In today’s reading I was stopped, to ponder, in a couple of places; both of them in chapter 28. Beginning in 28:12 “to whom he said, ‘This is the resting place, let the weary rest’: and, ‘This is the place of repose’- but they would not listen. So then, the word of the Lord to them will become: Do and do, do and do … so that they will go and fall backward, be injured and snared and captured.”
I couldn’t help but wonder the times I have ignored the place of repose; my time spent with the Lord each day! How many times have I gotten so caught up in doing that God has gotten lost in the shuffle. There are always indications of this as I begin feel overwhelmed and I use phrases like “I need a vacation!” but, what I really mean is a year long sabbatical or a permanent release from the job at hand. Or the phrase “I just cannot do this anymore, I need a break” only to keep right on plugging through doing and doing and doing and doing.
I believe there are times when I have not listened to that wee small voice and as a result there have been times when I too have fallen backwards, been snared by the enemy and been captured. Oh, not in the sense that Israel and Judah will be, but nevertheless very much snared, very much hostage.
The devil is quite good in keeping us busy. And he is quite good at keeping us busy doing the “Lord’s work”; or is it really the Lord’s work when it leads to do and do, do and do? Is it really the Lord’s work when He never asked us to do it? Is it really the Lord’s work when the truth be known it isn’t about God at all – – – It is really all about us, you and me! (I loved how Isaiah spoke this – do and do and do and do and do and do. I can almost hear the nations saying “enough already!” I know I wanted to shout enough! And I was simply reading the text). 🙂
The devil has another unique way of holding as captive and keeping us prisoner (and that leads me to the 2nd stopping place). When the devil can cause us to become fearful and lose our determination our resolve to keep hanging in for the Lord. Isaiah uses the word dismayed in verse 16. Dismayed – to cause to lose courage or resolution (because of alarm or fear). Resolution in this case means the loss of our determination. We lose are resolve to keep moving on; we become frozen because of fear – aka taken captive by the enemy.
Translation for me is the enemy gets me doing, doing, doing, and I buy into the concept of 150% because after all it’s for the Lord right? It doesn’t matter that I haven’t really asked if I should be doing it or not. Then I become tired, overwhelmed and burned out… needing a vacation – meaning I really need a 6 month or more break… So what stops me? That would be fear! “What will they think of me if I quit?” (fear)… “Who will fill in and take this job or task on?” – translation “someone else will fill these shoes and I won’t be wanted anymore (fear). Or, worse “They will like them better.” (fear). They will discover that I am not so great after all at what I do (fear). Oh and here is my favorite one “But Lord what on earth will I do?” Translation, I have no value if I am not doing. I have no self-worth if I am sitting quietly at the feet of Jesus for awhile and doing nothing else! And the list could go on and on.
The answer – is found in this same section – the one who trusts in the cornerstone, Jesus, will not be dismayed. In other words I need to stop trusting in self – all those statements that were fear based above, if you go back and read them you also discover they were all about me statements and trusting in self statements – I need to put all my trust in the Lord. If I would do that, then I would not be fearful, I would not lose courage, and while I would be doing .. it would not be do and do and do and do and do and do. My doing would not be aimless – it would have purpose. My doing would have balance. There would be plenty of time for rest as I would visit the place of repose often. The place of repose for me, is daily quiet time with Jesus.
I would suspect that like me you all have a little bit of do and do and do and do going on in your life. May I challenge you today, to take some time to sit at the feet of Jesus and visit the place of repose before you too become captive from the doing.
Until next time – Be encouraged