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.

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