Thursday, January 28, 2010

Isaiah 30:15 # 6 The Struggle for Willingness

Isaiah 30:15
“For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
'In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.'
But you were not willing.”

The Struggle for Willingness

One of the first steps of being willing is to have a humble heart. The opposite of humble is pride. We must realize there is nothing good in our heart.

Psalm 16:2 I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord;
I have no good besides You." "

1 Peter 1:22 shows a way to purify a heart to serve willingly.

Philippians 2:13
“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

Moses was reluctant to go back to Egypt but he did with the help with his brother Aaron. He used Aaron as a spokesman in confronting Pharaoh.

2 Chron 16:9
God desires to support us as we trust Him but the problem is that we want to rely on ourself and others who we can see rather than God who we can't see. But what we do for ourselves is not perfect. What God will do is perfect and He can be trusted.

Are we willing to follow God? Willingness is tied into obedience. The obedience of faith comes at a price of prayer and Bible Study and meditation and service to others.

One of the main reasons is there is no other opportunity.
Another way to have the willingness to follow the ideas of Isa 30:15 is to realize that is the way the world works. When we come to the realization that is the way we relate to God then it should not be hard to accept it as matter of fact. But it is contrary to the way of the flesh. We like to be busy in doing

The apostles were willing to leave everything to follow Jesus. They were not poor people. Some worked for Peter as fisherman. Matthew made good money as a tax collector. But they left these positions and the wealth that came from them to spend time at Jesus feet learning from Him.

Willingness can come from a heart that is plowed as Hosea talks of in Ch 10

We don't have willingness because there is a dryness in our life and are unwilling to trust.

Unwillingness may stem from a belief that God is inactive in our life and will not do anything for us. Zeph 1:12

Where Isaiah 35 is the opposite and shows the joy and excitement of expectation. This chapter is a chapter of encouragement. Encouragement brings hope and hope will allow willingness.

Psalm 84:5-7
1.these scriptures is the strength is from God
2.Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring.
Baca is a valley of weeping. You don't approach God on a self righteous basis but on a humble basis which involves repentance. Repentance brings the willingness of follow God as He leads.

Psalm 84:5-7 Going to God with a heart weeping over our weakness and the need that people is a step in humbleness in approaching God. Then this weeping turns to joy as God touches our heart. With the rejoicing comes the flow of the Holy Spirit. We become strong in the joy the Holy Spirit gives. Neh 8:10 Go to heaven on the highway of holiness.

Baca could refer to Bochim of Judges 2:1-5
Where they are weeping for their sin.
Note if there is no joy go back to Phil 4:6 and pray for God to bring a since of peace to your mind. God will give peace in time as we cry out to Him. Some may look at Christianity like we do fast food. Just walking in and ordering the food and getting the answer in a minute or less. God of course may not work that way. But He wants us to continue to pray for the answer. He wants us to seek Him for the answer.

Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring. This weeping causes God to move in response to their prayers. The Spring refers to refreshing water that comes from God. We are unwilling because of the dryness in our lives and the lack of answers to weak prayers. But turning the valley from a valley of weeping to a valley of springs comes from God and His answer to our prayers.

God will send the rain or bring the rain to our lives.
Ps 107:35 He changes a wilderness into a pool of water and dry land into springs of water.
Psalm 105:41 He opened the rock and water flower out , It ran in dry places like a river.
Psalm 114:8 Who turned the rock into a pool of water and the flint into a fountain of water.

The impossibility of the situation is not an obstacle to God. In fact God likes to work when there seems seems to be no way. Continue to look to God for the answer even when there is not a way known. Our weakness is an opportunity for God. Then He will get the glory not us.

Has God spoken? Do we have a promise from God? Then there is hope in prayer.

Making the valley of weeping into a highway to heaven (Zion) comes from the an attitude of praise.
In whose heart are the highways to Zion. Our heart goes to God when in need and when at rest. We are God focused and self focused. To move from one to the other is to realize that God is the source and not us. To realize that

Worship moves life from a valley of problems to joy.

So willingness comes from hope in God moving in our life. Waiting and quietness is the faith/hope in God to speak life to our hearts. It is the spoken word of God to us that brings life.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Isaiah 30:15 #5 Trust

Isaiah 30:15
“For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
'In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.'
But you were not willing.”

