“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me;
I was found by those who did not seek me.
To a nation that did not call on my name,
I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’”

Isaiah 65:1

 

Isaiah 65 begins with a tragic thought. God stood ready to help his people, but they didn’t bother to call upon him. He was ready to be found by those he had chosen, but they were not looking for him. In fact, as the rest of this chapter reveals, they were seeking other gods, indulging in the religious practices of the pagan nations.

A person waiting at the front of an empty church sanctuary as if forgotten.As I read this sad comment made by the Lord, I have to wonder how many times what was once true of Israel has been true of me. How many times has God been ready to help me, while I failed to turn to him? More than I realize, I’m quite sure. Now I haven’t engaged in pagan rites, mind you. But when I’ve been in a jam, I have often turned to something other than the Lord for help. Most of all, I tend to rely on myself: my cleverness, my intuition, my logic, my worry. God is ready to help me, but I seem to like putting myself through the emotional wringer for a while before I’m ready to seek his help. How sad! And how foolish!

I wonder how our lives would be different if we truly believed that God is there for us, ready to help if we only ask. The very Spirit of God dwells in us once we put our trust in Christ. Do we believe this? Do we live like it?

As I look ahead to a new year, I want to rely more upon the Lord, to trust him more consistently, and to live more of my life for his glory.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

Have there been times in your life when God was ready to help you, but you failed to ask? When?

Why didn’t you turn to God?

Are you facing challenges today for which you need God’s help, but haven’t asked? Are you willing to ask now?

PRAYER:

Gracious God, I wonder how often you look upon me with wistfulness, realizing how I have failed to turn to you when you are so ready to help me. Forgive me for my self-reliance and for my foolishness.

By your Spirit, teach me to live each day trusting in you. When I face a challenge or trial, may my instinct be to turn to you. Help me to look for you in every aspect of my life, whether I’m working or playing, resting or praying.

In this next year, may I live in deeper and more consistent fellowship with you, so that I might serve you more effectively in the world, and so that I might live life to the fullest.

All praise be to you, gracious God, because you are always there to help me. Amen.

 

Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary:
The Final Hope