The glory of the Lord is shining upon you.
You will see greater things than this.
- Too often we focus on the shoulds and should nots of being a Christian. Too often we are all about the behaivior. Yet time and again, Jesus talks about living from the inside out. If we have Christ within us, the outside will take care of itself. But we still persist in trying to live up to other people’s expectations of what a Christian looks like. We put on the right clothes, say the right things, paste on the everythingsfine smile, and avoid anything that might reveal our true characters. We live in a “don’t ask, don’t tell” world and we sink into the superficiality of ordinary Christianity.
- As I read these passages in Isaiah 60-62, I see a God who is ready to lavish us with affection and blessings. I see a God who loves us and desires to elevate us to the highest place in His universe. We are His highest priority and He is not ashamed to say so. All He asks is that we don’t turn our backs on Him or degrade ourselves.
- This is where we get mixed up on the behaivior. We start acting “right” because we want God to love us. We think that He expects us to behave and then He will love us and bestow these blessings on us. HA! We are so wrong.
- It is more like this: He wants us to avoid the pain and depravity of our own selfish ways. He doesn’t want us to be hurt, so He warns us of things that will tear us down. He wants to build us up, so He teaches us things that will benefit our lives.
- For instance, last night we watched a video about pregnancy. In it they mentioned how susceptible the fetus is to damage in the first trimester. If Jen were to have an accident, in the first three months, the baby could be damaged. So, with that information, she is taking steps to avoid problems. She is very conscious of her actions and trying hard to not eat anything, injest any bad medications or chemicals, or to engage in any activites that would be harmful. She isn’t do this in order to make the baby healthy, she is doing it because the baby is healthy and she doesn’t want to hurt it.
- That is how we should view God’s teachings. We are beautiful in His eyes and He wants nothing but the best for us. He is hoping we won’t do anything to degrade ourselves. He is asking us to do everything to achieve the best life available — the abundant life.
- I sometimes feel like I’m in a cage and I try to escape. I don’t believe God when He says He loves me more than I love myself. I think I can eat this, forget that, and just do my own thing. In moderation, I can get away with a little hedonistic pleasure and I can still appear to be a “good” person without too many vices. But the fact remains, I end up just coasting and never achieving anything great in my life. It never gets better.
- God hasn’t put me in a cage. No — He has put me in a sanctuary — a refuge where I am safe from Satan’s and the world’s attacks. As long as I choose to remain in this sanctuary, I am safe and I can enjoy all of the rich blessings God has to offer. If I leave the refuge, I am faced with “lions and tigers and bears — oh my!”
- This is where God is going to live, so I choose to live here too. This is where the richness of His glory exists and this is where I will bask in His love.
- Father God, I am hungry for your love and your protection. I want to live the life you offer me, but I am weak. I fall down. I get distracted. I lose my way. “I believe Lord, please help my unbelief.” Please help me to stay on track and to not settle into the superficiality that exists in our world. Teach me to be real and relevant, to be transparent and transformed — teach me to experience you in the fullest way possible. Teach me God to move past the lies and misconceptions of who you are and to settle into the refuge and safety of your grace, your love, and your forgiveness. That’s all I want — to be with You! Thanks God!
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