Trust – Is He Worthy of Our Trust?

1 Is God who He say He is?
2 Does He mean what He says in the Bible?
3 Can He be trusted to help us today?
4 Will He fulfill His promises to us?
5 What about life experience that shows He does not fulfill His promises?
6 Does God have the power to back up what He says?
And if He does have the power, will He use His power to back up what He says, or will He ignore us and not do anything?
7 Is God asleep and does not engage Himself into the day to day activities of life?
8 Is the Bible and Christianity really true and the promises it claims or is it meant only as a lullaby to cause us to feel good in hard times?
9 Are the grandiose claims of the Bible have any validity at all or are they put there so we sill stay out of trouble?
10 Can God be trusted?

Hudson Taylor's Discovery
On June 25 1865 James Hudson Taylor at 33 came to the great crisis of his life. The locale was Brighton beach on the South coast of England. There on a quiet Sunday morning he took a step of faith in response to a simple spiritual principle he had just discovered. He was surprised that this truth had so long eluded him. “If we are obeying the Lord, the responsibility rests with him not with us!” Months of struggle were over, and the way ahead was clear. To obey the Scriptures and trust God to be faithful to him pledged Word was not rash.
Throwing caution and tradition to the winds, Hudson Taylor formed the China Inland Mission.

First off I think it is important to consider Jesus. He did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped. Phil 2:5,6,7 But came to serve us and not to be served and give His life a ransom for many Mark 10:45

Jesus does not ask us to come to Him on just an intellectual basis. He lived and was tempted in all aspects of life. Heb 2:14 Then suffered a trumped up charge and was executed on a cross which was a horrible death. This alone shows that there is more to the claims of Christ then just good intentions. This suffering for us shows a love that goes beyond what we could expect anyone to do for us. And we did not deserve this. We all are sinners and rebellious in nature. For while we were yet sinners Christ died for us Rom 5:8

Now this love shows God is not just giving us some mush to keep us in line. But that is not all we have to go on. After Jesus died he rose from the dead the 3rd day. This shows there is power to go along with the teaching Jesus has given us in the Bible. So the question can God back up what He says is answered easily, you betcha. His power is so great, we have not seen anything yet.

But can we count on Him to use this power for us in the situation we find ourselves in? One thing we have to consider is the fact that God is not a vending machine that gives out answers when we put in our dime. Yet still, some pray and nothing happens and they seem to be nice people not using God but wanting to live a good life.

God wants to answer our prayers but there are conditions to His promises that we need to look into and not ignore. We sometimes take the verses that we like and ignore the hard verses we don't like. That is not being honest with God or with ourselves.

God is looking for disciples that will follow Him wherever He goes. This journey is not free for us. Just as Christ gave up all to give us the opportunity for eternal life. We are asked to give up our old life of living for ourselves and live a life of faith.

Turn it around, if we don't trust God who do we trust? Ourselves? There is no sure way to get what we want. Trusting God is reacting to life as it is. To not trust God is to deny reality and try to live life in a way that we are not made for. Many say living by faith is not natural and should not be tried. Yet we were made to live by the directions of God. Following the life of faith in Christ is rewarding and exciting.

Why do people go to movies read books and watch sporting events. They hunger after excitement. God has that life for us. He will guide us and provide as He leads us in a life of fulfillment in faith and trust in the almighty God who wants to give us life abundantly. Our abundant life is not measured by Wall Street or Madison Avenue. For these standards have a weight of concern that we could never please.

The life of faith Jesus is calling us to is a life of abundance of the fullness of the Holy Spirit of service according to the will of God for our lives. Eph 2:10

Trust brings strength along with quietness. Our strength is in the Lord and not our own efforts. When we trust our own efforts we are limited in what we can do and how far we can go. With God all things are possible. This strength comes from our lack of strength not along with our strength.

When we come to the end of ourselves in an effort and turn to God in prayer. We can call upon God for help. We have no other recourse because we have come to the end of ourselves. To trust God walk trusting His intervention in our work.

