Unsatisfied By Average

The Musings of a Stubborn Believer

Category: Isaiah (page 2 of 3)

Providence at it’s best…

Isaiah 41
I love that word– Providence.
It’s ultimate power giving of itself… And that, provision more than sufficient.
There is no promise that we will never lack… Indeed, if we never lacked, there would be no need for a promise. No need for Power. No need for Grace…
We will lack. We must thirst…
But we need remain thirsty only for a moment. Just long enough to recognize our need… And then, Providence kicks in.
And not with a little glass of water either…
“When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.”
(Isaiah 41:17-18)
Where there is thirst, He creates a river…

Bigger Dreams

Isaiah 35-38
I wonder if you ever stuffed your pockets with acorns as a child. My guess is, you did. 
I have fond memories of scrambling around under the old oak trees in the park, searching and hoarding the biggest and best ones until my pockets bulged… Or more recently, sitting serenely under a grove of
oaks one stunning Sabbath afternoon in Germany while a half dozen young German and Austrian friends did the scrambling for me, enthusiastically delivering a pile of acorns to my lap… 
I don’t know, there’s just something about it. 
And maybe when you too had your pockets full of perfect ones, your mother saw you hobbling towards the car and asked “What are you going to do with those?” 
“Oh, I don’t know… something special. I’m– I’m going to make something…”
If you were anything like me, you had no idea what you were going to make. It probably ended up being an absurd construction paper/acorn collage that rivaled modern art for abstraction, but which your mother still treasures to this day. 
Whatever the case, you had dreams for those acorns…
Hezekiah had dreams too… Dreams for his life, and for his reign that sickness suddenly threatened. All at once we find the king weeping pitifully, longing for a little more time… And who wouldn’t? 
And then we hear God in His eternal pity give him a promise, fully knowing what it would cost future generations…
God will lay aside His dreams, if we insist on ours. 
His dream for every acorn is much bigger than an absurd collage. And don’t get me wrong, there’s beauty in that childish art. It just doesn’t remotely approximate to the glory of the oak tree… 
Our problem is that instead of letting our own dreams go in favor of His, we pursue His glory the best way we know how– stuffing our pockets with the best in the hopes that we can make something worthy of them. 
But dreams must die, before they can grow. 
The acorn must die… First, it must be deemed unfit by even the hungriest of squirrels, then it must be forgotten… Often it gets buried deep beneath layers of rubbish, seemingly lost in a tangle of old leaves and dirt, much like our tangled and mangled hopes and dreams. It must give itself up. Totally. Permanently. 

Then it grows. 
God has a thousand other dreams too… Like turning enemies into dead men (Isa. 37:36) and and turning deserts into rose gardens. (Isa. 35:1)

What He needs is children that will cling more tenaciously to their Father’s dreams than to their own. Children that are willing to surrender to Him not just that in them which is evil, but more painfully that which is rightfully theirs, and perfectly good, if He asks for it. 
Anything less will be less than His best…    

A New Slogan

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword… (Heb 4:12)

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isa 55:11) 

It occurs to me that there is only one step between perfect safety and total destruction. There is a line in the sand upon which the “sword bathed in heaven” (Isa 34:5) will fall… Those to one side will be safe, those to the other will be destroyed by their own sins. And those with one foot on either side? Well… They will be the first to feel it.

But those on the right… Tis the truth that has made them free! Tis the very sword that falls in judgment and brings so much destruction, that has cut their chains. I think I’m picking up a pattern here…

I think we need to shift an old slogan into a new strain and make it our own… Something like:

The Word of God–

Live by it.

Nothing Compares…

Isaiah 31
It’s nice to know our Master stands head and shoulders taller than all of His rivals. (Isaiah 31:3) No other empire compares… 
But perhaps more phenomenal is the fact that our Master’s servants can also stand head and shoulders above their rivals. Because no power compares to that at their disposal. 
And yet, the kingdom of Heaven is likened to a mustard seed. Seems like a humble beginning for the greatest of herbs…
There’s a little lesson there… 
Think about it.  


Isaiah 27

It is the epicenter of His pleasure and delight– His vineyard. The place where His fruit grows…
And keeping it safe and beautiful at every moment is His top priority. But here he doesn’t use guards and towers to keep it from harm. He uses a constant supply of water…
Because that which is spirit-saturated is indestructible. 

