Perhaps you are of the outgoing nature like myself, or perhaps you are a recluse like myself. Can you be both? Oh yes. I have to make myself step outside of my comfort zone on a daily basis. Once I get there, the Holy Spirit takes over and I can be the crazy, loud mouth chick for Jesus that everyone sees. But in reality I would much prefer to shut the doors of my home and stay inside, away from what feels like an ever condemning world with my greatest critic in the mirror.
That’s a moment of confessed reality that I don’t know if I’ve ever shared on this blog. This morning just felt like that kind of day. I have to fight the inner tent staked self who wants to stay put and get my travelin’ shoes on. Else, my share of the Lord’s work, won’t get done.
In Isaiah 54:1-5, Isaiah speaks to the children of Israel about that very thing:
The Barren Bride
Vs. 1-2 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord. Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
The Jews returned out of captivity, and this is the prophecy of their increase after settling in their own land. Our land as Gentiles is settled too, but not on this earth. It’s in Heaven above where we are seated with Christ Jesus. And yet we tend to put down tent stakes like we’re staying here. My disappointment abounds this morning in my current state of affairs. So my only solution is to write my way out of disparity by reading the word of God and listening to His Spirit in my soul. I feel as though I’m one step from captivity. Perhaps that’s how the nation of Israel felt too. Captivity was fresh, they could still smell the stench of slavery. They didn’t feel productive, they felt bound. Isaiah is there to encourage them that the Lord is not done with them. He’s really not! Never count Israel out. They are God’s chosen. Isaiah told them to enlarge the place of their tent and stretch forth.
The only way we’ll ever make a difference in this world is to stretch outside of our comfort zone and go in the direction the Lord is leading. For me it’s the local nursing home this afternoon. I’ll sing for about an hour and witness of God’s goodness. They’ll bless me and hopefully I’ll bless them. But I first must go. Tonight I’ll meet with a couple of friends who struggle as I do and we’ll share that struggle together, searching for direction and then traveling on!
The Break Through of the Broken
Vs. 3-4 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.
Israel is still the chosen people of God, but glory to God, we are the inherited lot that God has allowed to be grafted in. I feel as though the word “breakthrough” has gotten a raw deal. Too many prosperity gospel people have used it until it now leaves a bad taste in the mouth of those who understand that breakthroughs most often come from brokenness. Not the arrogance of ‘name it and claim’ it as though we control God. But an all-out, on your face experience begging God to move. That too would have likely been the state of Israel when they came out of captivity. They knew that God was in control and they were at His mercy.
This morning, I know that God is in control. And I am at His mercy when travelin’ on. I need His presence and direction. I need to believe that I am forgiven of my failures and move on in the His strength and power. If I am to see the fruit of my labor, I must not plant myself here, but sow my seeds in Heaven and allow God to give the increase.
The Beauty of the Betrothal
Vs. 5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
The bride of Christ. Me. Shari Johnson an unworthy sinner, is the bride of the Sovereign and Holy God through His redemption on the cross. Oh, how I long to see New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven; where once and for all the wickedness of this earth will be gone and the feelings of failure will be no more! But until then, I’ll prepare for the wedding by inviting more guests to the table. More brides who will know the feeling of belonging.
Until then, I will Travel on, even on days that I don’t feel like it…
This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complainT… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.
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