Return to intimacy

When we feel far from God, restoring intimacy seems doomed to failure. We feel like prisoners, devoid of life. Sometimes the Lord has brought us to this place!

 When I speak to the rivers and say, ‘Dry up!’ they will be dry. (Isaiah44:27-NLT)

The Lord does this with an intention of restoration.

… I say to Jerusalem, ‘People will live here again,’ … I will restore all your ruins!’ (Isaiah44:26-NLT)

This is a message of hope, but can we listen? The Lord’s message comes with a context,

“Pay attention, O Jacob, for you are my servant, O Israel. I, the Lord, made you, and I will not forget you.” (Isaiah44:21-NLT)

The Lord calls on Jacob, ‘the deceiver’ whose life he had turned around after creating a threat Jacob could not worm his way out of. Having won him, he will not forget him. Jacob struggled with God through a night of anxiety till finally he surrendered and received a new identity – Israel, ‘he struggles with God and overcomes’.

We cannot orchestrate our own struggle with God only prayerfully give him permission. The Lord does the hard work of surfacing the issues, then he looks for a response.

I have swept away your sins like a cloud… Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.” (Isaiah44:22-NLT)

In Christ the price was paid. There is no chasm for us to cross, yet returning to freedom in God requires a surrender and many hang on to the end before being willing to give it.

 

You can read my source Bible study at this link.

Created perfect?

If God is so great, how come he made me like this? There are many who look at themselves and see only imperfections and a choice between a helpless God, or a God who doesn’t care.

God speaks to this in Isaiah 44:2.

This is what the Lord says – he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you:

The Lord affirms that it really is He who formed us. He does not pick up where nature leaves off. Everyone has been formed with care and purpose.

We forget that those who seem ‘perfect’ have an inner wealth that tends towards independence. They are tempted to think that they don’t need God, or worse that God needs them.

It is no accident that the following statement is that the Lord will help us. If we think, I am made so poorly I need help, we miss the wonder of our creation. We were not made to be independent but to live in partnership with God. Only in unison with the Father are we complete – the poor in spirit who inherit the Kingdom.

do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.

Dancing with an invisible partner leaves us feeling exposed. When we appreciate our situation fear rises. This takes us from a naïve presumption to real faith where we trust God to fulfil His perfection in us. He chose us not as dispensable add-ons but ones who cost Him His son’s life! We are chosen in love, with patience and care.

 

A fuller study on Isaiah 44 can be found in Biblebase2adaringfaith.