The foundation of worship, repentance, quietness that have come before give us a foundation to trusting God. As we have been quiet we have heard from Him in what we are to do and have received from Him the strength to continue in obedience the way God is leading us. Our trust is in His leading us. Our trust is in His speaking to us life.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Isaiah 30:15 # 4 Don't Shun Quietness

Isaiah 30:15
“For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
'In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.'
But you were not willing.”

Don't Shun Quietness

How does one begin to be quiet? Habakkuk presented his petition before God. IE pouring out his heart then he waited for God to speak.

Elijah went from Beersheba to mount Horeb in 40 days to listen to God. Traveling and hard work enables us to quiet our soul to listen. 1 Kings 19:3-19
Mt. Horeb's location is not known but it could be near Mt. Siani or some even say it is the same mountain. Traveling from Beersheeba to Mt Horeb was a journey into the wilderness. Elijah was likely familiar with this type of travel

The Psalms talk of rising early to be with God. Early morning present a quiet time where we won't be disturbed. A mind and heart undevided and focused on the Lord is what is needed. I personally find going into the woods will present many opportunities to quiet my soul to hear God and rest in His presence.

Strength comes from waiting on the Lord. Isa 40:31 and the next verse Isaiah 41:1 Says Coast lands listen to me in silence and let the peoples gain new strength. This quiet waiting is essential for Christian vitality. Yet in this world we have mp3 players, radios, computers, cell phones, TV''s, cars, and much to keep our life busy with the hustle and bustle of life. It is shunning these things and allowing out heart to reach God in the quiet times of life that bring strength.

One of the things brought to my attention about this quietness pursuit was the way Jesus sought out times of prayer. He would look for places to pray. And would go there and the disciples would look for Him and find Him praying. It would do us well to follow this example of looking for places to pray and be quiet before the Lord. I am now coming to see the wisdom in this attitude.

Steps to quietness:
Set aside time to be quiet before the Lord
If there is something bothering you, and you can't put it aside then pray over that till there is peace. This is what I call praying through. Philippians 4:6-9 explain this. We are asked (commanded) to pray about what is bothering us. Don't ignore what is bothering you. There are not shortcuts in the spirit. If we try short cuts, then the problem will fester and will have to be dealt with at a later time and more likely it will be worse.
First kneel or present yourself before the Lord in a humble way.
Second Talk to God and tell Him you are here and are waiting before Him to listen to Him.
Third as your mind starts to wander think of a verse that promises God speaking to you. And thank Him for it.
Fourth just worship God with quietness.
Move back to being quiet each time your mind wanders. The issue is not being perfect but available. Sometimes it is good to ask God a question. Then be quiet to listen to the answer.

An idea may come during this time that might be from the Lord. Don't accept anything you hear without testing it with Scripture. Jesus won't be put out by this. He knows our frailty and weakness of spirit. We are to examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good. 1 Thes 5:21

Some would say take courage. But how do you take courage? Ps 27:14 Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage, yes wait for the Lord.

Waiting for the Lord is the way to let your heart take courage.
Ps 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined to me and heard my cry.

Waiting involves crying out to God.

Waiting patiently signifies that He does not always answer instantly.

Living with right attitude means living with an attitude of waiting!
What does living with an attitude of waiting consist of? Having an expectancy! Saying, "What is God going to do?"

James 4:7-11 Crying out to God and humbling yourself before Him. Is a way to seek Him. I am doing it in the truck while I drive. I want to have my mind on Him all the time. Or to put it another way, put my mind towards Him each moment that is available. There are times for mourning before Him, and then there are times of being thankful. I will go with what I sense.

Submit therefore to God. Be ready to obey. Why wait for God if you aren't going to do what He says? There is strength in obedience. Obedience can move us into love.
Forests wait for spring before springing into growth. The conditions must be right for them to start. Our waiting before God will give us the conditions for growth. If a tree puts out growth too soon those new shoots will die back in late frosts. If we start before God's ability our works will be cut back. Waiting seems to be a waste of time but with wisdom we learn it's worth.

For many the place of waiting would be going to church often. For others with more growth, it would be times of quietness before God.

