Soaring & Sprouting

Today’s Reading:  Isaiah 41-47; Psalm 71

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.

They will soar high on wings like eagles.

They will run and not grow weary.

They will walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:29-31

We serve such an incredible God!!!  The Creator of everything LOVES US enough to care for us.  He sees everything we are going through, knows us better than anyone else, and cares enough to give us what we need.  He gives strength when we are weak.  To trust God is like climbing on the wings of an eagle and soaring above life’s circumstances.  His supply of strength is endless and His understanding is limitless.  So what does God have planned for today?  No matter what His plan, He will equip us.

How foolish can you be?  He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay!  Should the created thing say of the one who made it, “He didn’t make me”?  Does a jar ever say, “The potter who made me is stupid”? – Isaiah 29:16

“And why have I called you for this work?
Why did I call you by name when you did not know me…” – Isaiah 45:4

There have been many times when I have wondered why God chose me for the purpose to which He has called me. I assume we have all had moments like this – moments when we wonder what our purpose is or why God chose us for THIS purpose. At times, we look to the person on our left and the person on our right and ask God why His plan for them is so different from His plan for us.

“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator.
Does a clay pot argue with its maker?
Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’” – Isaiah 45:9

Isaiah spoke of how God uses even those who do not know Him. 150 years before it took place, Isaiah prophesied that God would use a foreign leader named Cyrus to accomplish His plan of setting Israel free from Babylon. 

“I will raise up Cyrus to fulfill my righteous purpose, and I will guide his actions. He will restore my city and free my captive people – without seeking a reward! I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!” – Isaiah 45:13

God had a plan for Cyrus before he was even born. He prepared the way for this man before he had even submitted to God’s sovereignty in his life. In the same way, God had a plan for each of us before we were even born.  He goes before us and equips us for the battle to which He has called us. He does this for two purposes – SALVATION & RIGHTEOUSNESS. It is God’s plan that each of us would come to a saving knowledge of who He is and how He has loved and cared for us before we were even a thought in the mind of our parents. It is God’s plan for righteousness to “sprout up together” with salvation to accomplish His purposes (Is. 45:2-8).

“I have cared for you since before you were born.
Yes, I carried you before you were born.
I will be your God throughout your lifetime – until your hair is white with age.
I made you, and I will care for you.
I will carry you along and save you.” – Isaiah 46:3b-4

O Lord, you alone are my hope.

I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood.

Yes, you have been with me from birth;

from my mother’s womb you have cared for me.

No wonder I am always praising you! – Psalm 71:5-6

How beautiful! God cares for us and carries us from the time before we were born, throughout our lifetime, until the end of our life. He carries us along with the plan to save us and to accomplish His purposes through us – so that salvation and righteousness can sprout up together.

The Lord called me before my birth; from within the womb he called me by name.
He made my words of judgment as sharp as a sword.
He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand.
I am like a sharp arrow in his quiver.
He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, and you will bring me glory.”

I replied, “But my work seems so useless!
I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose.
Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.”

And now the Lord speaks – the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him.
The Lord has honored me, and my God has given me strength.
He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me.
I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”– Isaiah 49:1b-6

God saves us for the sake of righteousness, with which he saves others for the sake of righteousness, so that still others can be restored to a place of salvation for the sake of righteousness. So, as we look around at our current situation, we may find ourselves asking “Why?” With confidence we believe that God will use everything for His purposes – for the purpose of salvation and righteousness. We pray that today someone will come to a saving knowledge of God and that others will be drawn back into a relationship with Christ. We pray that thousands will take the opportunity to live out the righteousness of God in the lives of others.  

God, only you know your plan for my day but I submit to your plan. Thank you for caring for me, for carrying me. Use me for your purposes today, Oh Lord. Help me to see you at work in the lives of all those around me – those who have come to a saving knowledge of you and those who still do not know you. Give me eyes to see what you see and a heart that trusts you with the details. Amen.