I was reading in Isaiah 26 this morning. There are a few verses that really have been striking me the last number of days.
Verses 3 and 4 in The Message say,
People with their minds set on You, You keep completely whole, steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don’t quit. Depend on God and keep at it, because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.
These verses speak to me about what life looks like for people who exercise perseverance, trust, and faithfulness.
They set their minds on Christ, and the result is they become steady in the way they do life.
They depend on God and stay at what He’s calling them to do, and they have a sure end.
Verses 17 & 18 in Isaiah 26 say this-
We were pregnant full-term. We writhed in labor but bore no baby. We gave birth to wind. Nothing came of our labor. We produced nothing living. We couldn’t save the world.
The picture painted here is completely different from the first part of the chapter. I am not the expert on childbirth at all, but I have birthed four little humans. The thought of being full-term, going thru labor, and birthing nothing but wind is depressing at best! But apparently, according to these verses, we can do that with our lives! How tragic!! The thought of going thru the pains of something growing inside me, the dreams as I prepare for the arrival of the baby, and the pressure and pain of childbirth all for nothing is a devastating thought. While I have had a couple early miscarriages and know the pain and disappointment of miscarriage, I am certain that the pain and disappointment of a stillborn baby is on another level entirely.
Thinking of what this could look like in relation to an entire life stirs my heart with desperation. We can literally live our life working hard, thinking we are building something and doing good things, and it can ALL BE IN VAIN!
The result can be absolutely nothing.
This reality has caused me to stop and think multiple times this morning.
What things am I doing that are completely irrelevant to what God is calling me to? What am I doing in my own strength and not in God’s supernatural strength? What am I spending time and energy on that are not growing fruit on the tree of my life?
Am I growing a baby or nothing but wind?
Am I making an impact or blowing hot air?
Am I doing what He is asking of me or what I think people around me expect from me?
Am I sold out to Jesus or my own agenda and wishes?
Hubby has been bringing up John 15 quite a bit the last while. I read the first 17 verses this morning as some of them kept popping into my mind.
Jesus says to “abide in Me.” If I’m not bearing fruit, I will be cut off. The only way to bear fruit is to be attached to Him, the Vine.
So far my thoughts have been on my personal life and bearing fruit. But now I’m thinking in relation to Jesus’ body, the Church.
What would the world look like if each person, each part of the Church would be doing the things that they specifically are called to, did only the things Jesus is calling them to, and did them to serve and to the best of their ability?
What things is the Church doing that is nothing but wind? Are we birthing the Kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven” or are our efforts producing a hot, arrid breeze that people want to get away from?
I’m sure that all of us are doing some things well in our life. At least I surely hope so!!! But I am willing to bet that if we stop and ask and listen, there are places that Jesus would tell us to do something different in. Let’s listen and do life His way. I’m pretty sure the results will blow our doors off!!
Thank you for hanging with me while I process. I would love to hear your thoughts and what Jesus is telling you about abiding in Him, bearing fruit, and bringing His Kingdom to earth! What has He asked you to do? What has He asked you to stop doing?