There was one day when the Prophet Isaiah was speaking with the people, reporting on how Israel was finally at rest in the Promised Land, enjoying their feasts and festivals. There was worship in the land. They were finally 'settled' - no longer wandering hither and yon. The land was a blessing - providing for their needs in a great way. They were protected from attack - secure in their new homes. One of the best parts of the report was these words: "God runs this place and he'll keep us safe." When God is in control of our lives, we will be safe. If we take back that control, or just 'let it go' because we aren't paying attention, we will open the gates wide to disaster and destruction.
Just take a look at Zion, will you? Centering our worship in festival feasts! Feast your eyes on Jerusalem, a quiet and permanent place to live. No more pulling up stakes and moving on, no more patched-together lean-tos. Instead, God! God majestic, God himself the place in a country of broad rivers and streams, but rivers blocked to invading ships, off-limits to predatory pirates. For God makes all the decisions here. God is our king. God runs this place and he’ll keep us safe. (Isaiah 33:22)
We are often guilty of not continuing in the things God has provided within our lives. We read the Word, but do we take time to allow it to actually speak to us? We pray on occasion, but do we take time to listen to things he tells us throughout the day in those tiny prompts, lifting up prayers for him to be in control of those things? We hang out with friends, but do we invest in these relationships so they grow in Christ? Festivals and feasts are a good thing, but if they have become the center of our 'worship' relationship with Jesus, we are a bit out of sync with what God desires in the form of intimate relationship with us.
Does God 'run this place' and is he keeping it safe? The place? Your heart - your mind, will, and emotions. Your spirit - the place of our connection with Jesus. Is it possible to be a Christian and not have our mind surrendered to Jesus? Absolutely, and many of us actually hold onto thoughts that we know aren't right - they actually dishonor God and show how much we don't trust him. Can we determine to serve Christ and still have a struggle of the will? You betcha! The will is influenced by the mind and played upon by the emotions. Why do you think God put that scripture in his Word that reminds us the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak? (Matthew 26:41)
If God is truly 'running this place' (your heart, will, emotions), there will be a continual stirring within. You might think becoming a Christian means we will always know peace and contentment. God keeps us safe - but safety doesn't mean inactivity. When God is in control, maybe we will be stirred into activity when we'd rather be at rest. Obedience isn't always convenient, but when God is 'running this place', there will be a strength and security like no other. It is time to really 'be safe' - to go all in for Jesus once again. Just sayin!
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