For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” Says the Lord. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word. Isaiah 66: 2
Reverence: profound respect and love. An attitude toward God of honor, appreciation, and obedience to His word.
Tonight as I broke down in the presence of God and told him all of my heart’s anxious thoughts, he whispered “Isaiah 66”. Now initially I thought God was referring to the promise of a new kingdom, a new heaven and a new earth where there will be no more suffering. But as I meditated, I realized God was accepting my prayer. God knows when we are not sincere, and He also knows when we are completely transparent before Him. None of us is perfect, and we have problems and inner issues which we wrestle with for peace and joy. We all want peace and we all want to be happy. But we are all, also very human.
God’s ways are not our ways and this in itself tempts us to become our own Gods. We are tempted to become defiant, out of desperation or bitter in frustration, or depressed from unmet expectations. This is not always God’s fault, and if it is God wants us to say “so what God, even if you kill me, I will still serve you, I still need you, I don’t want to be without you.”
God is honored by our disposition of understanding. When we understand who God is, and who we are we cannot be cast down. We may slip, fall and grow weary but we will not be food for the devil to eat. There is a great difference in someone who has reverence and some who believes they will lose their salvation. God is not a dictator, He is not a court deputy with a list of sins that we have committed, saying today you are saved but yesterday you were not. That is not God. That’s humanity: human logic.
That may be what religion teaches us, but God has taught me grace. The bible says that God turns away from the proud. Who else does God turn away from? Let’s go in the bible and read:
- Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud. Psalm 138:6
- But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59: 2
Now is there a definite consequence for sin? Of course! But this is not to say that God takes His spirit from you, or takes his free salvation because you fell into sin. The difference in all this is your heart. I will not ever stop preaching this! God sees your heart, and He knows it better than you do ! If God knows you have not truly repented, you are not fooling him, only yourself. God knows if you deliberately went after sin, and he says there is no more sacrifice for those decisions. Once you begin to sin and do so defiantly, or thinking that your own strength will keep you from committing sin: again, you are fooling yourself.
God is not pleased when there is arrogance and pride in our hearts.
Pride makes our hearts hard, and we turn a deaf ear to God. On the other hand, if you are like me and tend to think that you are strong enough to defeat sin, then yes you are mistaken! The similarity in these two circumstances is pride. There is hidden pride, self interest and self reliance.
Self interest, makes us act out of character. And makes us like Noemi from the book of Ruth who changed her name to Marah. This is the person who says : why did this happen to me, why God? I don’t like your will God, I want my will to be done! While self dependence is the church of Galatia. They were being taught that believing was not enough. They were beginning to believe in works and not in works that are birthed through our love for God, but from obligation and fear of judgement. Some people stay in sin, and go to church because they do not want their families to judge them, or people to look at them different: this is pride. Some people serve in 20 ministries and hate it because they think they can please the pastor, and not be judged as irresponsible. Others do it because they think they can earn God’s love. We all have issues with pride, it is part of our human nature!
Let’s remember that CHRIST died for us WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS!
We were saved by Grace. And Grace will complete the work.
Lord Jesus, thank you for this word. I thank you for all of us believers, and unbeliever who have yet to accept you or even know of you: I pray you would give us the grace to be humble before you. Help us to put away childish things which do not please you, things like greediness, egoism, manipulation, self dependence, defiance and all that I may not know how to put into words. Make our hearts white as snow Lord, help us in those areas which we are ignorant of and in those areas that we do not want to deal with, in Jesus name, Amen.