Back into the swing of things again! One more quarter till Christmas! Yayyy! XD
It’s the final week of my devotional! I am so glad I’ve gotten to share this with you all. After this is done, I encourage you to keep going and pursuing the Lord in this area of life. 🙂
Choose Joy. (Is 55:12-13)
12 You will indeed go out with joy
and be peacefully guided;
the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush, a cypress will come up,
and instead of the brier, a myrtle will come up;
it will make a name for Yahweh
as an everlasting sign that will not be destroyed.
As we come to the end of Isaiah 55, these verses fit right into everything that has been mentioned previously. It serves its purpose as the end-cap, so to speak, of the passage. While only thirteen verses long, this chapter is packed full of important messages. It’s an invitation into something more. Jesus wants you to come. It’s worth more than all other things of this life. He wants us to pay attention; keep our ears trained to His voice. He promised that He is maintaining a covenant with us, just like His covenant with King David.
He wants us to call on His name, because the Holy Spirit lives in us, giving us constant access to the heart of the Father. He reminds us that He is a compassionate and gentle God. On top of that, He rules with a mighty hand. His thoughts are not ours, and His ways are so much higher. His promises never fail. What He has spoken, He will complete it.
And then we get to verses 12 and 13. The most important part to know and remember about these verses is the fact that they are not a promise of happy sunshine and rainbows. It mentions thorn bushes being replaced by cypress trees, briers being replaced by myrtle bushes. These aren’t just random plant metaphors. Cypress trees grow in soil with high acid content. Myrtles grow in shade. Yes, they are replacing things that are ugly and dead, but not without hardship. These plants are extremely valuable, but they aren’t grown in “nice” conditions.
It’s really interesting to read through the entire chapter as a whole after this verse. The passage is not phrased in a dark way, but reading between the lines, we know that Isaiah and the people of Israel have gone through very hard times. Despite this, verses 12 and 13 proclaim that people “will go out with joy and be peacefully guided”.
There is a strong statement being made here.
It’s known by Christians everywhere that this world can at times be unfriendly, rough and crude, and often just downright evil. However, because of the Spirit living in us, we have the ability in every situation and circumstance to choose joy. In those moments, that is what brings God glory.
Time and time again through scripture, we see people choose joy in scary moments. This isn’t superficial happiness; we are talking about real joy. This doesn’t mean goofy smiling. This means having hope and trusting the Lord, even when it hurts.
Christians who are able to do this, do it out of trust in God. How does that happen? In order for trust to be built, a relationship must exist. Not surprisingly, a relationship is born from listening to each other.
It all circles back to constant conversation with the Lord. It seems weird at first if you haven’t gone to that place in your relationship with Him, but after some time, you won’t even notice that you do it.
It’s not a crazy thing like some people might think. It’s simply quieting your heart and asking to hear. Everyone hears Him, but it’s dependent on whether or not you have tuned your ears to listen.
He wants to be close with you. He already surrounds you and loves you. He is the protector and provider. All He asks is that you accept His invitation. I would challenge you to do so in the next week, and to begin quieting your heart to listen to what He has to say.
When you do, it’ll blow you away.
God, thank you for your radical invitation to all of your children. Thank you for pursuing a deeper, more intimate relationship. Plug our hearts into Yours. We want to hear Your heartbeat. We want to walk with You, Father. Make us ready for Your return someday. Lift our heads and call us higher. You are amazingly faithful, and we repent of the times where we have not been faithful in response to You. God, You are a gracious father. Continue to call the prodigal. We choose to partner in Your big plan. We adore you, Abba. Bless this church and this city. We love you.
- Lord, how do you want me to go from here?
- Teach me to quiet my heart and listen, Jesus, even in the hardship.
- Father, teach me to praise You and trust You.
song of the week: one of my favorites!
Let me know what you think! Tell me about what you’ve discovered! I’m happy to chat with you guys! I love this kind of thing, and I’m so glad that you’ve read it! I know i said this at the top but continue to pursue. Don’t let it stop at words on a (web!)page. 🙂
Now go forth, mis amigos and amigas, and smile. Your day is just beginning. Make the best of it. Don’t procrastinate. Work hard. Make me proud. 🙂
Love you all,