Disciplined Spirituality

barren1Do we really want to be transformed by God? In the passage (below) from Isaiah, not only a person is transformed but an entire nation, a makeover of both the spiritual and ecological elements. God’s transformation not only lays low evil doers and cynics, it is God’s heart recognizing those who were willing to turn toward Him. The biblical transformation Isaiah prophecies is rooted in a rejuvenation for those people who have turned—willingly—their faces to see Him, and submit to Him alone.  He takes the things and people that are “wasted”, “deaf”, “blind”, the “castoffs”, “the down and outs”, and returns them into reflections of His glory.

15-16 Doom to you! You pretend to have the inside track.
You shut God out and work behind the scenes,
Plotting the future as if you knew everything,
acting mysterious, never showing your hand.
You have everything backward!
You treat the potter as a lump of clay.
Does a book say to its author, 
"He didn't write a word of me"?
Does a meal say to the woman who cooked it,
"She had nothing to do with this"?

17-21 And then before you know it,
and without you having anything to do with it,
Wasted Lebanon will be transformed into lush gardens,
and Mount Carmel reforested.
At that time the deaf will hear 
word-for-word what's been written.
After a lifetime in the dark,
the blind will see.
The castoffs of society will be laughing and dancing in God,
the down-and-outs shouting praise to The Holy of Israel.

For there'll be no more gangs on the street.
Cynical scoffers will be an extinct species.
Those who never missed a chance to hurt or demean 
will never be heard of again:
Gone the people who corrupted the courts,
gone the people who cheated the poor,
gone the people who victimized the innocent.
Isaiah 29:16-18 (The Message)

So the question remains, do we recognize our need to be transformed, or do we think we are not in need of the Almighty’s recreating?

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Favorites

  • Loving like Jesus and the good, good Father +

    Jesus calls his disciples--and us--to love. Read More
  • The extravagance of abiding in the love of Jesus (John 15:16) +

    From the first time he met them, Jesus had a wonderful way of upending the plans of his disciples. Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Easter: transforming how we relate to others +

    As we prepare for Easter, let’s prayerfully consider some questions regarding John 17. Read More
  • Jesus as the cultivator of our heart +

    Day after day our heart experiences dozens and hundreds of interactions: with others, with news stories,  with our thoughts, or Read More
  • Sing to the Lord: Thinking about to praise God each day with songs from our hearts +

    One of the overriding themes throughout scripture is praising God regardless of our circumstances. Read More
  • A focus on blessing others +

    We are called to be a blessing to the world first to those around us. Read More
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