Isaiah 59:2 (New International Version)
2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
If God is for us who can be against us? But what if God is not for us because we have set ourselves up in opposition to Him with willful unrepentant sin?
God is love, but He is completely Holy, and we have been saved from His wrath if we are in Christ. He desires our holiness (1 Peter 1:16) because He is holy. No ego problem there He knows that sanctification means less harm to our souls.
Take it from me, please take it from me. I went through one of the worst seasons of sifting that I have had in my entire life. I DO NOT EVER want to go there again. The Lord allowed the enemy to come against me and sift me like wheat. Why? Because I had some junk that needed to go. He will always give us a chance to humble ourselves. Out of His great love He will discipline His child if they persist in disobedience. The other day I was telling Morgan something she needed to do and she was being so stubborn. I looked at her and said, "CHILD, I am not talking to hear myself speak!" Don't you know God is saying that over us at times? He is telling us through His word, and the Holy Spirit, and maybe even other people something that we need to flat out QUIT for our good and others and He is not just telling us to hear Himself talk.
I have been reading about King Uzziah you can read it for yourself in 2 Chronicles 26. He becomes king at the age of 16 and reigns for more than a few decades. As long as he seeks the LORD, God gives him success. Yet we see later where his pride leads to his downfall. As most of you know he becomes proud. Most likely he bought into his own press and really believed he was "the king." He clearly loses sight of any accountability. Even the most powerful leader needs accountability. We all need it, but how many of us have anyone that is in our life that is calling us to run harder after Jesus and someone who calls us out or doesn't let us get away with the status quo? That doesn't mean getting in someones face necessarily but more like friends that are both living before the face of God together, doing life together, praying together.
So check out Uzziah in verse 16:
16 But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.
80 priests rush in to confront him and he becomes angry. His attitude was one that truly felt he was above reproach. No one was going to tell him anything. ....BUT God...
The Lord afflicted him with leprosy and it says that indeed he was eager to leave the sanctuary. He then leaved alone with leprosy. Then this was what was remembered of him: "for people said, "He had leprosy."
As humans we have a tendency to dwell on the bad and the falls that people have in life instead of any good that they did.
Bottom line pride led to his fall. I could go on with examples but I am running out of time.
I can't stand when people try to argue that the Old Testament is not relevant. What in the world? How could we even glimpse the holiness of God without the Old Testament!
So, God's word says that He opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble:
1 Peter 5:5-9
5Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." 6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Really quick the part of submission in verse 5 means to willfully submit, and the word for humility means in the greek to think in correct estimation of oneself. We are so often in opposition in competition to one another even among Christians...strife, envy, jealousy it is all so rampant. So, we are told in Phil 2 to in humility consider one another better than ourselves. Jesus Christ was equal with God but did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. He took on the humble position of a slave and humbled Himself and became obedient to death on a criminals cross. The Lord of Glory, the spotless Lamb. How much more should we humble ourselves?
So, God opposes the proud. This is a greek word where God really arranges Himself in battle against the proud and arrogant. Um, if you are in battle with God who do you think is going to win? Not you. The greek for proud here means arrogant, proud, or the rejection of God. How often to we deny or scorn His counsel merely hearing the word but not obeying willfully. That is pride and must be dealt with. The passage goes on to say that He gives grace to the humble. Humble means lowly of mind, poor, and piety toward God. Reverence toward God. He will fight our battles for us and alongside of us but not if we are going at it on our own. So verse six tells us to humble ourselves under God's mighty hand, that He may lift us up in due time. The greek word for humble there means to humble, to bring yourself low. Get on your face for crying out loud! Repent of your pride. PRAY for godly sorrow that leads to repentance. Willful submission to God. So there we have it. He is a gentleman and will give us a chance to humble ourselves but if we do not He, out of great love will humble us. Oh Lord, let it be that we choose to bend the knee to Him. He is worthy. Just like in Deut. 30:19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. He is not a glorified puppet master. He gives us a choice. Choose Him. I promise nothing good comes from going your own way. We desperately need God's presence to go with us. What else will distinguish us from everyone else? Just like God's chosen people were in captivity so many of us are to. God intends for greater things and victorious living in the life of His children.
ps I am having trouble posting and I have had a lot going on along with some migraines. Please pray for me as I seek to serve others in the word through teaching. Also, please pray for my health as well. =)
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Isaiah 59:2 (New International Version)
Posted by jennyhope at 4:30 PM