Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken falsehood, your tongue mutters wickedness. (Isaiah 59:1-3)
Often when God doesn't act immediately on our behalf, we begin to think that He doesn't hear us or that He "can't save us." We fear that He's not able to meet our need. Yet Isaiah points out in verse two of this passage that it's our sin that keeps God from working in our lives, not His inability to act or to hear us. It's our sin that separates Him from us.
God is omnipotent, all powerful, able to do anything He chooses to do. And He is omniscient, all knowing. He hears and sees everything we say and do. If God doesn't act on our behalf, it is not because He isn't able to, it is simply because He has chosen not to because of our rebellion and stubborn refusal to obey Him.
How sad it is that we follow our own way, do what we want to do, and make our own decisions without ever consulting the Lord. Yet when we get in trouble, or when we come to a roadblock in our lives that we can't move or circumvent, we cry out to God to help us. "Lord, make it all better! Lord, I need your help!" Then when He doesn't answer in our timeframe, we wonder why.
If we would take the time to fully grasp who God is and what He expects of us, and learn to delight in Him, we would be amazed at how magnificently He would meet every need in our lives... and not only our needs, but the desires of our hearts as well (Psalm 37:4)!
One of the greatest sins we commit is that we expect God to do our will and by that expectation, we fail to give Him proper place in our lives. It's as if we think of God as a kind, powerful genie who will grant our multiple wishes, then when we're satisfied, will slip back into His bottle until we need Him again. That kind of thinking astounds me! If we would grasp the power of God and just who He really is, we would never dare to act in such a way.
Consider for a moment who we are talking about:
And this is the very God that we expect to be at our beck and call when we want Him to be, and then to leave us alone and let us run our own lives when we don't. We want His blessings but we don't want to be obligated to obey His commands or live by His precepts.
Do we even grasp the magnitude of our sin against Him?! It is only by His nature, which is love itself (1 John 4:8), that God does not completely annihilate us and grind us back into the very dust from which we came.
It's time we open our eyes to just who God is. It's time we examine our hearts and our attitudes toward Him and examine our expectations of Him. And it's time we eradicate this hellish belief that has crept into our minds that God owes us something.
God, in His love and His mercy toward us, has given us many wonderful promises, and He is faithful to fulfill those promises. But God owes us NOTHING. He has already given much more than we deserve when He gave His very life on a cross so that we could find forgiveness for our gross sin against Him. He owes us nothing else whatsoever. We, however, owe Him our very existence and it's time we recognize that fact and act accordingly.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, please forgive our sin against You. Please forgive our rebellion and our self-willed pride and our gall in thinking that we deserve anything good from You. With David's heart we cry, "Lord, against You and You only have I sinned!" Please forgive our sins and wash us so that we will be whiter than snow and renew a right spirit within us that we may be able to stand in Your presence. We humbly pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
Darlene "Dee" Bishop
All scripture used is from the New American Standard (NASB), © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.
Copyright © 2006 Darlene Bishop. All rights reserved worldwide.
Darlene "Dee" Bishop is a Nazarene pastor, creative designer and writer. Visit her Website at http://christiansitesolutions.com to see how she can help your church create an affordable Internet presence and develop effective online solutions today.
(The artile is available to general media, publications and webmasters under condition that the author's name and the link to www.paulmurphybooks.com will be provided under the article.)