Wednesday, May 19, 2010

UNFAMILIAR PATHS

A. Brother
©2010 Narrowgate Publishing


“For a long time I kept silent,
I have been quiet and have held myself back.
But now, like a woman in childbirth,
I cry out, I gasp, I pant…
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
Along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth…
I will not forsake them.”  --Isaiah 42:14,16

“Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
who have ears but are deaf.”  --Isaiah 42:20


            God desires to lead His people out of blindness and deafness, and along unfamiliar paths.  He will guide us; it will not be a way of our own choosing.
            God’s people have become blind and deaf…”a people plundered and looted, all of them trapped in pits or hidden away in prisons.”   --Isaiah 42:22
          These pits we have dug ourselves.
            Money pits.  Ambition pits.  Prisons of private sin.  Idolatrous holes dug by our own hands.
            God’s people, redeemed without money by His gracious provision in Christ, have sold themselves for worthless things.  Like Esau they have sold their glorious birthright for a meal.  Like the early American Indians they have sold Manhattan for a few trinkets and worthless baubles.
            We, the Chosen of God, are blind and deaf to the wonders of God, yet spend our time and money pursuing the pitifully poor “wonders” of the world.

            The patience of God has stretched as far as He’s going to stretch it.
            He has “kept silent” through generations of sin and deepening blindness and deafness.  God’s people, trapped, looted, poor, pitiful, blind and naked, continue to ignore His Word and its repeated warnings.

            “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’  But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked…Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.  So be earnest and repent.”  --Rev. 3:17,19

          The Lord arises.  His love prompts Him to action.
            He will not allow His people, those who are supposed to know Him and follow Him, to languish in their holes and prisons, and to be held captive.
            We have not listened to God’s quiet knocking on our doors!  God knocks, Jesus knocks, the Holy Spirit whispers in our ear, shines light on our way, and yet we refuse to hear or see or open the door!  We are too busy with our worldly pursuits.
            The Lord will act loudly now, with shouts and roars.  Now the arm of God will “lay waste the mountains and hills and dry up all their vegetation…turn rivers into islands and dry up their pools.”  --Isaiah 42:15 
            His patience with His blind and deaf people has ended.  His discipline is at work in our lives now.

            God will throw away the ‘religious’ blind man’s cane and begging cup, and insist that he fall on his knees and beg help from the Lord Himself.
            God will throw away the hearing aids of the ‘religious’ deaf, and bind his hands, making him unable to use even sign language, insisting the he learn to pray and hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. 
            God will take away the crutches of the ‘religious’ lame, and insist that he turns to the Lord for healing, so he can walk by the power of God.
            God will remove the hiding places and shove His ‘religious’ people into life; make them face their sins and their apostasies and grow up into the Head, who is Christ.
            God will tear down ‘religious’ structures we have made on our own—the organizations and temples of sticks and mud—and build palaces for us in Heaven by His own hand.
            God will take away our earthly ‘religious’ treasures so that some of us—“those who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart”—may begin building heavenly wealth.

            We, the chosen of God, are to turn back from our worldly rush, and repent fully of our apostasy.  We are to forsake our hiding places, even those that have the word “church” over the door.  We must turn back to the Lord, and fall on our knees before Him today.  He is rising to show us compassion, even though we have sinned and stayed away from Him far too long.

            “…along unfamiliar paths I will guide them.”  --Isaiah 42:16

          Don’t cower in fear over this new path.  Take Jesus’ hand and enter the Narrow Gate with Him.  Though you can’t see ahead, this is by God’s design.  It is His path, and He will be our light.  He will be our guide.  He will take us through.
            This unfamiliar path was known in the early days of Christ’s people as The Way.  It is Jesus’ Way.  It is the Way of Love.  The Way of the Cross.  The Way of Righteousness.  It is the Only Way.
            Abandon gladly your crutches and canes, your eyeglasses and hearing aids, your hiding places and holes in the ground.
            The wonders of God will be shown to those who seek Him above all.
           
           

2 comments:

  1. Perhaps the saddest picture in the NT is that of Rev 3:20. Jesus is standing OUTSIDE His own church, knocking on the door, wanting to come in! How can this be? How dare we run the church as if it were some religious club? Why do our lips confess Jesus as Lord, but our churches treat Him as some historical figure that does not, really, interact with His Church? Is it not time to repent?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Brother--it is time to repent. I agree. The Spirit is speaking, and we have to listen or be lost along with the world. Jesus is knocking, knocking, knocking, and the party goes on inside the churches. Love your comments.

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