“And now, go, write it before them on a tablet and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come as a witness forever. For they are a rebellious people, lying children,
children unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord; who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things,
prophesy illusions, leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”” Isaiah 30: 8-11, 15
We are comfortable in America. Oh, I know that we often get our hackles in an uproar at some of the injustice we see: racism, hatred, unfair practices, and the like. But if we truly look at what upsets us we find one central theme: Self.
In Isaiah, God advises the prophet to write down plainly that we are to follow ALL of His statutes, not just the ones that make us comfortable. We are going to get our toes stepped on; only because God loves us enough to not leave us in our sinful ways. He has prepared every word for us to live by and He means each word. Isaiah wrote, at God’s directive, that these words will “stand until the end of time as a witness that these people are stubborn rebels who refuse to pay attention to the Lord’s instructions.” He is talking to us in the forever.
We go to church expecting to be blessed, but we seldom go to church expecting to be admonished. When the preacher starts preaching about the evils of alcohol, homosexuality, unclean living, gossip, and dedication to God, we sit in our self – righteous pews and think, “Well, I wonder who he is pointing a finger at in this one!” By the way, I praise God for the preachers and teachers who tell it like God wants it told rather than bowing down to our own desires. There are so few. We want our seers (preachers, pastors, teachers, friends) to stop seeing visions and stop reminding us of what is right. We want to hear nice things; we want to hear that it’s OK to stray from the straight and narrow, “God will understand, because He is a forgiving God” we say to everyone. We have the “right” to live in sin, because we have eternal life through the salvation sacrifice that we accepted through Jesus Christ.
My Bible says in Romans 6: 1 – 5, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”
Salvation is not a free – ticket to sin. Isaiah also reminds us that God sees what we do and His reply is, “Because you despise what I tell you and trust instead in oppression and lies, calamity will come upon you suddenly…you will be smashed like a piece of pottery.”
We want our country to turn back to God and yet we are not willing to do what it takes to get America back on track. We pray for a leader who kneels and asks for God’s guidance each day, but then we quit praying and start doubting his every decision. We let fear take over instead of knowing that God has the bigger picture in place. Pray – Believe – Trust. We can’t let our own selfish ambitions, and this includes each of our heart – rendering concerns, to guide our relationship with God. We must constantly pray for our President, our Vice – President, our Congress, our Senate, our state and local leaders to make decisions based on communication with God. And we must trust God to hear and care.
The Word of God is given to us to pray through while we read. Read the Words each day and let the Holy Spirit guide those prayers. Speak the words aloud so that Satan knows you mean them. God knows the heart; Satan can only hear what we say. Can you imagine the power behind praying Isaiah 26: 1- 8 aloud for America, “In that day, everyone in America will sing this song: Our country is strong! America is surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation. We will open our gates to all who are righteous; we will allow the faithful in Jesus Christ to enter. And God, I know that You will keep us in perfect peace, because we trust in You and our thoughts are ever fixed on You! We will trust in You, always, Lord God. You are the eternal Rock for America. We trust You to bring down the strongholds of Satan and humble the proud, bring down the arrogant cities and build up the poor and the oppressed. Today, Lord, we commit to righteousness for your Name’s sake. We know that You are a God who does what is right, and you will smooth out the path before us. Lord, we trust you and we will show that trust by obeying your laws. Our heart’s desire is to glorify your Name. Amen”
“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel (and America), says, “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.”
We must hear. We must trust. We must kneel.