Isaiah 50:5 Having Open Ears

Hearing God

The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away. Isaiah 50:5 

Everywhere people go there are other people talking. They are talking and some may hear, but many do not really listen. Most of the chatter that they hear is not directly for them, thus it is ignored.

There is also a lot of talk that is directed at them, that is also ignored. This talk can be in direct words, or by other means of communication. Many ignore rules and regulations and do their own thing. They hear what is being said, but refuse to do it.

Isaiah reports that God has opened his ears. In getting his ears opened, he has not chosen to be rebellious or to turn away from God.

God has many things to say to people, however, many do not want to listen to what He is saying, including those in the church. People will often only listen to the parts that is enjoyable and fun, but ignore the rest.

Everyone loves to hear that God loves them, but reject the part to love their enemies. People love to be told that they are forgiven by God, but refuse to forgive someone who did something against them. They are rebellious against God and have turned their backs on His whole word, rather than obey all of it.

God does not give out words flippantly or randomly, but with purpose. That purpose is to build people up and make them into the image of Christ, holy and righteous.

Hearing God is more than just hearing what He has to say, but it is also obeying it. Refusing to turn away or be rebellious about what God has to say. Believers must not treat God’s word as just idle chatter that has nothing to do with them. They need every word of God in their life to guide them correctly.

Each time you read the bible or hear a sermon, God is speaking. He has something to say to you. You need to allow God to open your ears so that you may hear what He has to say to you. Be careful not to tune God out of your life and miss what He has to say.

Then as you hear what He is saying, obey it. Do not allow yourself to be rebellious and do your own thing, but do the work of God. This can be doing things to and for others or changing things in your own life. Live to love and obey God.

I pray today that you will allow God to open your ears; that you will hear what God is saying to you; that you will obey what God is saying; and that you will live for God in every area of your life. 

Faith: Jesus–The Ultimate Faith

Sunbeam on road

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” John 5:19

So they took the away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” John 11:41-42

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

After looking at several people of faith through the Old and New Testament, we come to one who has the perfect, ultimate faith–Jesus. It is only because of Jesus that anyone can be saved and have a real faith in God.

Although volumes could be written on the faith of Jesus and throughout the gospels there are many examples of Him showing faith, I will only be looking at a couple of areas. Each of these are things Jesus said and did that showed His faith in the Father.

Looking at John 5:19 Jesus states what faith looks like, although He does not use the word ‘faith’ in His comment. He states that he only does what He sees the Father doing. Although this is talking about seeing, and faith is about not seeing, this does show faith also.

Summer beach

Doing only what God is doing is showing faith that you believe that what God is doing is the best thing to do. Think about this for a minute. Often we state that we believe God, but then He tells us to do something and what do we do? We begin to question it, rather than have faith and believe it.

God is never going to ask you to do something that is not in your best interest. Whatever you do should bring you or someone else closer to God. Your life is to be a light shining the gospel message of Jesus to this world.

In order to be that shining light, you must have faith in God. You must have faith in what Jesus said and did. You must have faith that what God said He will do. Jesus did all these things.

Lighting a candle

Now let’s look at one time Jesus showed His faith in the Father. It is found in the story of Lazarus dying and Jesus raising him from the dead. Lazarus had been dead and buried for several days. In the eyes of the world, there was no more hope for him, it was over. Yet, Jesus goes to raise him from the dead.

As He gets ready to raise Lazarus up, He talks to the Father out loud. He thanks God for hearing Him. This was done to be a witness to the people. Jesus was saying that He had faith in that the Father would hear Him and do what was needed to be done.

As soon as Jesus had said this, He called Lazarus to rise up and come out of the grave. Lazarus did rise from the dead immediately.

Grave empty

You can have that same faith today. Listen to what God is saying and doing and then do the same things. God will hear you and answer your prayers, when offered in faith, believing. These are not selfish prayers, but prayers and actions that do what God is wanting to do.

The final act of faith that Jesus portrayed was when He was in the garden preparing for His death upon the cross. When He was going to die upon the cross, He would go through not only physical pain, but emotional and spiritual suffering.

Think about this for a moment, Jesus had been with His Father for all eternity and now He would be separated for a time from Him. Not only would He be separated, but Jesus would also have to bear all the anger of God against all sin of all mankind for all time.

Japanese garden

While Jesus was in the garden preparing for the death, He actually asks the Father if there could be some other way to do what needed to be done. Yet, He did not stop there. Jesus was willing to do what the Father said needed to be done–die on the cross.

You may be wondering now how does this show faith. Good question. It shows faith, because Jesus was going to be struck by His Father with great anger and wrath. He was going to be killed.

For most people, when they die it is over. There is no more life. There appears to be no more hope.

To walk forward into death appears to be giving up, suicidal. Yet, Jesus had faith that God would raise Him from the dead when it was over. He had faith that this was the best way to save every person on this earth. He had to have faith that the Father knew He was perfect and did not have to die for His own sins and stay dead.

Direct path

How can this help you? Just as Jesus went forward to a extremely painful death upon the cross for you, you must be willing to go forward with what God has planned for your life.

There will be times that God will ask you to step forward into doing something that may appear to be the finish line for you. It may look like death to you. It can be scary and painful. Yet, it is what is best for you and everyone else.

Do not back down, but go forward in faith, believing, as Jesus did, that what He asked you to do is the best thing to do. Jesus gave His Holy Spirit to empower you and guide you in the ways of God. He did not leave you alone. Have faith that God is with you.

Father son walking

When you are struggling in life or God asks you to do something crazy, think about what Jesus did. Look at His faith and draw upon it for yourself. Go forward with the faith of Jesus in your life and walk with God. Have the ultimate faith!

Psalm 19:8 Joy And Light

Happy baby

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. Psalm 19:8 

Rules are something that most people do not really like. They do not like being told what to do or how to do it. People want the freedom to do what they want, when they want and how they want to do it. Anything less than this is restriction and not a joy.

When people follow the rules, it is usually when someone in authority is nearby and then it is not done with joy. It is done out of force to keep from getting into trouble. As soon as the authority is out of sight, the person will go back to breaking the rules. While most people don’t go extreme on breaking the rules, they still will break them.

David found out that the precepts, or general laws of God were something that brought joy and light into a person’s life.

At the time David said this, he was under the law. It was a do or die system. There was no grace or forgiveness.

With the coming of Jesus, this changed things. There was forgiveness and mercy to be shown. The heart is now changed.

People in and out of the church often see the law as something that is legalistic and mandatory, and they don’t like it. Yet, the law can bring joy. It shows a person what God loves. It guides a person in how to live, think and act in ways that will please God.

This is not something that is a to be done out of force, but out of love. Since Jesus died for each and every person to give him life, that person should be more than willing to obey God’s laws. Those laws teach a person how to live in righteousness and holiness. Living this way brings joy and light into the life of a person.

As you look at the laws of God, don’t see them as legal requirements, but as the best way to live for God. Choose to follow them out of love for God because of what Jesus did for you.

When obeying God, you will find joy in your heart and life. There will be no fear of judgement or condemnation, because you know you are doing what God wants you to do.

I pray today that you will find joy in obeying God; that you will see the value in God’s commands; that you will see God’s heart in His rules; and that you will choose to obey God in every area of your life.