Isaiah 44:22 “I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins like a mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”
Listen to the voice of the Lord, like a loving Father who calls out to a lost and wayward son, He beckons him to come. A cloud conceals and brings rain, this rain washes, purifies, and brings a much needed fulfillment from the dryness and hopelessness of sin. The mist is cooling and gentle, it reminds us of God’s Spirit that alights within the soul of those who take refuge in Him. The refreshing presence of God restores the soul of the one who is lost.
Do you see the status we are under? We were once slaves to sin, held captive by the curse and destined for destruction. The Lord, strong and mighty, has paid the redemption price. We are now free and He calls us to walk in that freedom.
Psalm 73:28 “But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works.”
We may take our eyes off the Lord and soon realize the misery that proceeds it. It’s easy to do, we have so many ways that we can go astray. The enemy continually tries to distract us through people, pressures in life, or the fear which directs our focus onto our circumstances and off of Him who relieves all fear.
“For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.”
- Falling is a word that signifies stumbling, tottering, or staggering. It is reflective of being unstable in your ways. The path of sin is unstable and the foundation is corrupt….of course your going to be unsteady if you venture into this pathway.
Though it may seem you have completely failed, the encouragement is that the Lord is there to restore.
- When we recognize the error and repent, He picks you up, rinses your feet and leads you back on the path of Life. This is the true measure of God’s grace in us now.
- The Lord is in the process of restoration. He doesn’t just sit as judge ready to bring trouble upon your head, He is loving and desires to restore, to lead you back to where He originally intended.
Isaiah 58:11 “The LORD will always guide you; He will satisfy you in a sun-scorched land and strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. “
I love reading scriptures like this, they always make me feel encouraged and hopeful. It is so easy to pull a scripture like this from the Word of God and just rest in it….but…we aren’t receiving the entire story. Read a few verses previous to this blessed hope and you see an expectation:
Isaiah 58:6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?”
The initial encouragement is to draw near to the Lord via a fast. Denying the flesh and seeking after God is a practice that has often been overlooked in christian practice around the world but the charge doesn’t stop there:
Isaiah 58:7-9 “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
The expectation is reflective of what true relationship with the Lord looks like. We love God by loving others. Being generous to those who are in need is determined in a heart that is filled first with the love of God, when that love flows freely, it blesses others.
The healing that occurs is in our spirit. The joy of the Lord is once again evident in our lives and the world sees His light in us.
Isaiah 58:10 “If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.”
You see, the expectation isn’t just drawing near so that we might receive blessing, the expectation is that we live righteously before the Lord faithfully. Hateful talk, accusations, and focusing on ourselves misses the mark of what God intended.
We are called to be children of light while living according to God’s purposes, not our own, it is this process of walking in Him that restores and heals.
The path of renewal isn’t long but it is very well defined. We can’t make up our own rules for what this process looks like, we have to follow the Master and allow the restoration of relations between us and God to flow along the pathway in which He leads.
It is after this process of obedience you will again taste of the goodness of the Lord.