Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The trivial pursuit of faith

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Isaiah 1, 2, 3

Isaiah 1:13-17 (NIV)

[The Word of the Lord conveyed through Isaiah, His prophet] 13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations – I cannot bear your evil assemblies. 14 Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you spread your hands out in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; 16 wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, 17 learn to do right!

Good morning!

Do you like playing the game Trivial Pursuit? It’s a great way to spend a couple of hours. I’m not very good at it; yet every time I play, I learn something new. Our church occasionally hosts a trivia night. This is a fun way to spend an evening! I realize how little I actually know after listening to my friends around the table answer questions about people, places, events and history. I like Bible trivia, because it tests my knowledge of His Word. Even after all this time, I still get stumped with some of those Bible questions. No matter how hard I study, I wonder if I’ll ever get it all straight in my head. It’s a good thing Christ offers me grace. I’d surely be lost without it!

Isaiah was called on by the Lord to deliver a sharp and pointed message to His people. Even though this Word was written approximately 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, His word resonates in our hearts today. God is not impressed our superficial faith; no, not so much. This is a hard message, especially for all of us perfectionists out there. We follow all the rules but forget to follow the rule maker. We throw our full weight against Scripture, reason, tradition and experience, only to pull back in fear when controversies erupt within our church. Sometimes, we get so fed up with trying, that we stop. We give up. And like many of our Israelite brothers and sisters, we find ourselves living in the muck of selfish sin, rebelliousness; eventually we become spiritually bankrupt. We wonder why God refuses to accept our ritual worship each week, or our one minute microwavable prayer before we fly out the door to get on with the business of our life. We don’t understand how He could be so offended by the one hour we give each week in worship. Isn’t that more than enough time for the Lord? Our culture teaches us that we discover physical and emotional health, wealth and happiness as we live within a balanced lifestyle, and strive take care of ourselves, first and foremost. So why can’t we convince God that our way of living is really the right way? Is our way the right way?

God wants more from us than just a trivial pursuit of Him. He wants us to know more about who He is and whose we are in Him. We may just be scratching the surface in our relationship with the Lord. Is He your solid foundation, or just someone to cry out to when life is tough? Is He your first love or a fleeting thought? Is God’s work an obligation to grudgingly fulfill, or the spark that gives true meaning to your life? Isaiah calls all of us into account for our superficial faith. Take some time today to redefine your relationship with the Lord. Is it just a game, a trivial pursuit in your life, or are you serious about following Jesus Christ?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding


Pray for: the truth to hit you right between the eyes. Take some time today to pour over the Word of the Lord delivered through Isaiah the prophet. Are you brave enough to take a serious look at your relationship with Jesus? If we are willing to honestly confess our sin and admit those things that have separated us from a perfect and Holy God, Jesus Christ will be waiting with open arms to offer forgiveness and grace to every humble, repentant heart. He is waiting for you today. Are you ready to move past the superficial and into the deep?


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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