I got a sign from God this morning. Literally. It was on one of the many small church signs that I pass on my commute into the office each morning. It simply had a passage of Scripture on it so I was determined to remember it until I got to the office and look it up.
Stupid 41 year old brain...I got sidetracked and, by the time I got settled in at the office, could only remember the chapter. So, I don't know what the actual verse was but I definitely read what God intended for me this morning. Here's the first part of Isaiah 59 that I read this morning:
Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore. Isaiah 59:1-2 NLT
I think there's two reasons I needed that this morning. Reason number one: Lisa and I got some (more) frustrating economic news last night. On the surface, it would seem to be pretty discouraging news. Deep down, we both know that God always has been and always will be the One who provides for us. He has watched the birds for centuries and looked after the grass and flowers. Why would I ever doubt that He sees my need? So I prayed pretty quickly, "God, don't let me get caught up in the here and now. Don't let me do it. I will trust You because I know you will not fail."
The second reason was this undeniable call for purity found in verse two. I, like many of you, ask the questions, "God, did you hear my cry last night? God, have you heard your church praying? God, I'm a little down because I haven't seen you or heard from you lately?" Isaiah's words remind me that God's call for holiness is unconditional. When you surrender your life to Christ, you dare not rest for the call only gets louder. God wants me for Himself; He will not share. So I can't give part of myself to "guilt, lies, or wicked things" (see v. 3). I must be unwilling to compromise and more willing to confess when I fail. So, the next part of my prayer was, "God, don't let me allow for one second of sin in my life. No excuses. I must see sin the way you see it and not leave room for Satan."
I want deep intimacy with God. The cool thing is...He wants it too. In order to have that, I must be willing to stand openly before Him, acknowledge my need, ask for His grace and move forward under the cover of His lovingkindness.
Give it a try today and see if you don't find a God who is mind-blowing in His mercy and love for you.