Thursday, January 12, 2012

Real Strength

“For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘You will be delivered by returning and resting: your strength will lie in quiet confidence.’ But you were not willing.” (Isaiah 30:15)

Picture a man staggering in a desert, days without water, his clothes ripped and ragged. He is sweaty and gritty with sand. He sits down by a lush oasis, but he does not drink the water because he thinks he can find something better. So, he moves on. How messed up is that? It borders on insanity.

Essentially, that is what Judah did. In the Lord, they had access to all the power they needed to stand up to the Assyrians and others, but they decided that an alliance with Egypt would be more effective. That was a lame decision. Thus, the Lord sent Isaiah to voice His displeasure and to call them to return. The message was clear: “You will be delivered by returning and resting.” Interesting. Returning is the same is repentance. Resting essentially means trusting. Then Isaiah completed the message: “Your strength will lie in quiet confidence.”

Real strength does not have to be brash or boisterous to be genuine. Our human mindset tends to see those who are strong as being like that. The appearance of strength through bravado and posturing is little more than “smoke and mirrors.” The person who can be faced with overwhelming life circumstances and yet approach them in quietness and confidence in the Lord is someone who is truly strong. This quietness and confidence is found when we turn to the Lord and rest in Him. This is both a constant attitude we should have as well as a daily action. Resting in the Lord is a continual decision. The extent of our turning to the Lord and resting in Him determines the degree of our quietness and confidence in the Lord in the face of overwhelming circumstances. Today, turn to Him and rest in Him, and let His quietness and confidence bless you.

Thank You, Lord, for Your abiding presence. We turn to You, and we rest in You. Amen.

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