ISAIAH 54

Isaiah 54:2-3

Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left, your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.

God is calling His people, all of us to enlarge, stretch, lengthen and spread. This enlarging, stretching, lengthening and spreading is through our growth in the Spirit of God and through sharing His kingdom of love and compassion.

Are we growing personally closer to God each day regardless of our past and/or the circumstances surrounding us? Are we stretching, lengthening and spreading the gospel?

We are called to know God and make Him known no matter the obstacles and no matter what we go through. If we answer this call, we are blessed and bless others. If we are lacking in our growth and aren’t really enlarging, stretching or lengthening the healing gospel of love in our hearts and in our surroundings, then we need to look at God and center our hearts on our Creator and His infinite love and mercy for our selves.

We might feel like the calling is daunting and that we cannot do it ourselves. And it is true that we cannot do it ourselves for it is through the Lord’s Spirit that we are capable of answering that call. That is why it is important to pray, meditate and center our selves in God’s Spirit and truth.

Jesus teaches us to seek His kingdom first. He tells us to walk by faith and not by sight. He calls us to hold on to His promises no matter how we falter because His redemption power is much greater than anything else.

In the midst of this world, in the midst of illness, weariness, violence and hatred it is hard to do what Jesus teaches in our own strength, but God tells us to depend and trust in Him. God gives us instructions in order to be healed:

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

This scripture gives us the instructions in order to be healed.

The first instruction from God to all of us is to humble ourselves. We need to accept our need for God and to submit to our Creator. We need to repent for turning God into a self-serving hobby or one-day-a-week duty, or perhaps disregarding God entirely. We need to repent for using the vocabulary of “us” and “them” when in reality we are all brothers and sisters, creations of the One and only God.

If we can’t or don’t know what that means, we should ask God to show us. Asking and crying out to God is what He wants from us. We need transparency with our Creator. He knows us better than we know ourselves. God wants us to acknowledge that we need and want transformation in order for God to heal and bless us fully.

The second instruction from God to His people is to pray and seek His face. Getting to know God in a deeper way and spending time with the Spirit is to get re-acquainted with God’s love and power by praying and seeking Him. He tells us to be still and know He is God. We need to make time and space for contemplation and drawing close to God.

When we get to know Christ in a deeper sense, we accept healing and redemption. We get to experience God at many levels and we then find ourselves working with our Creator for the kingdom of love, peace and justice. Jesus transforms us, and our surroundings. That is why we need to pray and seek Him for who He is as individuals and collectively.

The third instruction is to turn from wickedness. Some forms of wickedness are ego, self-centeredness, greed, pride, anger, and complacency. We can all struggle with those- I know I have. Wickedness is also turning God’s character into what we want Him to be, instead of allowing the loving presence to transform and heal so that God then uses us as wounded healers.

We are to know God better by drawing closer to love and mercy and then we are to make God known. If we seek God, then sharing our Creator’s love is a natural movement of the One and true Spirit. We receive transformation in our hearts through the Holy Spirit and God uses us as agents of His transformation and redemption in our surroundings.

Our duty is to be intentional and open our hearts and minds to God’s presence so that we see Him as He is. There are many obstructions to doing that, many distractions, confusions and temptations. God speaks to that in Jeremiah 9:23-24.

Jeremiah 9:23-24

Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight. Declares the Lord.

Once we boast only in our Creator and Savior, His life, death and resurrection, His redemption power grows even through our failures and shortcomings. As we draw close to God, the gospel is enlarging, stretching lengthening and spreading in our hearts and through us in our surroundings.

Let’s draw close to God and allow the Spirit to work in and through us, for God’s kingdom to enlarge, stretch, lengthen and spread, all for God’s honor and glory.

Prayer:  Dear God, Creator of the Universe, Savior, Friend, constant Companion.  You know us better than we know ourselves.  Help us to be humble and surrender to your love.  We repent for all the other things we boast about that are not you and your loving kindness.  Please have mercy on us and turn things around.  As you prayed to our Father and Creator of all, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.  Heal us as individuals lead us to seek you in stillness, knowing that you are God.  Heal us as communities growing closer to you and loving each other.  Heal us as your world, that we may sing your praise and be one with you, God.  Bring your love and healing and open our hearts and minds to who you are.  Amen.

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