Woods after a snow. Quiet, a few birds flew through trees. All quiet in the forest. Forest waits for spring. The randomness of tree branches. All buttoned up for winter.

There is one thing about waiting on the Lord, you never know when or how He is going to show up. I was sitting in my work truck doing paperwork. A resident asked me if I would clear his street of leaves. I did it for him and that is all I needed to fix my plow. It was not raising up like it should after a recent snow. It saved me from taking it to the shop for repair. A simple solution of driving with the plow down caused the hydrophilics to work. I think God sent that man to request help to disclose the simple solution I needed.

What was I doing? Going about my normal day. I hadn't even prayed about the problem. But I was in prayer.

If I don't set a time to seek God then it is passed by. For me one of the best times to seek God is after family devotions. Many would suggest early in the morning. For me, Being awake and getting ready for work sometimes hinder my time to seek God. I am learning to have a plan for devotions each morning.

Hiked to Hidden Valley outlook. Why am I here? I am here because I need God? If God gave me strength I wouldn't be here seeking Him. Why then should He give me strength? I need to obey God before I can expect His strength!

Walking along a soggy trail from melting snow, my boot slipped in the mud scarring the ground. Scarred ground in the winter will stay scarred until growth comes to heal it. Wait on God, for you will not be healed until He comes.

Woods prepare for winter, by divesting themselves of work, (dropping their leaves), and wait for warmth of Spring.

Have you ever had a job where there was nothing to do so your boss handed you a broom and you swept the floor more than once just to stay busy. How much of our Christian activity is busy work? We could be waiting on God in prayer and have real assignments to do! I pray that what I do is not busy work. Am I just being busy to show others that I am an honorable Christian?
Do we neglect our responsibilities in order to wait on God? No.
Do we shy away from trying in order to wait on God? No.

Wait for basic direction. Be about these activities. Then wait for further input from God.

It seems to me that if you don't have basic direction you should really push hard on waiting before the Lord.

Take vacation time. Look for spare moments. Do what you got to do to get to God.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Isaiah 30:15 # 3 Rest - The Rest of Faith

Isaiah 30:15
“For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
'In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.'
But you were not willing.”

Rest – The rest of faith

When we turn to God and have faith in Him we don't have to worry. We don't have to work for the promise of God. We can rest because the work has already been done. Jesus paid it all on the cross. When we hear from God there is an assurance of the answer. We do not have to work anymore. We don't have to worry if we are good enough. We can rest in the promise of Jesus. Our work is done. The work of a disciple of Jesus is to trust in the finished work of the cross. The work of a Christian is to believe in Jesus. One of my favorite verses in the Bible and it has become a verse that is becoming a defining verse for me is John 6:21 When Jesus got in the boat the boat was immediately at the other side.

Ex 13:14 “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.
As we follow Jesus we have the fellowship with God. We talk with Him and He talks to us. When we have His presence we have rest. Psalm 91 talks about abiding in the shelter of the most High we will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. When we are in His shadow He is right there with us.

Psalm 116:7 “Return to your rest O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
A person of God will return to God after the work of the day is tiring.

Psalm 55:6 “ O that I had wings like a dove; I would fly away and be at rest.
We can to God at any time. We do have wings so to speak because as we go to God in prayer we are in His presence in the spirit. To be with God and to know that He hears our prayers will give us rest.

Matthew 11:29 “Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.
Again it is coming to God that brings rest. He will give us rest. But it is not the way we might expect. He says He offers a yoke that we should take upon us. As we yoke up with Jesus we are free from the worlds ways. The Bible says we are either a slave of sin or a slave of righteousness. To choose to work for Jesus liberates us from following the ways of the world.

Jeremiah 6:16 “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths where the good way is and walk in it and you will find rest for you souls, but they said we will not walk in it.
Man is always looking for something new. But there really is nothing new under the sun. there is the way of sin and the way of righteousness. The old ways of trusting God and not man. The narrow way is not followed by many. But as we build our life on the instrustions of God we are assured of going according to life and not death.

Hebrews 4:3 For we who have believed enter that rest.
You can't believe and worry at the same time. So to believe is to rest in what God has promised. The Israelites did not believe God would provide

Psalm 23:1,2 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
God is our shepherd and will provide our needs. But if we don't accept His guide to rest He will make us rest. This is why time with God is important. To our health. It also is important for effectiveness in service. We are representatives of God and without input from Him we don't represent anything we are just religious.

