September 2, 2017
Today’s Text of Encouragement:
“For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him. AMEN. Unto the glory of God by us.”
2 Corinthians 1:20
King James Version
“Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
Today’s Study Text:
“So – who is like Me? Who holds a candle to Me?” says The Holy. Look at the night skies: Who do you think made all this? Who marches this army of stars out each night, counts them off, calls each by name – so magnificent! So powerful! And (God) never overlooks a single one? Why would you ever complain, O (your name here), or whine, (your name here), saying, ‘God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me?”
“God Hasn’t Lost Track of Me!”
“No distant Lord have I,
Loving afar to be;
Made flesh for me, He cannot rest
Until He rests in me.
Brother in joy or pain,
Bone of my bone was He,
Now – intimacy closer still –
He dwells Himself in me.
I need not journey far;
This dearest Friend to see,
Companionship is always mine,
He makes His home with me.”
Maltbie D. Babcock
Has there ever been a time in my life when I felt as though God might have forgotten about me?
“God is always near you and with you; leave Him not alone.”
“God is not an idea, or a definition that we have committed to memory, He is a presence which we experience in our hearts.”
As I shared with you yesterday, Isaiah 40:26 -31, is my favorite group of texts in the entire Old Testament – and for many reasons.
Yesterday, as we began our study of Isaiah 40, it is as though a stage were set, with the background that highlights the work of the main characters in a great drama. In this case, the story is a universal one which focuses on you and me and features our relationship with our Father in heaven, our Creator, and the Almighty.
Yesterday, we found that the prophet Isaiah called all people on earth to,
“Lift up your eyes on high.” We were encouraged to look up, for this is where God, who “is strong in power,” resides.
Then, in Isaiah 40:27, I love the way this passage gets to the very core of how we often feel because we are such small little creatures on planet earth, waiting in the presence of our God who is “high and lifted up.”
I want to share with you a Transformation Garden paraphrase of Isaiah 40: 27, and I’m going to make it very personal. You can do the same by inserting your name in this text as well:
“Why do you talk this way, Dorothy?
Why do you complain and become depressed, My daughter?
Why do you think God doesn’t know where you are or what is going on in your life?
What would ever give you the idea that I would ignore you or that I wouldn’t keep you on my mind?
Why do you think I’m not concerned about you?”
Way too often, when I read God’s Word, my mind is transported back to a place in time, long ago, when God’s children engaged in direct communication with their Father through various means. As I read a passage like Isaiah 40, I long to have the interchange with my Father that Isaiah had. I don’t want to just read about a God in the sky, I want to feel His presence with me here on this earth.
It is this closeness which the gift of prayer gives everyone of us – even during the silent times when God appears to have forgotten we exist because we don’t feel or see Him at work in our individual lives.
This is why God told the prophet Isaiah to call out to God’s earthly children and tell them to look heavenward. Not so that He could just “WOW!” us with a spectacular night sky, but instead, I believe, it is to help us get the glare of what is blindingly earthly out of our eyes so we can see Him clearly.
Let me explain what I mean. Many years ago, as a young nurse in my early twenties, I lived in a small town named LaGrande, Oregon. It was situated on the edge of a beautiful forest. I had friends who lived and worked about an hour away and sometimes I’d drive north to see them. Instead of traveling on the newly built interstate, which was a longer route, I’d frequently take a very winding two-lane road through the forest. In the evening there were many logging trucks, making their way down the mountainous roads from higher elevations and I can remember how these trucks large glaring headlights used to nearly blind my eyes – especially because my small, compact car was like a little ant whizzing down the road in comparison to these large logging vehicles. As I think back on the many times I made the forest journey, I’m certain my guardian angels were working overtime, protecting me! There was one evening I’ll never forget when the lights on a particularly large truck, loaded with huge logs, were so bright, I could not even see where I was going. I could not see the poorly marked white line painted down the center of the narrow road. It ended up being the flying gravel as my tires touched on the shoulder of the road which alerted me to the fact I was in a very precarious position.
Blinded by what I was looking at, I was oblivious to everything around me. And let me just say, I’ve found this real-life driving experience hasn’t just happened to me as I traversed a road through the mountains. It has also occurred in my spiritual journey as I have wound my way into my Father’s love.
Sometimes I have come to realize that the glare in my eyes, here on earth, which has obscured my Father’s love and His will for my life may have been earthly ambition or career success. Or perhaps the blinding light that diverted my attention was my fascination with a relationship that was not of heaven’s intent. All I can state for certain is that for each of us, the diversions that blind us, drawing our vision down, rather than pointing our eyes upward, unfortunately leave us, as the prophet Isaiah forcefully points out, calling out to God, “Where are You?” When in fact, as Job beautifully states: “Our ways are never hidden from our God.”
How thankful I am that I can lift my eyes on high and speak with the assurance of someone who knows, without a doubt, that my heavenly Father is near to me and to you, this very day. In the words of the 20th century poet, David Adam, “Thou Art God”:
“Thou art the peace of all things calm
Thou art the place to hide from harm
Thou art the light that shines in dark
Thou art the heart’s eternal spark
Thou art the door that’s open wide
Thou art the guest who waits inside
Thou art the stranger at the door
Thou art the calling of the poor
Thou art my Lord and with me still
Thou art my love, keep me from ill
Thou art my Saviour this very day.”
“If you will seek the Lord your God, you will find Him, if you search after Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
“Holy and intimate God,
You are closer to us than we are to ourselves,
Yet beyond our farthest imagining:
Remind us of Your presence
As we walk the ways of daily life,
And draw us beyond ourselves
Into adoration and praise of You;
Through Jesus, Your beloved Son,
Our Brother and our Saviour.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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