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. Isaiah 30:15
Many times the Lord has brought me back to this chapter in Isaiah, and this verse in particular. We are in constant need of quieting ourselves before the Lord to hear His thoughts and instruction for our lives. It is so easy to slip into devising plans that are our own and not His, deceiving ourselves without truly seeking His will for our daily lives. Quieting ourselves and being still for any period of time is a lost art in our society. It is necessary we regain this discipline in our lives, in order to truly hear from God for His guidance and to know Him. We must discipline ourselves to begin each day doing so, in order to become equipped for what life dishes out on a daily basis.
In Isaiah’s introduction in this chapter we read:
"Woe to the rebellious children," declares the Lord, "Who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; who proceed down to Egypt without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh, and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
Therefore the safety of Pharaoh will be your shame; and the shelter of the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation." Isaiah 30:1-3
Does this sound familiar? It certainly has been an ongoing struggle in my life. I often lean to my own understanding choosing my way before seeking and obeying His way during the challenges of everyday living.
Pharaoh and Egypt represent the world and its ways. In present day terms it’s when we "google" instead of reading our Bibles and praying. It is whatever we tend to substitute for God and His Word for our everyday needs, protection, guidance and instruction. Throughout the Bible we can read the consequences of destruction, shame, and humiliation from acting out of hearts of self will and rebellion rather than obedience to the holy God who loves us perfectly if we allow Him to.
We cannot obey what we don’t know. If we don’t seek the Lord for His instruction how are we to obey Him? A servant cannot serve without being told from the Master what He requires.
These people had no desire for truth which was their main problem. We read further down in Isaiah 30:9-11:
For this is a rebellious people, false sons, sons who refuse to listen to the instruction of the Lord; who say to the seers, "You must not see visions; and to the prophets, You must not prophesy to us what is right. Speak to us pleasant words, prophesy illusions. Get out of the way, turn aside from the path. Let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel."
Before we judge too quickly perhaps we need to honestly ask ourselves if we too have felt the same way by how we are living our lives? You will never know the honest answer to that question until you obey verse 15. God knew we would experience many failures in our lifetimes. If we are willing, He has given us the answer for how to triumph through our failures. He said in repentance and rest you will be saved, from yourself basically. This is pertaining to the sin nature we will battle till He returns for us, or we go to Him.
People who repent find rest. Those who harden their hearts never find the rest that can only come from Him. It is a rest from deep within. Only He has access to those places in our lives, and only He can reveal what you need to repent of, so that you can be forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
It was true for them then, and it is true for us now. Repentance should be a way of life for ALL of us!
In quietness and trust is your strength. We need strength to persevere in our walk with our Lord. We have to develop quietness in our lives in order to be more aware of Him than ourselves. We have to daily set aside time to be with Him allowing Him to speak to us, and us to speak to Him. It is called praying. Praying is a two way communication. Most of us say what’s on our minds and leave His Presence, never allowing Him to speak what is on His mind. That is a very selfish relationship we have acquired, which is why we leave His Presence unchanged, and not set free from the strongholds in all our lives. If we only spend minutes and rush off, we lose and so does He. Think about it. He deserves at least an hour of the 24 hours He gives each one of us in a day. If we are quiet before Him, He will teach us to trust Him. We must put more effort into this relationship than any other. For most of us, this is a foreign thought unfortunately.
May we challenge one another to obey our scripture verse today. I challenge you to read the entire chapter and journal the verses that speak to you the most. Meditate on them, and cry out to the God who hears our cries for help to obey. I have had to and continue to do so. It is a way of life — not a one time decision. When we stand before Him, hopefully soon, let it not be said of us we were unwilling. God, grant us a willing heart. He will if we allow Him to. It is our decision, daily.
In His love.
Photos this week taken on the New River Trail with my client, Libby Johnson soon turning 88 years old. She inspires us all to keep living life!