Friday, January 12, 2018

FOCUS 2018 - Post 5

We read in Isaiah 58 that the people were busy coming before the Lord with what they thought would get His attention and release His blessing. As they came with fasting, they saw themselves as righteous and obedient, seeking God's presence. And yet God told Isaiah to confront them about how out of alignment their lives were with His ways and desires. God asked them, "Is what you are doing what I really want?" The intent was to awaken the people to recalibrate and refocus on what was pleasing to God.

And here is the mercy of God to all of us: when we find ourselves out of alignment God comes to renew us to His plan and His promise. "This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope: The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:21-13). So the Lord comes to His people to tell them what He is looking for and the reward that is theirs if they respond and seek His pleasure.

We see in Isaiah 58 how the Lord tenderly renews these people to His plan and destiny over their lives. He sets before them the "if...then" breakthrough. "If you will choose this, then I will release this to you." Understand that our Father is responsible for fulfilling His promises to us but He is not responsible for our potential and the choices we make toward that. He will keep reminding us about who we are in Him and the abundance He wants to release to us as we move within His pleasures.

Here we see the Lord longing to bring them into increased light that impacts those around them. He wants to bring them into recovery of things lost to them. He wants to surround them with His glory that protects them and provides. He wants them to come into such relationship with Him that they know their voice is heard immediately and He will answer. They would walk with Him and He would guide them. They would see the devastated places of their lives become the very places of greatest fruitfulness and power. Not only that, but they would begin to rebuild the previous glory of their culture and restore to prominence of the wisdom of heaven in their nation. God would use them to become the answer to unsolvable problems and lead the way into a glorious future as God had promised when He first brought them into this land flowing with milk and honey.

As we seek the Lord this month for 2018, ask Holy Spirit to reveal the promises He has for us individually and as a church. As we set our hearts to know what is pleasing to the Lord and give ourselves to these things, let us anticipate the mercy of the Lord to come upon us and break open massive restoration, fulfillment, empowerment and glory which positions us to become the answer to our valley, nation and the nations where God will send us. It's a new day!

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