Terrible, or Glorious?

Isaiah 24

It all depends. 

It is called a “terrible day” for a very good reason. But just wait for the dust to settle… The earth may be reeling and shaking, but a few hearts are yet firm. For them, this day is glorious… 
They have no cause for fear. After all, the Power that splits the earth in two around them (v.19) and burns the very firmament is no stranger to them… It’s the same power that keeps them from falling.
And the Light that blinds and burns everything that is unholy and untrue, (even now, under their feet) is no stranger either. It’s the very same light that has illuminated the path of the just since… forever.
Yes, it is only the strangers that fear. The firm hearts are ready to rejoice in the purity of Heaven, because Heaven in all it’s purity is in their hearts. 
Sweet Jesus– Would the song of my life be in harmony with Heaven’s anthem if I were there today? 
Or would I be a discordant note?   
“Tune my heart to sing Your praise…”


Isaiah 23

You can find it on the list of things He hates. In fact, He calls it an abomination. And he’s promised to bring it low (Job 40:12), and cut it off (Ps. 12:3). He’s also promised rebuke & curses (Ps. 119:21), shame (Ps 119:78), judgement (Isaiah 2:12)
…and now, dishonor. (Isaiah 23:9)
I think you’ll agree we would best be rid of it.
“for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”

Human Solutions…

Isaiah 20

This life is full of mountains to climb… Mountains which are supposed to make you braver, taller, stronger.

Now the path of the Just goes straight up and over. And if you climb that way very long you will certainly encounter other pilgrims with bleeding feet and throbbing hearts… But they are making progress.

Alternatively, you can follow the nicely laminated road map published by your enemies… Or sell your liberty for a gondola or subway ticket.

But before you do that, read Isaiah 20.
I read it this morning, and found out that the best of human solutions always come to the same end–

Uttermost Shame

Too many gods…

Until His opinion is all that matters, we’re in danger of self-destruction…

Read Isaiah 19. God didn’t have to do anything! He just showed up on the scene riding a chariot of clouds, and things started happening. Most notably, the multitudinous idols started rattling off of their foundations. 
The next verse says it all… (v.2) With their gods losing their footing, the men start losing their minds. Now they’re literally at each other’s throats, no more decency, no more familyness, no more patriotism.
When gods move, men move. 
That’s not so scary for a professing follower of Christ, like myself, until I remember little things like my opinion. I need not even make a case for how easy it is to idolize it… (Especially when it is right!) Just let somebody rattle it to it’s foundation and see what happens. Oh, and I can be totally civil, and pleasant throughout without much effort… But inside…later…
I fear even serious Christians act like desperate Egyptians sometimes…
But there is in this story a beautiful Ray of Glory… And a simple lesson for those who want to live an unrattled life…
Choose one God. And choose One that can’t be rattled…
I’ll say it again. 
Until His opinion is all that matters, we’re in danger of self-destruction…


Isaiah 14/15
I have been silent, but not still… Yesterday was the climax of the Texico Conference Campmeeting, and my viola was out of its case more than in it, precluding a post.
And then, there were other reasons too… 
I’m the kind of guy that expends a great deal of energy on invisible conquest. In fact, most of the people I fight for don’t even know it. (Maybe never will). But that’s ok…  
Anyway, all day, and all this morning, verse 1 of chapter 14 kept tapping at my consciousness, waiting for quiet… And finally, I got it.
“For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel…”
Even though they had stumbled and fallen. Even though He had picked them up and brushed the dirt off of them countless times before. Even though their mistakes were not always innocent ones… Still…
I cannot tell you what that means to me. Even though He’s picked me up out of the dirt ten thousand times, yet He has mercy. Yet He chooses me. Does that even make sense?
It reminds me of my favorite word. “Nevertheless.”
Actually, it’s the reason behind my favorite word. Because His unwavering commitment to my salvation (nevertheless) calls forth the best I can give in return… 
If His “faith” in me is strong enough to make Him pick me up again when I fall, risking His name over and over again by claiming me as His child, then I am worse than a fool not to honor Him with my trust in return. 
And so, am I a man committed. 
And though I admit that for the Christian in this world, pain and hardship, toil, sacrifice, grief and loss and suffering are very real, very often… (here comes that word–)  
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