Today’s Reading: Isaiah 48-52, 54-55; Psalm 32:8
Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will.
The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me and I have listened…
Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced.
Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. – Isaiah 50:4b-5a,7
Some days the weight of my job rests heavy on my shoulders. Even today, I find myself praying for God to equip me for the difficult decisions ahead. I ask Him to fill me with His Spirit and give me wisdom for the work to which He has called me. Morning by morning, I wake up and spend time in God’s presence asking Him to teach me and guide me. I cling to God’s promises found in Scripture, including this one:
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” – Psalm 32:8
This morning I walk into God’s presence with a desire to understand His plan and to be instructed by Him in the way I should go. The following verses were a help to me and I pray that God uses them in your specific situation today.
“I am the Lord your God, who TEACHES you what is good for you and LEADS you along the paths you should follow.” – Isaiah 48:17b
“At just the right time, I will RESPOND to you…” – Is. 49:8a
Yet Jerusalem says, “The Lord has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us.”
“NEVER! Can a mother forget her nursing child?
Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?
But even if that was possible, I would not forget you!
See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” – Is. 49:14-16a
If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light,
trust in the Lord and rely on your God.
But watch out, you who live in your own light and warm yourselves by your own fires. – Is. 50:10b-11
What a great reminder to me when I am tempted to solve my own problems, make my own decisions, or look for advice from other people instead of praying for wisdom from God. To do that would be to rely on myself – to live in my own light and warm myself by my own fire.
Oh Lord, I long to come to your fire, to be warmed by your presence and to walk in your light! Yesterday you reminded me that you have had a plan for me since before I was born. Today you remind me that you will teach me and give me wisdom for the task you have before me. Thank you, Father, for your generosity. I don’t have to warm myself by my own fire or accomplish anything by my own strength today. Why drink water, which is the only thing I can afford if I rely on myself, when I can drink of the more expensive wisdom that comes freely from you?! Today I choose to listen to you and trust that your ways are much better than mine. I trust you to teach me, instruct me, counsel me and watch over me.
“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink – even if you have no money!
Come, take your choice of wine or milk – it’s all free!
Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength?
Why pay for food that does you no good?
Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food.
“Come to me with your ears wide open.
Listen, and you will find life.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you.
I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David…
“Seek the Lord while you can find him.
Call on him now while he is near…
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:1-3,6,8-9
It is in seeking God that I find Him. It is in calling on Him that I hear from Him. It is in following His ways that I get a front row seat to what HE wants to do – His will, His way, in His time. When I spend time studying His word, I often receive a word from Him – a promise from long ago that He is renewing in my own life.
Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. – Isaiah 58:10-11
What is God calling you to do today? For what purpose is He anointing you? What difference is God calling you to make in the life of another person this week?
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim
that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. – Isaiah 61:1-3