Friday, July 4, 2008

Day Thirty Three: Everlasting signs

I came across this this morning, Isaiah 55. I think it pretty much says it all, in an astonishingly clear picture of what Jesus offers us as we recalibrate towards him:

"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to [King] David.
See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of the peoples.

Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you because of the Lord your God, the holy one of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor."

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

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, 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.

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord's renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed."

This is KEY: understanding that God answers our prayers not just to make our lives better because he loves us, but because every answered prayer is an everlasting sign of his power, his love, and his goodness. Part of why he wants to answer our prayers so others might give him a chance in their own moments of hurt, fear, and need. So if you're someone who feels awkward praying for your own husband, family, job situation, book deal, etc., consider the possibility that your answered prayer might inspire someone else to pray. It's a pretty cool system, when you think about it :)

Today's reading: Acts 18

Today's song: Great Expectations by Steven Curtis Chapman

Speaking of great...SARAKASTIC: send me your address so I can send you a copy of yesterday's book!!! :)


Patti said...

yesterday, i was talking about an answered prayer, but it was answered in a way far better than i even imagined. this is the power of keeping our hearts open to what god has in store for us. it is usually far better than we will ever imagine.

Liza said...

Thanks for the reminder that God always answers our prayers. Happy 4th everyone!

ForstRose said...

Happy 4th to all!

Patti cool about the answer you received.

Most of the time I feel selfish asking things for myself especially when I know my friends or family are in situations that are even more difficult than where I might be at the time. But, Trish, your comments on Isaiah 55 are a good reminder that we are told to ask, seek and knock and we will receive, find or have the door opened. God wants to bless us and answer prayers but He can't answer a prayer that no one is praying. If we keep silent then of course it won't happen because we aren't asking, seeking or knocking whether it be for ourselves or someone else and our family in Christ can't pray specifics for us if we don't share with them what is going on in our lives.

This is a good reminder to not keep it all locked up inside because that just lets the pressure build until it can no longer be contained instead of allowing God in to do His thing and gaining support and encouragement from friends and family when we allow them to share in the things we are going through.


the teacher said...

My prayer has been answered! I was praying for a husband. My ex-boyfriend and I are finally back together and things are amazing. We went through a rough time, but God knew what he was doing to get us to this point. This man went from a point where he would tell me not to pray for him because that made him feel uncomfortable, to us being able to pray together aloud. From our 6 months of seperation, he has turned in to far more of a man that I ever expected. In the last few days as I was struggling to hear God and his will for me, I have had several of "those" moments where I knew it was God speaking to me through actions, circumstances, or people. Trish, in your talk, the scripture about the mule standing in front of water and not seeing it, stood out big time in my mind. He was right there in front of me.

I am going to continue to pray that things continue to go well. If this is what I had to go through to find this amazing man, it was ALL worth it. THANK GOD!

My prayers go out for all of you. Have a great weekend!!!!

Sarakastic said...

Wow teacher congrats!

Larramie said...

Teacher, my prayer is that your prayer has been answered. When you write, "I am going to continue to pray that things continue to go well.", I can't help but hear that you may have doubts.

Please believe and know that I want you to be happy.

Nic said...

Congratulations, teacher!!!

Kim said...

Oh Teacher, I am happy for you. Congratulations. My God bless you and your love.

heiress said...

First, I just have to say congratulations to patti and the teacher, God is working some miracles through our prayers.

I believe that God does answer our prayers as a testament for others who don't know Him, to give Jesus a try. I think that is evident right here in our group. Hearing how God has answered many of our prayers has inspired me to press on even harder because I know He hears me and he wants to give me the desires of my heart.