Thursday, May 7, 2015

Created to Worship

Isaiah 5:25 - ...For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.

I'm reading Isaiah. While I don't presume to understand all of the detail, there is an underlying theme. Isaiah prophesied to the people of Israel who had turned their backs on God, determined to live apart from Him. Despite words of warning, as is often said, they remained a stiff-necked people (God's own words). Enemies would overthrow them, there would be seasons of poor crops or destruction but they would not seek God. It was as if they shook their fists at Him. 

But God wasn't done with them...and He still isn't. Despite what we will probably see someday, Israel will bounce back. She is God's. His people reside there, still in a stiff-necked condition. In Isaiah a remnant is mentioned. There will be a small number who need God's warnings and once again look to Him. 

Isaiah prophesies a Child to be born of a virgin whose name would be Immanuel, God with us. This Child will bring peace to the people of this nation. He will form an everlasting government. We hear this all at Christmas. 

Despite these words, Israel continues, even to this day, to rebel against God. God poured out His wrath upon them in hopes they would look to Him once again. For all this His anger was not turned away... His love for His people, His nation never fails. His wrath is only for their good, like a father punishing a bad child, to hope they will stop being disrespectful and rebellious toward Him. They no longer worshipped Him. 

All this runs parallel to His love for us. Stiff-necked people. The Son prophesied. The Son who came. A remnant of believers. Each of us rebels against God. The words, For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still, are repeated five times in Isaiah. These words were not just for Israel but for us too. His hand is outstretched for all. This is a God of love. He sees our disobedience but will forgive in a heartbeat if we take that hand that we might no longer be separated from Him, like Israel. There will be a day when there will be a remnant even among today's people, those who have decided God's ways are greater than their own, those who truly humble themselves before God.

There is such a misconception that everyone will go to heaven because they, compared to others, are good people. But God says there is none righteous apart from Him. Just knowing of Him is not enough. No church can do the saving. It's coming alongside Him alone, daily, seeking Him. It's asking for His provision, His wisdom, His guidance instead of trusting in our own or someone else's. It's submitting our hearts to Him and knowing that we are nothing in this world without Him, who, after all, created us. It's getting to know Him so intimately we understand what the truth of His Word conveys. That only comes when we seek Him. Then we realize how lost this world really is without Him. I pray for God to give me an even greater heart for the lost.

We were not created to just live lives on this earth to glorify ourselves. We were created to worship God. I looked for scriptures that tell us we were made to worship Him. Nothing says that exact thing, but many words encompassing the idea. Here's just one example: ...“Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” (‭Revelation‬ ‭14‬:‭7‬) If we believe, truly believe, truly take stock in the fact He has created us and there is no one greater, why wouldn't we...why shouldn't we? Oh, I so know unless one 
has an encounter like no other with this Child, the Son of God, who came to take away the sins of the world, my words are meaningless. I pray His Spirit would reveal this to those who don't know. The truth is, we are to worship Him.

“And now...what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul...(‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭10‬:‭12‬). Money, bling, house, job, family...none of that comes before Him. But if we seek Him first, other things are added to us...not always in the material things. If we could understand this more fully... Only until we give of ourselves to Him... Worship Him...

Psalm 29:1-2,10-11 - Give unto the LORD, O you mighty ones, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. The LORD sat enthroned at the Flood, and the LORD sits as King forever. The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace. 

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