After praying this morning for clarification on some things going on in my life, I opened God’s Word, for guidance. I do not do this because I am looking for a sign, but rather because God’s Word is my “baseline of truth” to quote our church’s Youth Pastor, Jason Easter. There is not a place in His Word that I can go where God cannot teach me something.
This verse was part of our Sunday School lesson recently and it came to mind as I was praying for guidance.
“ALL scripture is God-Breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
As a friend in class said, it doesn’t say that SOME of the Bible was inspired by God, but ALL of it. From cover to cover. The “Word of Truth,” is a gift from God that can help us in ANY circumstance that life throws at us.
So, imagine my surprise when I come to Isaiah 56:9-12. There I am, reading about the wickedness of man, and thinking, “Why couldn’t I get something cool about soaring on wings of eagles or God telling me to rest in Him?” LOL.
So, as I was reading I looked at this verse from my rose-colored glasses or from the perception of my innocence and everyone else's sin. All I could see was that the people of Israel were making bad choices…. again. "Seriously? Are they ever going to get it together?"
When I got to verse 11, the Holy Spirit stopped me in my tracks and I had to read It over again.
Isaiah 36:11 “They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way; they seek their own gain.”
How often do we think about how God needs to change the hearts of those around us but forget that though we are saved, we still dwell in the world where the motto is, "I didn't do anything wrong." We tend to see everyone else's flaws rather than taking a good look at our own. Suddenly I could see the obvious truth. I had been thinking that I was somehow better than the watchmen of Israel. But in all actuality, I am them. Not literally of course, but I am a chosen Child of God; human and flawed. Sometimes, I still want what I don’t have, lack the truth of my own sins, want my own way, and am selfish.
So, as He opened my eyes to the truth, I could see that I needed to stop praying for God to fix other people and for Him to continue His work in me. There will never be a time when I don't need to grow and learn. I am no better or more innocent than anybody else. My sins nailed Jesus to the Cross just like those of my worst enemy, and I still need to be forgiven and repent. So rather than asking Him to "fix" my problem by changing someone else, I need to ask Him to “fix” me. When we come to Him recognizing our own failures and constant need for His help, He will use our malleable hearts for our good and the advancement of The Gospel.
So my prayer today is, “Thank you Lord for the truth of your Word and that you opened my eyes to see it with clarity. God, what do you want to change in me? How can I be better for you? Show me the way to be more like Jesus and please forgive me for forgetting how far fallen I was when you pulled me in.”
“Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs:26:12
"Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgement on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge practice the very same things.” Romans 2:1-2
“Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” Ecclesiastes 7:20