As much as I want to believe we are capable of doing good, unless we are concentrating on Jesus, we will always be sucked into what satisfies our flesh. We have to purposefully seek the face of Jesus every day in order to walk in the Spirit instead of our flesh. We have to be totally consumed by his love every day in order for us to keep our eyes on things above instead of what we see around us. We hear the invitation:
Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price. (Isaiah 55:1)
But we don't always respond. We can easily ask ourselves on certain days:
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy? (v. 2a)
Good question. Why do we put any value in the system of this world? Just because we have to live and serve here does not mean we need to be in love with this place, the system or the values. Our pleasure is found in Jesus and our love is for the people trapped in the limited vision of this world, not the world system itself. So each day we hear the Spirit calling:
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance. (v. 2b)
Each day, as we seek Jesus and make ourselves open to the awareness of his presence in us, we are reminded of our mission. We are reminded that our King did not leave us in this place for our own entertainment. He gives us purpose every day and it goes beyond worship. Worship is what we do in everything we do but our purpose is to make disciples. We speak the words of his invitation to those who are passing into death:
Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near. (v. 6)
The King's message is one of hope and mercy. It is an invitation to love. It is fantastic news to those who are hungry and thirsty. It is fantastic news for those who are restless, unable to find satisfaction in this place. We speak this message of mercy and grace with all who will hear:
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon. (v. 7)
We tell them of the love found on the cross, the life through the empty grave, and the presence and power through the giving of the Spirit. We care not for their current condition or situation. We care not about the nature of their sin. We only care that they would hear, receive and be forgiven all things, being welcomed into the family of Father. We let go our our blood lust for justice and are empowered by the love, mercy and grace of Jesus Christ. We recognize that while under the power of sin our thinking was crooked and depraved. We hear Yahweh's sweet reminder:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts." (v. 8-9)
Oh what a Saviour. Oh what a King. And this seen through the eyes of a prophet who had yet to see Jesus, who had yet to hear of the mercies of the cross and the victory over the grave. If he could see so clearly from a distance why do we struggle in the shadow of the cross?
Come my brothers and sisters, let us set aside the things that distract, the things that consume our life, the things that possess mere temporary importance and let us run our race, the one set out before us. Let us fix our eyes on the prize, on our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us set our heart and mind on the things above and allow the things of this world to diminish in importance. Let us be consumed with our mission, conveying the love of Jesus for those who are lost in rebellion, as we once were. Let us love with Jesus' love which does not hold back but pours itself out recklessly upon his enemies.
Oh, what a Saviour!