Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Today’s Topic: May I Have Your Attention?
Today’s Text: Isaiah 32:10 In little more than a year you who feel secure will tremble; the grape harvest will fail, and the harvest of fruit will not come.
Massive winter storms in America.
Cyclones with 180 mile per hour winds in Australia.
Civil unrest in Egypt threatening the political stability of the region.
Oil prices projected to more than double.
Need I go on? All around us things are anything but normal. Peace of mind is a past tense experience for many. Worry is building. Fear is replacing faith.
Life has been good for a long time for most of us in America. There have been ups and downs and some financial and political storms, but we have always weathered them. We have been trained by history to believe that this too shall pass. So we tighten our belts for a time, make some adjustments to our lifestyle, and plan for the day when it’s over and we can get back to living the way we dream to live.
Well guess what? One of these days the storm won’t pass. Listen – I’m not trying to ruin your day or be the gloom and doom man, but the truth is that God’s Word says there is a time coming when the storm will not pass. These preliminary storms are not supposed to strengthen our resolve to survive and get back everything we may have lost. They are to get our attention and turn our hearts towards God so that we learn to trust Him and experience His peace no matter what the storm may bring.
Listen to the Word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah as He speaks to people who had become complacent about their faith and dependent upon their culture for their value and purpose. (Men, pay attention – this applies to us as well even though it’s addressed to women).
You women who are so complacent, rise up and listen to me; you daughters who feel secure, hear what I have to say! In little more than a year you who feel secure will tremble; the grape harvest will fail, and the harvest of fruit will not come. Tremble, you complacent women; shudder, you daughters who feel secure! Strip off your clothes, put sackcloth around your waists. The fortress will be abandoned, the noisy city deserted; citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever, the delight of donkeys, a pasture for flocks, till the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, (my emphasis) and the desert becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field seems like a forest. Justice will dwell in the desert and righteousness live in the fertile field. The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. Though hail flattens the forest and the city is leveled completely, how blessed you will be, (my emphasis) sowing your seed by every stream, and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.
There is one reason and one reason only that the storms of life, whether in nature or in your personal life, continue to rage – we are not seeking God with all our heart. We are more in love with the world than we are with God. We are more in love with ourselves than we are with God. We do not love Jesus with all our heart because we reserves sections of it for the pleasures of the world. We do not love God with all our mind because we allow the lust of the flesh to captivate our thinking. We do not love God with all our soul because we still seek to satisfy our need for acceptance and value with the approval of people. We do not love God with all our strength because we so easily give in to the temptations of sin. And as a result, there are storms.
My friends, the storms will continue to come because the power of sin will continue to dominate the world and keep them from turning to Jesus. But those storms must not turn our hearts from the love of God. In fact, in the life of one who truly loves God, the storms draw us closer and we experience more grace and more peace. May the storms today, whatever they are wherever you are, turn your eyes upon Jesus. Every storm is God’s megaphone through which He is shouting, May I have your attention?