#17 for August 28, 2018
Blog #17 for August 28
After people have messed up their lives and then repented, It’s often difficult to know which way to go. But God provides a way for those who are intent on following him. God provided a way through the sea and through the River Jordan for the Israelites. And, in chapter 11, Isaiah mentions, “There will be a highway for the remnant to return” after their exile in Babylon. God also comes to us. “Your God will come to save you.” (Isaiah 35: 4). This is followed by mention of many miracles which Jesus performed, hundreds of years later, (vv. 5-10).
We are not yet living in the Messianic Kingdom described in Isaiah 11:6–10. We who are Christians are rescued and set free from slavery to the evil one. Yet evil is still rampant on the earth and often affects us. Becoming a Christian does not mean our lives will become all roses. To the contrary, it’s like joining an army. (Note that our “holy war” is not against people, but against spiritual forces of darkness, Ephesians 6:12). Satan doesn’t need to attack those who are under his command, but when we leave Satan’s army we become his enemies. Therefore he attacks us with a vengeance. But in mercy, God provides spiritual armor and weapons we need, (listed in Ephesians 6:10–18).
Jesus died to set us free from Satan. When we follow Jesus, we are called to die to self. He gives the example of a grain of wheat —if it is planted, it dies and bears fruit, (see John 12:24–26, and Gal.2:20). Dying to self means letting Jesus be on the throne of our hearts, giving up selfishness, and obeying him whole-heartedly. According to the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:31–39, there is no chance of Satan defeating us if we are “in Christ Jesus,” fighting this war on God’s side.
Whether this victory comes in our present individual lives, or in the great ending battle of Armageddon, believers will break out in praise like the glorious hymn of Isaiah 12. I read with joy that "though thou wast angry with me, thy anger turned away and thou didst comfort me. Surely God is my salvation,” (Isaiah 12:1b-2, RSV). ‘My’ in this verse, “God ismy salvation,” indicates a personal relaionship of trust in God. Our personal relationship with God is what makes it possible for us to draw the Living Water offered by Jesus. This Living Water is the Holy Spirit, who will sustain us in our journeys. In your name, Lord Jesus, I put on the belt of truth, for you are the way, the truth, the life; in you all things hold together. I accept your righteousness as my breastplate, and put on the shoes that enable me to walk in peace, spreading the gospel of peace. In your name I put on the helmet of salvation, for “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I’ve entrusted to him,”(2 Tim. 1:12). Thank you also for the shield of faith—that you are a shield about me—and for the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. I will use it to fight like Jesus did. Thank you also for teaching us through others. In Jesus’ name, Amen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yEB5qCTL0g&w=800&h=450 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yEB5qCTL0g&w=800&h=450
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