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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Importance of Fruit, #9
For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. (Isaiah 54:3—NIV)
Can you imagine a promise as fantastic as this being made to someone who has no children? God deals this way with us if we have been chosen to bear extraordinary fruit. We look around at other people who are making things happen. They are not impressed with our claims that we are waiting on God and trusting Him. They let us know that God helps those who help themselves. Hagar mocks Sarah.
Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. (Isaiah 54:4—NIV)
This is what we are afraid of—that those who have despised us will be proven right. We really were mistaken. God is not to be trusted in this manner. We have been chasing the wind. We should have been out "doing God's work" like everyone else. Look how they have prospered!
But God promises those who look to Him that they will not suffer shame, disgrace, or humiliation. Yet we have waited on God since we were young. Now we are old and nothing has happened. None of the marvelous promises have appeared. It must be that God is just not that real. We have to be practical and employ various strategies if we are to build the Kingdom.
There are many books out now on church growth. Why don't we hire a church-growth expert so he can teach us how to gain members? The professionals can show us what we are doing wrong.
For your Maker is your husband—the LORD Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. (Isaiah 54:5—NIV)
Yes, I know God is great. But does He care about the details? Is He waiting for me to do something? When I pray He keeps on telling me of the marvels He intends to perform. Maybe I have been deceived.
But He says He is my Husband. This should mean He really does care and know. Why would He promise me something and then not do it? I just can't believe He would let me down.
Some day I will look Him in the face. I will not turn away. I have walked in integrity. I have done all I know to do. I have left no stone unturned.
If I have been wrong I have been wrong. But all He has to do is speak one word and I will obey. Why then would He permit me to be deceived? I will yet hope in God.
The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—a wife who married young, only to be rejected, says your God. (Isaiah 54:6—NIV)
Maybe we were used by the Lord when we were a new Christian. But then what happened? Others graduate from Bible school and in two years they are pastoring a church of three thousand people. But that is not the way it was with us. As we followed the Lord He did not make us a great one in the church world. And so we have watched young men and women rise to fame and success, but we have had to be content to remain obscure.
To be continued.