Archive for October 15th, 2008

Isaiah 18

Today we resume our walk through the scriptures.  You may not remember but we are in Isaiah and today we pick up on chapter 18.  This chapter is short and sweet but says a couple things we should ponder.  First there is a warning that we need to “look” and “listen” as we live.  God is not a constant noise machine.  One of the things I use when I travel is one of the white noise machines that keeps a constant noise which drowns out all the slamming doors, people talking and bellmen knocking on doors.  But God isn’t like that in how He communicates with us.  It isn’t a continual flow of information we should just ignore.  When God speaks, we need to listen.  And in order to do that we need to know how to identify “a flag flying on the mountain”.   We need to be paying attention so we can “hear the trumpet blow” and know it is His voice.  I wish there was an easy way to always hear God.  Sometimes it seems like it would be easier if He would just call me up on the phone and tell me what I need to know.  But God’s way is much less intrusive than that and requires us to be involved in the process.  We have to tune in and pay attention and spend time with Him.  And part of that means we have to be still and listen.  That is a very different way to pray and have relationship time with God.  Most of the time we spend with Him is all one way – us telling God what we need.  But effective relationship means we also need to be quiet and listen to what God has for us – to “be still and know” that He is God and has a plan for us which we need to hear.  That means receive His word without saying one.  Big change from how most of our prayer time is spent, but so critical if we want to hear His voice.

 

The other thing that jumps out in this short chapter is the harvest.  God is clear that even though things have come along nicely, pruning still has to happen.  “The blossom has turned to a maturing grape” – things are almost done here – but God still has to “step in and prune”.  Seems like once we are that close – when the harvest is in sight and the work for the year is almost done – God could cut some slack doesn’t it.  But that isn’t how things get better next year.  Without pruning, new growth in the future doesn’t occur.  Without preparation for next year, the harvest won’t be as good.  So know that God is always looking for ways to help us grow and continue to bear fruit.  God is about the long haul, not the short crop.  He wants us to mature and become like Jesus and knows it will take a lifetime.  So He makes those investments in us year after year to help us bear more fruit and achieve His plan for us.  Don’t resist His pruning shears.  Know that we serve a mighty God that loves us enough to be focused on what we can become.  And know He is committed to doing whatever it takes to get us there.  We just need to listen and cooperate with His plan!

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