Often Obstinate

January 8, 2009

revised 2/19/2009

 

I have often wondered at the foolish inconsistencies of God’s people in the old testament.  They had so many opportunities and chances to get it right with God, and yet they failed so many times.  How is this so?  Until, I began to falter nearly hitting rock bottom, I began to understand our fallen, sinful nature a little more.  I too may just as well call my self stiff-necked and obstinate.  I find myself turning to friends, family, and work to “solve” my problems and give me abundant life.  It’s not working.  And perhaps that prayer I prayed a long time ago has been coming to fruition for the last couple of years of my life.  I am gaining a clearer perspective.  Who or what has been my Egypt—my alternate god?  Sadly, I have left it to family, friends, jobs, and cities—and all to no avail. 

 

It’s come now to a head.  The fabric of my spiritual being is being refined, and rightly so if I call myself God’s daughter.  Today my brother leaves for Oklahoma.  He starts a new job there.  I came to San Antonio to be with my family totally disregarding my own dreams, goals, and passions.   Bad idea.  I believe now, that God gave us ample warning and opportunity to leave this place; but no—I wanted “to be” with family.  Such regret that I must now leave at the foot of the cross.  I can’t carry it with me.  The burden of it is just too great.  And there’s no sense whatsoever in clinging to the past or what could have been.  God is not a god of the could-have-beens.  He simply just is, was, and always will be.

 

God is longsuffering and ever so merciful.  I find myself in Isaiah 30.  I, too, am unfaithful in following my God.  I, too, look else where for what I need.  I, too, disregard the whisper of His voice.  I, too, have imperfect hearing.  I, too, have created idols in my heart and with my own hands.  I hear the collective GASP, but so have you.  We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  We choose what we think is better only to find disappointment and sorrow.  I have seen the error of my ways.  There is HOPE.  There is ALWAYS HOPE.  God offers us the opportunity of redemptive restoration.  I’m going to take Him up on the offer.

 

Isaiah 30 (NLT)

15 This is what the Sovereign Lord,
      the Holy One of Israel, says:
   
“Only in returning to me
      and resting in me will you be saved.
   In quietness and confidence is your strength.

      But you would have none of it.
 16 You said, ‘No, we will get our help from Egypt.
      They will give us swift horses for riding into battle.’
   But the only swiftness you are going to see
      is the swiftness of your enemies chasing you!
 17 One of them will chase a thousand of you.
      Five of them will make all of you flee.
   You will be left like a lonely flagpole on a hill
      or a tattered banner on a distant mountaintop.”

Blessings for the Lord’s People

 18 So the Lord must wait for you to come to him
      so he can show you his love and compassion.
   For the Lord is a faithful God.
      Blessed are those who wait for his help.

 19 O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem,
      you will weep no more.
   
He will be gracious if you ask for help.
      He will surely respond to the sound of your cries.
 20 Though the Lord gave you adversity for food
      and suffering for drink,
   he will still be with you to teach you.
      You will see your teacher with your own eyes.
 21 Your own ears will hear him.
      Right behind you a voice will say,
   “This is the way you should go,”
      whether to the right or to the left.
 22 Then you will destroy all your silver idols
      and your precious gold images.
   You will throw them out like filthy rags,
      saying to them, “Good riddance!”

 23 Then the Lord will bless you with rain at planting time.

Now is the time to live for HIM and no other.  Now is the time to live the life of one who knows and is intimately connected to the Creator and from where help comes.  Now is the time to remember dreams that died long ago.  Now is the time to live with purpose and passion.  Now is the time to be undaunted.  Now is the time to grow.

God is my God, and I must earnestly seek him.  He is my source.  My Light and my Love.  He is my director and my guide, and I can no longer live my life as though this weren’t the truth.  God is for me not against me.  Christ purchased my freedom with his own blood.  I must live in it and no longer allow myself to be shackled by family, friend, jobs, the evil one or my own self—no offense to any of you, but I must put my God first and have right relationship with Him that I might have it with others. 

So now I choose.  I choose to set my face like flint.  I choose to fix my eyes on the King.  I choose to believe that He has only good for me even in the darkest night.  I choose to live my dreams, goals, and passions.  I choose to be undaunted.  I choose to no longer sell myself short. I choose to believe that I WAS made for such a time as this.  I may not be a queen Esther, but for such a time as this was I made.  I am alive.  I am whole.  I am well.  How?  Because of the redemptive work of Christ in whom I believe—yes, I believe Him.  I know I am forgiven, cleansed, healed, and whole.  My God is with me, and I have no reason to fear.

Now, is the opportunity to return to Jesus.  Now, is the moment to repent, confess, and follow Him.  Now, I will live for him.  Now, I return to the King.  Today is MY day.  Today I choose to LIVE Christ’s abundant life in me.

May today be a great and decisive day for you.  Live forward.  Move forward.  Return to God, for there is a blessing waiting from HIM.

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