Not Too Short

Monday, July 14, 2014, 6:37 a.m. – the Lord Jesus put the song in mind, “Only In Him.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 59 (NIV).

His Arm

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.
~ Is. 59:1​

Sometimes we get the notion that God is not acting fast enough on our behalf, and so we think we have to help him out, or that we have to turn to others to help us in place of turning to him as our only help and support. Yet his power is not limited. He is more than enough to meet all of our needs. He will do far above all that we ask or imagine. He is our healer, our sustainer, our comforter, our guide, our support, our counselor, and our only God. So many times we go to God as a last resort, when all else has failed, but he should be our first line of defense, not the back-up plan. He should be the one to whom we go for advice, counsel, help and support, comfort and healing. And, we should inquire of him before taking any course of action, especially those actions recommended by human beings.

Our Iniquities

But your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.
~ Is. 59:2​

The Lord is speaking to his people. Their iniquities were great. They were guilty of being swift in shedding innocent blood. They were liars and deceivers; manipulators of truth. They were wicked and evil in their scheming. They did not call for justice nor were they people of integrity. They tried to cover up their sins with even more lies and deceptions, but their cover-ups were useless, for they only compounded their guilt. They committed evil deeds and acts of violence. They turned their backs on God. They were rebellious and treacherous against the Lord. They rushed into sin, and the way of peace they did not know. They walked on crooked paths. No one who walks with them will ever know peace. Wow!

There are many in our world today who are on this path. We need to make sure we do not follow in their footsteps. Our sins may not be so grievous as these, but sin is sin in God’s sight. We need to make sure we are not on a path of following the ways of our own flesh, but that we are walking in Christ’s righteousness and holiness, living to please God.

In James 4:2-3 we read: “You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” In 1 John 3:21-22 we read: “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.” In 1 Jn. 5:14-15 we read: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”

There is a direct correlation between our obedience to our Lord, the Lord hearing our prayers, and him answering our prayers. First of all, this addresses the problem of us not inquiring of our Lord, but us going after our own fleshly desires by means of following our own sinful flesh, and even wicked schemes. Then, it addresses the issue of us, even though we pray, asking God with the wrong motives and with faulty and selfish desires which serve to please only ourselves and not God. God will not answer such prayers. If we want God to hear us and to answer us, we need to keep his commands and do what pleases him. We also need to learn how to pray according to his will. When we pray in Jesus’ name, we are essentially saying that we pray according to his divine character and will, which his name represents. Sometimes our prayers will be like that of Jesus when he prayed, “Lord, if it be your will, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done.”

Like the Blind

So justice is far from us,
and righteousness does not reach us.
We look for light, but all is darkness;
for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.
Like the blind we grope along the wall,
feeling our way like people without eyes.
…For our offenses are many in your sight,
and our sins testify against us.
~ Is. 59:9-12​

In 2 Peter 1 we read that God’s divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through Him. He promises to supply us with all that we need to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to him, and to live separated lives from the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. This is why he died. He died to set us free from slavery to sin, and to free us to walk in his righteousness and holiness, in his power and strength within us. His grace teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled and upright lives in this present age while we wait for our Lord’s return (See Tit. 2:11-14). He died so we would no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave himself up for us (See 2 Co. 5:15). When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we are crucified with Christ to our old way of living for sin and self, we are reborn of the Spirit of God, and we are given new lives to be lived in the power and working of the Spirit within us, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (See Eph. 4:17-24; Gal. 2:20; Ro. 6-8; & 1 Jn. 1-5).

So, in his power and strength within us, we grow in our faith, and we add to our faith, not the works of the flesh, but the works of the Spirit of God – goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love.

“For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins” (2 Pet. 1:8-9).

His Zeal

The Lord looked and was displeased
that there was no justice.
He saw that there was no one,
he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so his own arm achieved salvation for him,
and his own righteousness sustained him.
He put on righteousness as his breastplate,
and the helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on the garments of vengeance
and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.
According to what they have done,
so will he repay
wrath to his enemies
and retribution to his foes;
he will repay the islands their due.
From the west, people will fear the name of the Lord,
and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory.
For he will come like a pent-up flood
that the breath of the Lord drives along.
“The Redeemer will come to Zion,
to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,”
declares the Lord.
~ Is. 59:15b-20​

As Christ’s followers, we are not to be followers of humans, but followers of God. We are not supposed to turn to human beings for help, guidance, counsel and direction in place of Jesus Christ, especially while ignoring the counsel of scripture, making humans our gods. And, we are not to form alliances (yokes; partnerships) with this sinful world, or with the people of this sinful world, because there is no fellowship between light and darkness, and because God has commanded us to come out from the ways, philosophies, teachings, culture, thinking and behaviors of this sinful world, and to be separate, holy unto God and to his service. And, we are to put our trust in Christ, not in our own human reasoning and understanding. In all our ways we are to acknowledge God, and he will direct our paths.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. Rom. 8:12-13

Jesus Christ will judge his idolatrous and adulterous church in order to bring them back into fellowship with their Lord. Yet, he will not do this to destroy us, but to deliver us from our own selves, from idolatry, and from our spiritual adultery. He has been calling and calling to his church to wake up, to forsake her idols, to turn from her sins, and to walk with her Lord, but many are not listening, and they are continuing in walking in their own ways, according to the desires of their own flesh, and so God must, in his mercy, come in judgment to rescue his church and to make her ready for her husband (her groom), and for their wedding. So, if you are trusting in your own flesh or in other humans instead of trusting in God for your healing, support, help, guidance and direction, put your trust Only in HIM!

ONLY IN HIM / An Original Work / February 19, 2014
Based off Isaiah 30

Woe to those who look to man’s help;
Who turn away from Jesus Christ;
Forming an alliance not in step with God;
Making their own plans, and praying not.

Willing not to listen to truth,
They close their ears to what is right.
pleasing words are all that they’ll hear;
Feel good messages that bring cheer.

Trust in your Lord; turn from your sin.
Put your faith now ONLY IN HIM.
Do not turn to idols. They’ll not satisfy.
Jesus will save you. That’s why He died.

Your Lord will be gracious to you.
He cares all about you, ‘tis true.
He forgives you all of your sin
When you give your life up to Him.

Oh, how truly gracious He’ll be
When you bow to Him on your knees;
Turning now from your sin; walking in his ways.
He’ll lead and guide you all of your days.

Now you will sing praises to Him.
He delivered you from your sin.
You’ll tell others now of His grace,
So they may see Christ face-to-face.
Rom_13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
1Co_15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

Eph_5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.