Thursday, March 3

Isaiah study

"I will meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways"
Psalm 119:15

I mentioned before that I'm doing my first precepts* study and I would really like to share what God is showing me personally. I figure if I don't have my testimony of the Lord's work in me, what do I have? And if I don't share that testimony, what am I doing? I pray that if nothing else, if you are reading this, that you see how gracious, patient, merciful, loving and kind God is if He will take the time to show Himself faithful, in even the littlest things, in a sinner's life such as mine.

*a precept is: a commandment or direction given as a rule of action or conduct. God's word is His commandment, direction, instructions to us! Studying His precepts is to meditate on these and really know them. If we know them then we will know Him.

We completed chapters 1 and 2 of Isaiah last week and I learned so much! I learned the context of history and the state of the people who Isaiah was speaking to. Lots of history. Lots of sin. Lots of idolotry.

One of the things I desire from this study is to be cautious of gaining head knowledge that never travels to and transforms my heart. I have seen God's faithfulness in answering my prayers on this because as we go through th history and the context of this book, He has made it about the similarities of my life, my choices and my sin, rather then focusing on what the Isrealites were doing, how they were disobedient. As if I'm uncapable of the same sins as they were committing.

Instead He has been faithful to answer my prayer and prepare my heart to see how I am the same. Capable of idol and mindless worship, to go through ritual actions but lack the true heart of sacrifice and praise that God really wants from me. Oh, I am so guilty.

But He is ready, waiting to forgive. Every time.

"To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?" says the Lord. "I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, Or of lambs or goats.
Isaiah 1:11

Of course, we don't offer these kind of sacrifices any more. That was replaced by the ultimate sacrifice, the pure blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. But we are called to lay our lives down, pick up our cross and follow in Christ's footsteps. {Luke 9:23} Loving a life of sacrifice to others unto the Lord. 

But our sacrifices can be come empty or for man's approval and praise instead purely unto the Lord. I am afraid that many of mine have. God is showing me this but I know He won't stop at that. Just as in Isaiah He gives the Israelites the opportunity to turn back to Him and He'll forgive them and make them new! He does the same  for me.

"Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them."
Isaiah 1:14 {emphasis mine}

I'm going to be honest, this one stings. I know God had this verse for me right now. The way that He says "your" to these activities that the people where doing and calling them worship. They weren't from God. He never asked them to do them. Disobeying God isn't just doing what He told us not to do, but also doing what He never intended us to do in the first place.

After reading this and hearing Him speak right to my heart, I have to stop and think how much of my time is filled with activities or desires that He never intended for me. I'll tell you, it's stopped me dead in my tracks and makes me want to get on my face, repent of my actions and ask Him to teach me, show me just what to cut out, what to keep and what to add.

Time is short. Jesus is coming back to judge and to reign this earth. When we don't know, but He will return, that is certain. What will He find me doing? Furthering my kingdom or His?

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