Have you ever found the perfect word to express what you are feeling? A word that sums up all of your internal feelings and enables you to fully articulate yourself to someone? A phrase that makes it so they completely get what you are going through? Well, I found that in Isaiah... the perfect passage to sum up the past few months. It is crazy convicting because rather then Matthew 25:23 summing up my year, this passage points out my utter lack of faithfulness. I love this conviction though because with it comes a spring board to get out of my state of complacency.
"10 You were wearied by all your ways,
but you would not say, 'It is hopeless.'
You found renewal of your strength,
and so you did not faint.
"11 Whom have you so dreaded and feared
that you have been false to me,
and have neither remembered me
nor pondered this in your hearts?
Is it not because I have long been silent
that you do not fear me?
12 I will expose your righteousness and your works,
and they will not benefit you.
13 When you cry out for help,
let your collection of idols save you!
The wind will carry all of them off,
a mere breath will blow them away.
But the man who makes me his refuge
will inherit the land
and possess my holy mountain."
Do you see verse 10? That conscious knowledge of being tired of how I live my life but refusing to give up on my fruitless ways? Happens ALL the time. And then I find some renewal of my strength in an awesome night of worship, an encouraging note, a pretty sunset, or a great church service and I am good to go for a while. I have the idea that I don't need to be personally close to God but can live off of other people's walks with the Lord.
And then verse 11 hits home. I have been false to God, forgotten Him, neglected His word, treated Him as if He is powerless. I am not just forgetting our relationship; I am forgetting everything He has done for me. I have forgotten who He is and treated Him like trash to be thrown out of my life.
Verse 12 speaks of our righteousness being exposed. This is not such a good thing though it might appear to be a good thing. This is not righteousness in the sense that we are good people, that I am a person of great works. It is the self-righteousness, the works I do to make myself look good, the deeds that are apart from love and Christ. Theses are the things that will be brought into the light and they will not benefit me.
Verse 13... Other things that won't benefit me: my idols, my plans, my strength, my worldly identity. Not only will these things not help me but they will float away and all the castles I have been building to live in will become nothing. Not a pebble of rubble will be be left to hide under. It will all be lost. But listen to the end of this verse! In place of homelessness I get an inheritance greater then any here on earth. In place of poverty I get land, God's holy mountain for my nothingness.
Verse 10 is where I am coming from and verse 13 is where I can go, if I choose to give up the things spoken of in verse 11 and 12. There is so much freedom in this!!!