Monday, September 20, 2010

Knowing God - Isaiah 55:6

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Seek the Lord while he may be found,
call upon him while he is near
Isaiah 55:6
Today's lesson proclaims one of the mysteries of God.
On the one hand, one of the promises of God is "Emmanuel" -- which means "God is with us." Indeed, scripture proclaims an omnipresent, always available God.
On the other hand, scripture also cries, "Why, O Lord, do you stand far off?" (Ps 10:1). Even Jesus on the cross repeated the cries of Psalm 22, "1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so farfrom ... the words of my groaning?"
Scripture says, "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted" (Ps 34:18). So why does he also -- and sometimes -- seem so far away? 
The Psalms give us a hint of an explanation. Psalm 119 tells us that "155 Salvation is far from the wicked" and Psalm 138 tells us that "6 he perceives the haughty from far away." Sin causes the distance. Our sin erects a barrier between us and God. But the Psalms also tell us what God wants to do with our sins: "As faras the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12).
When God seems far, maybe we need to ask which sins are creating the distance.
Now, we can over-do that. We can beat ourselves up, searching our past for some unconfessed transgression. I that know for me the separating sin is usually much simpler -- "I've been too busy to turn to him often enough!"
So ... whenever you have one of those seasons when "he may be found" -- our verse for today -- "seek" passionately! "Call on him" actively! Ride this wave until it peters out on the shore. Then swim back out and try to catch the wave again.
Indeed, the more we practice his presence, the more continual the waves will seem to be.
In Christ's Love,
a surfer dude

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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