Isaiah 50 : 7-11
New Living Translation
7 Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced.Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame.8 He who gives me justice is near. Who will dare to bring charges against me now? Where are my accusers? Let them appear! 9 See, the Sovereign Lord is on my side! Who will declare me guilty? All my enemies will be destroyed like old clothes that have been eaten by moths! 10 Who among you fears the Lord and obeys his servant? If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God.
11 But watch out, you who live in your own light and warm yourselves by your own fires. This is the reward you will receive from me: You will soon fall down in great torment.
If you're like me, today when you woke up, you went to your kitchen and fixed your favorite caffeine beverage exactly the way you like it. Then you may have read your Bible via your preferred format (digital or paper) in your most agreeable translation, if of course you had the time for it. Then you probably got on your favorite social media platform and “liked”, “hearted” and “commented” on all the posts that you agree with. While “blocking”, “angry facing” and arguing with the ones you don’t agree with. Ah yes, justice has been served…
We live in a fabricated world of indepence. A facade of personal choices that create the illusion of being free to decide for yourself. Independence is a good thing and is worth living for. The problem is that we confuse independence with getting our own way. This statement will seem like an oxymoron, but nonetheless it is true. Independence is found when we learn to be dependent on God. When we find freedom from the world’s induced personal desire, we can begin to live freely in the design we were created for.
Let me attempt to summarize the point Isaiah is making in verses 7-10, “I am made for one purpose, that I must be fixated on. God has created me and I must live in obedience to Him and Him alone. If I refuse to allow the world to corner me into living for myself, then the Lord will avenge me and I will be free to live for Him. Fear of God enables freedom from self and the world.”
Then in verse 11 we have a strong warning not to confuse living for self with living for God. Our relationship with Jesus is not about us first. It’s about making Him the priority in everything we do, so we can learn to live in the superior life He has bought for us at Calvary, rather than confusing personal liberty with living in true freedom. It’s a slippery slope, because I want to be thankful for the personal freedoms I do have, while still realizing that anything that leads me away from communing with Him is an idol or “living in my own light” and leading me to destruction.
So what's the answer? Do I live in fear of being corrupted by the world and create a Christ-like bubble that shuns away anything that may be a threat to my fragile Christian existence, built on preferences I have cherry picked from the Scripture? I don't think so! That option denies God as my Protector and Avenger. It renders me a useless Christian soundboard on social media. Thus in fact again, making my relationship with God about me and what I want, rather than where He is leading me. I think Jesus is bigger than any threat that the world has to spook me. In fact, He promises that if I make obedience to Him my priority, then He will protect and guard me from every enemy including myself. Here are simple reminders to help me stay in pursuit of Him and not myself.
I am not always right. I get it wrong and at times need correcting from the Holy Spirit via The Word, and church community.
There’s nothing the enemy or the world can use to destroy me if I am willing to humble myself and repent when I realize I'm wrong. God is much bigger than my greatest errors.
I am just a small piece of an eternal puzzle. At times the story is much bigger than I can see. I have very limited understanding of myself.
God is much better at providing for me than I am for myself. He is much more satisfying than anything the world has ever had or will have to offer.
He has made me a light to the world, fully knowing all of my mistakes and brokenness.
Appalachia is a big mission field. It blows my mind that God would use people like you and me to be a part of something so big. If we make it about us, we will never stand a chance. If we make it about Him, nothing will ever stop us!