Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Garden Path

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Isaiah 30, 31, 32

Isaiah 30:10-11 (NIV)

10 They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. 11 Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!”

Good morning!

In matters of the heart, there are times when we would rather hear a lie than listen to the truth. “Honey, do these jeans make me look fat?” Now, this is a loaded question, and one most of our spouses would rather not have to answer. We know full well whether those britches make us look big, and if they do, it is probably because we are big, and no amount of denim is going to make us look smaller, no matter how much we pay for the privilege of trying to fool ourselves into believing it. But oh, how we long to hear that compliment freely flow from our spouse’s lips. “Oh honey, you look so skinny in those jeans! You should wear them every day.” Poor babies - they are treading across the landmine of truth or dare. They are going to need more than armor to get them across the road in one piece. Hesitant to move one way or the other for fear of being blown to smitherines, they ponder whether to speak the truth in love, or find an easier escape route while verbalizing some sort of complimentary comeback, however untruthful it may be. Oh my! How we would much rather hear a lie from the ones we love than have to listen and deal with the truth.

Prophecy tends to make us uncomfortable. We get fidgety just listening to their words. If we are willing to take an honest look at how we live our life, we know that God has every right to be angry with us. Time and again, we fail to be obedient to His will. We choose to run along our own garden path, rather than walk the narrow way. We get weary of constant harping. How we long to hear something sweet; a kind word that makes us feel just a little bit better about who we are. If we pay the pastor enough money, do you think that maybe they will just shut up and tell us just how wonderful we are? We want to hear about all the good things we are doing and just how much God must love to sit up in heaven gushing over our wonderful congregation. On the other hand, maybe this is exactly why our pastors tend to be overworked and underpaid. The preachers I know certainly don’t preach comforting messages. In fact, most of them give rather pointed sermons, pointed directly at me. It’s as if they know me much better than I really want them to. I used to get angry with my husband for preaching about me every week from the pulpit. I didn’t realize that he was actually preaching about himself, and I just thought he was talking about me!

I don’t think Isaiah was winning any popularity contests in Judah. The people were tired of listening to his rant, and some were seeking out a way to shut him up for good. Does that sound familiar? Isn’t this exactly what we did to our Lord Jesus Christ?

Thank you, dear Father, for not giving up on me. Tell me what I need to hear today. Please don’t hold anything back. More than anything else, I want to learn how to be more like you. You’ve sent me your truth, wrapped up in perfect love. Jesus Christ is the way, He is the truth, and He will lead me to everlasting life, if I’ll just open my eyes, ears, and heart to you. I pray this today, in the name of Jesus, my Savior. Amen.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: the truth to catch you squarely between the eyes! His truth will set you free, and when the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!


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