#42 for November 27, 2018
When God pours out his Spirit upon a person, the life is transformed. Some examples of transformed lives are the Apostle Paul, Christ’s disciples, Zacchaeus, and Mary Magdalene in the New Testament, plus Nicky Cruz (Run Baby Run), and Alexandra Zamora (Oasis for the Nations).
Isaiah speaks of transformation: When we receive his Spirit, we know our Redeemer.
“I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your descendants, and my blessing on your offspring. They shall spring up like grass amid waters, like willows by flowing streams.
“This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s, another will call himself by the name of Jacob, and another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’ and surname himself by the name of Israel. Thus says the LORD the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.”(Isaiah 44:3-6).
These first verses of Isaiah 44 were especially comforting and encouraging to me when I was going through my wilderness. Verses 1-8 made me feel like God was holding me on his lap and gently talking with me, giving promises both for me and for my children. My heart was the “dry, thirsty ground.” I rejoiced in his promise to send his Spirit upon my descendants!
In his mercy, God wants to grant salvation–to give people his righteousness! We can’t be right with God by doing right things, but when we agree that we are sinners and need a Savior, and when we believe that in Christ all our sins have been forgiven, then we are right with God.” In our ongoing life of faith, God doesn’t want us to deal with obstacles in our own power, but to live in surrender to him, trusting in his promises.
Later in this chapter, God pleads with his people to remember. He is not casting away his people because of their sin, rather he is begging them to return to him. He longs to forgive them (and us).
“Yet even now, be free from your captivity,”(v. 20). When you are redeemed, you will feel like singing, (LB) or shouting (NIV). Isaiah encourages them to leave Babylon (when Cyrus gives them permission.) They needed to act on faith in order to be redeemed.
Acting on faith “is to construct your life in active response to the revelation of God. It is to live in accordance with what he has said and is saying in his Word,”(Oswalt, 541).
May you know the Redeemer and place your life in his hands. Be Blessed.
Judith Vander Wege