"In that day the remnant left in Israel, the survivors in the house of Jacob, will no longer depend on allies who seek to destroy them. But they will faithfully trust the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return... "
Isaiah 10:20, 21a
I hear this call just about everyday, "Return". What? Is Wanda backsliding? Isn't Isaiah talking about the 'remnant' of Israel who survived God's punishment toward them because of their unfaithfulness toward Him? In less words... they were a remnant of disobedient people.
Every day I make choices to either stay close to innocence (God) or not. I see, smell and hear things that want to challenge my desires and appetites - that require some type of response. These parade as allies - fulfilling my imminent needs while sabotaging my future. Often, the best reply I can give is what may look like indifference - to walk away without response. You know; not taking the 2nd look, closing the fridge door, turning the pity off, etc. Otherwise the pity starts to party and the treat turns into bondage.
Sound trivial? Maybe, but these are the things that spoil my connection with the Holy Spirit. I am human. I decided to follow Jesus a long time ago. And I tend to get distracted. When I do, He calls me back.
Maybe one day I'll be so perfect in my desires and pursuits that I will not need to have this reminder. But until that day comes, this remnant will return as often as is necessary!
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)
New vs. Old
Some of the biggest battles in the church have been over this one. What do we sing? What traditions do we hold on to? Why change things? What about us? If we pull things to the contemporary some love it, some hate it. If we leave things as they were in our parent's generation or farther back... we loose this one.
I believe that as Christians, we should always be in motion, never hanging our hats on one tradition or even one successful genre of meeting. It's not to discount or minimize the past, but rather to let the past continually build strong foundations that the present walks on.
"It's not to discount or minimize the past, but rather to let the past continually build strong foundations that the present walks on."
Paul talks about this a lot as someone who was asked by God to move beyond the acceptable boundaries of the Jewish culture. Jesus lived it; always taking the letter of the law to a deeper level. He did not discount or nullify the commandments, but went beyond the act to the heart of them. It wasn't just 'Don't commit adultery (as in physically going out and having sex with someone that is not yours)' ... but, don't even look at someone else with evil desire, for adultery is committed in the simple act of the wanting & lusting. (see Matthew 5:27-28) Jesus didn't abolish the law, He actually took it to a more integral level.
Anyway, here it is to ponder... read Romans 7 & 8. Let the word that came from God speak life & freedom to you. The law does not save, it only guides. Our traditions and styles do not save. We will always struggle with our wants & desires, but need to be purposed to know God's. And sometimes that will mean doing things a little differently, for He may desire it.
This is the verse that actually got me thinking about all of this today:
"But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter." Romans 7:6
Ask God for His heart. Ask Him for His plan to reach your community, your family... you. He loves you, so it can only be good!
Running isn't always a good exercise...
"It came to pass that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah went to dwell in the country of Moab, he & his wife and his two sons." Ruth 1:1
Have you ever wanted to run? I have many times and I must say, the times that I gave in to the urge did not prove to be profitable!
The book of Ruth opens with this type of dilemma. We read of a family that left home, but more than that, they left the covering of God that was over that home. Judah was a land established by God through Abraham. (Times of famine usually occured due to disobedience, but they always remained under the promise of covenant that God established with Abraham. God always turned things around when they came to Him in repentance.) Anyway, Elimilech & his family left Judah and went to Moab. Moab was a nation that descended from Lot's son; a son that was born to him through his daughter. Yup, that's what I said. (see Genesis 19:30-38) Are you getting the picture?
God plants, establishes and promises to take care of His own. We are to trust Him in the place that He leads us. He will make good on His Word. I can't help but think of Job here, when he cried out...
We live by our choices. You can act & risk to be perceived in a wrong way OR you can do nothing & not be perceived at all. (Bruce Mann)
Please inquire for the word of the LORD today. 1 Kings 22:5