It was after this travel that Elijah was quiet and recognized God from a gentle breeze.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Revival Hymn

The Revival Hymn is a message from clips of various sermons from Ian Paisley, Leonard Ravenhill, Paris Reidhead, Duncan Campbell, A.W. Tozer, T. Austin Sparks. A moving message which I highly recommend.

Isaiah 30:15 #2 Repentance

Isaiah 30:15
“For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
'In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.'
But you were not willing.”


Come now, and let us reason together says the Lord.
Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,They will be like wool.”
Isaiah 1:18

This reasoning will show people the importance of repentance. We don't stand a chance with God and don't have a clue what life should be about worth His leading and guidance.

There is no value in sin for the long run. Sin brings pleasure for a season. But in the end it is bitter. Why sow the seeds of bitterness and not look to God for the way of life. God has made us a certain way and has given us guidelines on how to live. If we live according to the ways of the world we are living in direct opposition to how God want us to live.

The product of living like this is sin. It will not benefit you, your family or those you know. God made us to live according to His ways. Repentance is a refreshing way to change for the better.

And repentance is not just a one time thing at salvation. It should be a daily thing. A cleansing for the past day and receiving instructions for the coming day. Jesus will forgive when we come to Him confessing our wrongs.

Reasoning with God about our wayward lifestyle, is an interesting concept. This is what God is offering. Express to God why you are living the way you are. What does God offer in return for our repentance? He offers peace. He offers contentment. He offers a purpose that lasts. Why continue in a life that brings death when we can have true life. A life of faith which brings joy.

Jesus mentioned it in the Lord's prayer.
“Forgive us our debts as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.”

Sin separates us from God and quenches the Holy Spirit. Repentance brings us back into unity with the Father. But with repentance comes the refreshing of the Spirit. Acts 3:19 “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;”

A humble heart is willing to admit wrong. A proud heart doesn't admit error. To say you are without sin is to lie. 1 John 1:10 “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”

One of the best verses on repentance is Psalm 51:10-13

Some say they have done so much bad that God would not be willing to forgive them. God will forgive any sin. He forgave Manasseh the most evil king of Judah. Manasseh was the reason Judah went into captivity. Manasseh repented of his sin of worshiping other gods, along with a list of many other sins.

Others can't forgive themselves not believing God would love them. This is just plain ignorant. Jesus is a friend of sinners. He did not come to bring the righteous but sinners to repentance.

We do not repent only from what we should not be doing, but also from not doing what we should be doing.

To not repent is to not be alive in the Spirit. For if we don't repent we have quenched the spirit.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Isaiah 30:15

Isaiah 30:15
“For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
'In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.'
But you were not willing.”

”Give God the holy one of Israel, Worship and Praise

The first thing we do when we come to God is to worship Him. That is the way it is presented in the Lord's prayer. It is the way to enter into His presence. Ps 100. So let us worship Him and honor Him for all that He is.

He is our healer and savior.
He is our provider and protector.
He is our guide and path.
He is the author and finisher of our faith.
He is the alpha and omega of Christianity.
He is the light in the darkness.
He is the bread for our substance.
He is the water that quenches our thirst.
He is our shepherd that guides us.
He is our friend.
And He is Lord

Jesus you are the wisdom in a crazy world. You are our companion in a lonely world. You are our guide in a world lost in fleshly and intellectual pursuits.

God I ask you to help us understand this passage of Scripture which we are reading now. Make it real in our life and help us to know you more each day. Micah 6:8

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Names of God

In Step with the Lord listed 230 names of God in her post.

This list is well worth the study. Descriptive names signify the character of the person.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Serving God Through Trials

God's light coming through in the cold.

I have been listening to K P Yohannan and the ministry he heads called Gospel for Asia. Here is the link to the mp3's I have been listening to.

And here is an interesting interview of a missionary Manja Tamang that had been in prison for over 9 years. He maintained a strong witness and his wife Rati carried on the ministry.

These people are today's heroes of the faith.