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Guided and Unanxious

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Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective

The audio for this article can be heard here: SermonAudio.com/StudyGrowKnow

Before we get into today’s topic, I’d like to list some links to some information concerning CV-19.

Questions need to be asked and answered. Is the CV-19 vax a depopulation experiment? In reality, the human “studies” are actually happening now. Hard to believe Big Pharma is completely unaware of potential dangers and problems with the mRNA-based vaccine. But let’s move on…

Isaiah 58:11 continued

The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. (NKJV)

We noted last time that God’s promises usually come with an implied condition. Often though, that condition is spelled out in other verses around it. This is the case with Isaiah 58:11.

Chapter 58 discusses the actual meaning of true fasting; fasting that pleases the Lord. God explains through the prophet Isaiah that while the people of Israel did participate in fasting, they essentially did so with wrong attitudes. Fasting for most of them was simply something they did on the outside with no real impact for them on the inside because they were simply going through the motions and doing what “had” to be done in order to say they were “righteous.” This was the exact problem with the Pharisees during Jesus’ day, who believed they were “righteous” because of what they did, not realizing that righteousness begins with the proper heart attitude.

God goes further with His meaning of the results of true feasting, starting in verse 6. God literally points out that true fasting should result in things like:

  • helping the oppressed
  • giving food to the hungry
  • providing clothing for those without

We can sum these up with “loving others as yourself” and when these are done from the heart, then comes the blessing (verses 8-9):

Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’

Then, like good Hebrew poetry, God repeats what He says using slightly different examples in verse 10. Following this verse is the Isaiah 58:11 verse we discussed previously. In essence, this is proof that God’s promises are often (though not always), conditional. This was for the Israelite and it is for the Christian.

We have two choices as we walk through this life. We can go through the outward motions of living the Christian life while our hearts are somewhere else completely; usually focused on ourselves and our wants, or we can endeavor to live the way the Lord wants us to live and do so from our hearts. The heart’s condition is the true dividing line and something only God can judge. Most of us cannot even rightly judge our own heart until and unless God opens our eyes to it.

If we choose to go simply through the motions without any reality to our lives, God has something to say to us:

Be sure your sin will find you out (Numbers 23:23; KJV)

We can be sure that if we choose to use “religion” or Christianity for our own ends, God is not mocked. At some point either during our life or after it, the sins that we lived for, held dear and designed our life to hide will come out. We should make no mistake about this.

However, if we choose to strive to live for God from our heart in submission to Him and His will, we can be assured that on those occasions when we do sin, the Holy Spirit will bring it to our attention and give us the opportunity to confess and be thankful for His forgiveness. We can then move on in our relationship with God as we continue in fellowship with Him.

Isaiah 58:11 tells us what our life will be like if we are willing to do the things that God wants us to do in this life and He doesn’t want us to do them grudgingly. He wants us to do them because we want to do them, with the right attitude and outlook. That will take growth in Him over time. As our fellowship with God develops and grows, our heart’s desires will become more inclined to His will. We don’t do these things to gain salvation. We do them because we have salvation.

Isaiah 41:10 continued
We began unpacking this verse in our previous article titled “Fear Not.” Let’s continue with the next part of the verse where we left off.

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)

Consider the entire context of this verse; namely all of Chapter 41, and you’ll see a grand picture of the God of Israel, as the Helper of Israel. He is the same Helper of every authentic Christian today. God explains to Israel how much He cares for them with picturesque language.

God chose Israel for Himself, to be His servant. God’s goal was to have Israel be the beacon of Light/Truth to a dark world as His plan of redemption unfolded. The continual cycle of failure, judgment, restoration of Israel due to their lack of commitment to His promises/covenant, was something that continued throughout the Old Testament Scriptures. This appears to be the way too many Christians also live their lives.

In Isaiah 41:10, God tells the people of Israel of His involvement with them in order to help them along their earthly path; to live correctly. In doing so, they will experience God’s blessing on their lives. This same thing holds true for the Christian who endeavors to be a Christian after God’s own heart.

In the second statement from the above verse, God says essentially the same thing as in the first statement, with a slightly different emphasis. While He said “fear not” and “I am with you” initially, He now says, “Be not dismayed” and “I am your God.”

The command, “Be not dismayed” has a sense of urgency about it, in the original Hebrew. The word “dismayed” literally means to be in terror, to break down, or to be bewildered. Anyone who has ever experienced this type of thing understands how emotionally destructive it can be. God wants us to “not look about ourselves with anxiousness” with respect to the present or the future. God says because He is our God, there is no reason to be in dismay. None. Yet, we often are, so why is that? Because of a severe lack of concerted effort on our part.

With respect to present or future events, God is saying, “Don’t fear! I am in your life as God!” The meaning here is that because He is our God (a condition signalling our relationship to and with Him), we should not settle for fear or anxiety in our lives. Instead, we should look to Him and away from Self. Doing so puts a different perspective on things. Job learned this very clearly toward the end of the book of Job.

Unfortunately, for many to most of us, we have to hear God’s promises repeatedly before those promises start to become real for us. This is why it is so important to spend time memorizing Scripture so that we can always recall it, dwell on it, and pray it. God honors that effort.

God wants us to walk in victory but that victory only comes as we do at least two things:

  • by His strength, live as He wants us to live
  • believe that He will fulfill His promises to us based on how we live

This is also the process of developing true humility. Without humility, we cannot come to the point of truly having faith in God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

One scholar has provided this interpretation as a paraphrase of the literal Hebrew of the above verse:

Don’t fear. With you I am.  Don’t be afraid and act in ways that make you anxious.  I am God; your God, not just any god but the God who is with you in every possible way.  You are safe with Me.” [1; bold in author’s original]

I’ll emphasize again that we do not work for or attempt to earn our salvation! Salvation is God’s free gift to all who exercise faith in Jesus and His redemptive work on our behalf. Once we have received salvation, it is extremely important to start living in a way that pleases God. This we must do, but how? By understanding and knowing exactly what He expects of us. How is that accomplished? Only by reading His Word thoroughly so that it becomes hidden in our hearts. The Holy Spirit can then recall it as a means of divine guidance as we walk through life.

Being a Christian does not end with salvation. It begins there and our lives following that point of conversion should be one of continued growth toward God and fulfillment of His will (not ours).

[1] https://skipmoen.com/2019/03/the-promise-3/

Theology and Politics from a Conservative, Biblical Perspective



Source: https://studygrowknowblog.com/2021/04/26/guided-and-unanxious/


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