if they were eager to get near God, to have God near them. They were acting as if they were a nation who did what was right.  However, they were living in sin and rebellion against God.

It is no different today with some people. There are some who appear to be eager for God. They are always at church singing all the worship songs, loudest in prayers and can quote the bible very well. Yet, outside of church, they are living in sin on purpose, refusing to repent or change.

In some places there are even churches who appear to be followers of God, yet, condone and promote sinful acts among the people.

The nation of Israel had been living like this, yet, were steeped in sin. Many in America claim that America is a nation who seeks God, yet, it is also steeped in the same in sin.

Believers who are truly eager to know and have God near will live for God. They will seek to change and turn from sin.

You must take a look at your own life and determine if you are really eager to know God and have Him near, or if you are just playing a game. As you seek to know God, are you willing to change and run from all sin?

Or are you willing to accept some sin in your life as the world does?

Look at the life of Jesus and determine how well your life measures up to His. The closer it is, the more true your seeking God is. Do not just appear to be eager to know God, but be eager to live for God as you get to know Him.

I pray today that you will know God in a close way; that you will know God’s presence in your life; that you will turn away from all sin towards God; and that you will live your life as Jesus did. 

1 Kings 16:26 Raising God’s Anger

Man pleasing God

He followed completely the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit, so that they aroused the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, by their worthless idols. 1 Kings 16:26 

Getting someone angry is not very difficult to do. All one has to do is something that the person does not like. It is even easier with someone who is close to the person doing the offending. The closer a person is, the easier it is to get the person angry.

It takes a lot more to raise the anger of a stranger, than one who is close. The person is close expects to be treated correctly and with love. The stranger does not expect as much.

Omri had become king of Israel. In the process of becoming king, he led the people in sin against God. He continued all the sins of those before him and added to those sins. Doing this had raised God’s anger against the nation.

During the Old Testament times God had set up the covenant with Israel to be their God and for them to be His people. There was no major sacrifice to make this happen. Yet, the people chose to follow false gods and raise His anger.

Several thousand years later, God chose to send Jesus, His Son, to die on the cross for all people to make a way for them. Many have chosen to accept what Jesus did and follow Him. Yet, in the process of following Jesus, many have turned back to false idols. They have chosen to live in sin, rather than fully follow Jesus and live as He did.

Some live as though it is cheap grace and sin does not mean anything. Doing this does raise God’s anger against them. God may not strike immediately as He did in the Old Testament, but there will come a day of reckoning.

As a believer in Jesus, you need to strive to live for God at all times, in every way possible. Live as though your actions are what save you, but believe knowing that the death and resurrection of Jesus is what really saves you. Honor God by living for Him and obeying Him.

Do not turn back towards the idols and sin of this world, raising God’s anger against you. The worthless idols of this world will not save you, but Jesus will. Believe and follow Jesus, pleasing God.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will turn from all idols in this world; that you will follow God with all of your life; and that your life will not raise God’s anger against you. 

Revelation 2:20 Bad Tolerance

 

Accepting hands

Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. Revelation 2:20

Tolerance is something that people want shown to themselves, while not necessarily showing it to others. The world wants believers to be tolerant of their practices and ways of living. No one wants to be judged as being wrong or ever needing to change.

Many people in the church have become tolerant of others, following the ways of the world. They have begun to accept people who they are, just the way the are. This in and of itself is not necessarily bad, but people are allowed to stay that way as they continue to ‘follow’ Jesus.

People are allowed to continue in the church as leaders and good believers while still living in purposeful sin. They are being tolerated for their ways. Many in the church have begun to accept many of the beliefs and practices of the world, because they are tolerant and ‘loving’. Sexual immorality, drugs, greed, jealousy, pride and more sins are all being accepted inside the church, in trying to be tolerant of others.

A person who has become a new believer is to change his ways of acting and thinking. He is to become a new person, not remain in his old ways of sin and death. Yet, people want to be tolerant and stay the same.

God spoke against a church in Revelation for doing this very action. They did not hold to God’s standards of living and became like the world, while claiming to follow God.

Jesus set a high, separate standard for believers in the church. As a believer, you must strive to attain those standards. It will mean that you will not be tolerant of sin and accept it. You will still love people and accept them, but you will aim for living the higher standard for God.

Take a look at your life and see if there are any areas in your life you have compromised in being tolerant of sin. Turn your focus back on to God and His ways of living. Seek to live like Jesus in every area of your life. Do not allow sin to reign in your life as you seek to be tolerant. Love but remain separate.

I pray today that you will know God’s standards of living; that you will not accept the ways of this world in your life; that you will point people to live as Jesus lived; and that you will be a witness of God’s standards in this world. 

Zechariah 3:3-5 Changing Your Clothes

Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.” Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by. Zechariah 3:3-5

Joshua was the high priest for the temple of God. He had been living in sin and was covered with filthy clothes. God removed his sin and gave him clean clothes and a clean turban. His life was changed so that he could serve God.

Appearance can often say a lot about a person. The way a person dresses often shows what he is like on the inside. Some are very professional and concerned about their appearance, so they dress in fancy dresses and suits all the time. Others do not care how they look and dress in worn out dirty shirts and jeans with holes.

Although it is not always the reason, often it is because of lack of care in a person’s life that causes them to dress in a poor way.

In the same way, people do not dress their spiritual being in the correct manner. They may go to church and claim a belief in God, but do not live the life of service to God. They choose to follow the ways of this world, living in sin, even while going to church. In this manner they are dressed in filthy clothing.

As with Joshua, he had new clothes and a new turban put on, you also need new clothes and a new turban put on. The new clothes are the righteousness and holiness of Jesus. The turban is in the new mind in Christ, a new way of thinking.

Do not follow the ways of this world, but change your clothing. Put on a new appearance that shows you are a child of God. Show the world that you are a new creation in Christ Jesus. Allow God to dress you up with His clothing, so that the world will see someone who is different.

What does your appearance say about your life today?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to clothe you with His righteousness; that you will be a new creation in Jesus; and that the world may know that you serve God.