Isaiah 55:6-7

Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7

Starting Sunday our congregation is going to spend six weeks doing The Daniel Plan. Basically, it is a clarion call to be more mindful of the stewardship of our own bodies. From Sunday messages to small group meetings to reading the material, we are going to be invited to try on some new behaviors and rely on God in new ways.

Lord knows I need that!

There are many areas of my life where I warmly welcome God’s presence and guidance. But then there are key areas where I hold back and try to do it on my own. Even as I type these words, I want to go back and delete them. Admitting that I hold back key areas of life from God’s influence on me isn’t a very nice “pastorly” thing to say. But it is true.

It isn’t always easy but I consistently seek God’s guidance and support at work and in many areas of my home life. I pray for my wife and our children. I ask for God’s action and intervention in lots of different places and situations around the world. But when it comes to the more personal things – like what I eat and how much I exercise and the bad habits that I like – I prefer to drive my own bus. So following The Daniel Plan will be an interesting adventure for me.

With this in mind, I welcome the Bible reading for today: “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.” This seems to be much more than poetic words written long ago by Isaiah. This feels very close to God’s heart and God’s intentions for our lives. This reflects a God who is both personal and available in practical, down to earth, ways.

And yet in the back of my mind I hear the whispers of that voice that doesn’t even want to try anything different because it is already certain of failure. That is the voice of fear. It masquerades as self doubt but really it is prideful self-sufficiency. It isn’t that I don’t believe that God CAN help, instead, it is about my own stubborn refusal to ask for help. That two year old “I want to do it myself!” is still alive and kicking in me.

Again God shows up. “…Let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” God shows up, not with condemnation and “I told you so!” but with mercy and pardon. God doesn’t require perfection, but God does invite us to count on God’s presence and seek God’s help.

This will be a great adventure in faith.

Let us pray: Dear Lord, you are as close to us as our next breath. Yet we push you away, we turn our backs to you, we ignore you even as you stand right next to us. Soften our hearts and still our fears, that we might turn to you in all things, in all areas of our lives, seeking your will and your guidance. Do for us what we cannot do for ourselves and free us to do what we can. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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2 Responses to “Isaiah 55:6-7”

  1. Steve Leeman Says:

    Love your honesty. Thanks.

  2. Carolee Groux Says:

    I like your statement, “God shows up, not with condemnation and “I told you so”, but with mercy and pardon.
    It is good to know that, “God doesn’t require perfection, but God invites us to count on His presence and seek His help.” Amen.

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