I don’t know if I can write this out…. without a video, because a fire lights up in me over stuff like this! I know how it is. We are lucky if after all these years we have more than a handful of scriptures that are locked in our hearts and experience by faith. But the older I have gotten, the idea of memorizing just one line of Scripture kind-of makes my skin crawl. If you have ever known spiritual deception and its destruction, you know what I mean. Spiritual confusion put me in a sick bed once, a pit that wrecked my life for a short time, and I see the answers that I was craving were there in black and white….which by revelation of the holy spirit… I was made well. Jesus had already given me everything I was flailing to grasp by my own efforts! Jesus is the Living Word, but the scriptures explain spiritual realities in real terms. Untangling my twisted gospel is what lifted my heart out of the innter-striving which had led to the chronic fatigue syndrome that landed me in bed after college for a year. I looked to the scriptures. I knew my answer was there, but my spirit struggled with the message of grace. I was determined to BE the deserving daughter. He had alreaady made me so by His gift of Christ to me.
And you’ll have to forgive me for sounding like the former English teacher that I am…. but it’s REAL. It’s all there, but if someone can’t see that sentence in the context of its paragraph, the paragraph above and below it, its chapter, its book, and especially its placement in either the old or new covenant!? Man, no wonder there are so many different interpretations and sick minds. When it comes to the bible, it really does make a life-size difference.
You misunderstand words when you don’t know where they’re coming from.Romans 4-8 cannot be understood unless they are read together.And anything in Romans 8 should not be taken alone without an understanding of the structure of the chapter as a whole. Entire ways of life are built on isolated scriptures.
It’s so important to me that I am creating materials about it as we speak. We say we don’t have time for meaningful things, but yet we feed on fiction and Disney. We may call the Bible the most important book in the house, but we don’t know how to interact with it. It takes patience and study and instruction, and nobody wants to do that. But as a parent, the least I can do is give my children a taste of what a chapter is like.
I know that over their lifetime at least two of these passages in Isaiah 35 will be quoted to them over and over. They were to me. I never put them together. I only discovered it years later, when I discovered the true heart of Isaiah 35.
(1) The highway that even fools can’t miss.(verse 8) How can you mess up a gift? You can’t…unless you believe it is not a gift and determine to work for it. That is the power of the gospel. Understanding that EVERYTHING from God comes as a gift…changes everything. The only way to mess it up is to believe it is obtained or sustained by our actions.
So at all times, as I look for the solid rock to put my foot on… it’s the road I can’t miss…the promise which HE sustains! Not me! It’s the news that Jesus gives wisdom freely, healing freely, provision freely, forgiveness freely! It’s IN HIM.
(2) The other phrase from Isaiah 35 that I know my children will encounter countless times in their life is the poetic stream in the desert image (“Waters break forth in the wilderness,”) (verse 6), which suggests, “Don’t worry, refreshing water is on the way. Surely, He will make a way. Lord, make a way. …. but that old covenant promise has been fulfilled in Christ. God DID make a way. Jesus IS the Way! He is the stream in the desert. Now! Rivers of living water that flow out of the heart of a believer! We wait on so many things that Christ has ALREADY given us! We just have not understood and believed the truth about what He has ALREADY done and promised! So we do not receive, experience that peace, that reality.
(3) Then there is the healing question. (Verse 5) “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.” Jesus heals now. As we rest firmly in these truths, the miracles of Jesus become everyday realities. As John needed to know before his death, was Jesus really the promised Messiah? Jesus sent the answer (Luke 7:22). “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk.” Just as God has removed our sins which we experience by faith, he has removed our diseases (Isaiah 53/Psalms 103) which we also experience by faith. After praying for some aquaintences who were healed, they called me to pray for one friend’s aunt. When I arrived at the hospital, I thought I was praying for bed sores, but it had turned into terminal kidney failure. I was surrounded by strangers, and I did not know their background, but they had just asked me to pray. There was only one thing to say, “Lord, you said that you placed all sickness on Jesus, and that means that you bore this, and she doesn’t have to. So be it — in Jesus’ name.” I left after a few quick hellos and goodbyes. She was completely healed that day.
I hope that as you listen to Isaiah 35, I pray you will consider these things as realities that are available to you and renew your mind to the FULL meaning of the scriptures in context. Ask Him to confim his Word to you with signs and wonders. Mark 16:20. Let new understanding be written over the old lies of the heart which drive our emotions and actions in an endless spinning of waiting on God to do things He has already done. Take hold of the encouragement and move forward in faith. No longer doubting, no longer stuck! Thank you, God!
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