August 21, 2016

Isaiah 33:5-6 The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;
he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness.
He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.

Reading these verses in context, it is obvious these were tumultuous times, with political confusion and natural disasters. Isaiah is reminding us that we should not allow such circumstances to distract us from the underlying reality that God is God, and He will supply everything we need and more, if we will cling to Him in obedience. What a timely Word for today! I am particularly aware of the US and Japan, but political unrest seems almost universal at this point, and there is no end to natural disasters. The point is to let these things remind us to keep our focus on God. With advances in technology we tend to think the world is an extremely different place from just a few generations ago. In some ways that’s true, but human nature and this globe we live on haven’t changes essentially since the dawn of history. Technology and advances in medicine don’t eliminate greed and lust for power. If anything, they amplify the effects those vices have. Rather than be seduced by all that the devil waves in front of us, we need to be humble before our Creator and let Him show us what is really important, and apply ourselves accordingly.

This is of course as true for me as it is for anyone else. I have long been a fan of knowledge and technology, but the only knowledge that matters ultimately is knowing God, and technology will never take us to heaven. I’ve got to remember that the only things I’ll be able to take with me into eternity are people who have joined me in repentance and faith, and so submit everything else to the goal of winning as many of those as possible. I am not a natural evangelist; I am much more comfortable teaching those who have already entered God’s family. I am not to look down on the ministry of “perfecting the saints,” but I’ve got to remember that people have to be born before they can grow. I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason some church members never manifest any spiritual growth is that they were never born again in the first place. I am to keep myself fully available to the Holy Spirit, not judging people on my own but allowing God to speak His Word through me to accomplish what needs to be done in people’s hearts and lives.

Father, as I work with others, keep me from being blind to my own faults and inconsistencies. Help me keep my own repentance up to date, not allowing anything to dull the fellowship I have with You. May I fear You properly and value You completely, above and beyond anything and everything else, so that I may be the child You desire, for Your pleasure and glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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