Monday, June 24, 2013

An "Aha" Moment

Have you ever had an “aha” moment?  You know, where something became more clear than it was before?  I remember back in my Grad school days that “aha” moments in statistics were few and far between.  Have I ever mentioned that I’m not a math girl?  And unfortunately, my study pals weren’t either.  So guess what we would do?  We would call our professor when we ran into something we didn’t understand.  He would explain it and we would all chant together “aha!”  OK, I’m just kidding about the chanting “aha” together, but hopefully it made you smile for a second. 

It feels so good to understand something better than you did before, doesn’t it?  I love how we can have “aha” moments with God.  And instead of calling a professor, we can grab our Bibles and ask the Holy Spirit to open our hearts, minds and souls to what He wants us to learn.  It’s so exciting to learn something new about God… and I’m praying that you have an “aha” moment with Him today.

So where is all this coming from?  I had an “aha” moment today studying Isaiah 30.  I was working on my Duty or Delight Bible Study by Tammie Head and she directed me to Isaiah 30:15:  This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…”  Sounds good, doesn’t it?  But the next part of the verse intrigued me… it says “… but you would have none of it.”  Hmmm… so I decided to start at the beginning of Chapter 30, and I was blown away by this new picture of God painted by Isaiah.  Let me give you a brief summary…

God is talking about obstinate children… and He describes them as carrying out plans that He didn’t approve, forming alliances with others that He didn’t instruct,  and seeking protection from Pharaoh instead of God (Isaiah 30:1-3).  If I’m honest, I fall into these categories myself.  I can be an obstinate child…  How often am I quick to make important, or not so important, decisions without asking God for His wisdom?  I wonder if any of you see yourself in these verses too… 

Then, God describes them as rebellious, deceitful, and unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction (Isaiah 30:9).  Ouch!  I’ve fallen into those categories too… what about you?

God loves these obstinate, rebellious children and gives them a recipe for reconciliation with Him in verse 15:  This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says  “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…” 

I love how God doesn’t expect me to be perfect.  In fact, He knows that I won’t be and He lets me know how to be restored… by repenting (or confessing my sins and turning away from them) and He even offers me rest.  God desires me to trust Him and when I do, I can be strong in tough situations because I know that God is bigger, stronger, and that He can do immeasurably more than I could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20… one of my favorite Bible verses).

But this next verse was the key to my “aha” moment today… and I’m still in awe of Who God Is…  It’s from Isaiah 30:15:  Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion.  For the Lord is a God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait for Him! 

What are your reactions to this verse?  I love how it shows me that in spite of all my sin, mistakes, and imperfections, God is LONGING to extend grace and show compassion.  WOW!  He’s  not sitting on His throne casting stones and condemning me.  He’s anxiously waiting for me to cry out to Him so He can give me grace and compassion… which I totally don’t deserve.  It blows my mind.  Look at the same verse in the Amplified Bible:

And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you:  and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you.  For the Lord is a God of justice.  Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!

Did you catch the undercover message in this verse?  GOD LOVES YOU… He loves you anyway… and in spite of… and just because… and even though… and always.  Let this “aha” moment take root in the depths of your heart.  Know that you are truly loved by your Heavenly Father. 
Here’s a song for you today:  Let It Out by Chris and Conrad.

God longs for us to take off our masks to find peace at last…  He wants us to be vulnerable with Him because He already knows what we’re struggling with.    So let it all out and experience the grace and compassion that God longs to give you.  He truly loves you more than you could ever know.  Find rest in God’s amazing love today!

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