Isaiah 30:12-31:9; Galatians 5:1-6; Psalms 63:6-11; Proverbs 16:25
OT: “Therefore the Lord is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the Lord is a just God. All who wait patiently for him are happy. For people will live on Zion in Jerusalem. You will never weep again; he will show favor to you at the sound of your outcry; as soon as he hears, he will answer you. The Lord will give you meager bread and water during oppression, but your Teacher will not hide any longer. Your eyes will see your Teacher, and whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: “This is the way. Walk in it.” Then you will defile your silver-plated idols and your gold-plated images. You will throw them away like menstrual cloths, and call them filth.” (Isaiah 30:18-22 CSB)
When you stop to consider the mercy and grace of God, it really is amazing. Despite Jerusalem’s rebellion and refusal to listen to the wisdom and leading of the Lord, God was still waiting to show mercy and compassion. As the Lord was indicting Jerusalem through Isaiah’s words of prophecy, He allowed Isaiah to spiritually see a day when God’s people would wait on the Lord once again… and would return to inhabit the land. Eventually, during the time that the current inhabitants of Jerusalem would be living in exile and under the oppression of Babylon, they would cry out to God… and God would hear them, answer them and show them favor. Then, as they submitted to God once again, the Lord would lead them and show them His way to go. The Lord would once again be their God, and the gods and idols of the land would be cast off like worthless refuse.
The Lord is always waiting and ready to show forth His great mercy and compassion. What is He waiting for? He isn’t waiting to be begged – He is waiting to be Lord. God will not bless pride, rebellion and self-sufficiency. But when we humble ourselves, stop following our ways, and submit to Him as Lord, He is there waiting with amazing grace and blessing. Paul explained in Romans 12:1-2 that there is a way to know what the good, acceptable and perfect will of God is… to know which way to go by the leading of the Lord by the Holy Spirit. That way begins with offering your entire selves as living sacrifices to God, and not conforming to the ways of the Lord. As we submit our lives to Him and surrender to His ways, The Lord will renew our minds by the Holy Spirit and say to us, “This is the way. Walk in it.”
NT: “For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm, then, and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery… You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace. For we eagerly await through the Spirit, by faith, the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through love.” (Galatians 5:1, 4-6 CSB)
The way of the Lord is faith through love. The way that we are to walk as people of God is to love God completely and love others sacrificially by the grace that we receive through faith in Christ. As Jesus taught, all of the law and prophets are summed up in that. Christ has set us free that we may be free to live the life He has called us to. We need to stand firm in that freedom and not allow ourselves to go back to the system of measuring our righteousness or other people’s righteousness by how religious we appear or how many good things we do. None of that matters in Christ. All that system of earning righteousness does is separate you from the source of righteousness, Jesus Christ. Instead of living by a system of rules and regulations that we can control, we need to lay down the lordship of our own lives and place faith in and come under the Lordship of Christ. That is the way.
Proverbs: “There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.” (Proverbs 16:25 CSB)
There is a way that seems right to a person – then there is the way of the Lord. Without the leading of the Lord, we are lost at best and ultimately headed toward our demise. However, the Lord will lead us to abundant life if we will lay aside our way and follow Him.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that you are always ready and willing to show forth Your mercy and compassion to those who are submitted to You and walking in Your ways. I also thank You that you do not require me to try and guess what Your way is, but by Your Holy Spirit, You direct my paths and tell me the way to go. My desire is to always follow You on You way. Help me to do that by grace through faith. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.