When everything is dark in the house, we naturally walk more slowly through it, even though we know the way and are familiar with the obstacles. Why is that? You’re more cautious when you’ve lost one of your primary senses because of how much you rely on them and because some of your other senses like touch or hearing aren’t as strong to help you navigate, while other senses weren’t made for that sort of movement, like taste or smell. However, if there is someone behind you warning you of the table or the lamp that you are approaching, or the small step up or down, or the wall in front of you, you’ll walk with more confidence even if you can’t see. Some of us will still put our hands out because we trust ourselves (even in our blindness) more than we trust someone else. Others will simply walk slowly and let the navigator direct us. Yet others will just go for it! Which are you?
In Isaiah 30:19-22, the prophet Isaiah is speaking about the Lord’s great longing to be gracious and to have mercy and justice on those who long for Him. He reveals the Lord as our Teacher, who allows us to experience the “lessons” of life and then, when we are finally ready to listen, will patiently teach us what we need to know. Read this: “…your eyes shall see your Teacher. Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’ whenever you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left…” (Isaiah 30:20-21) This is a powerful picture of the goodness of God and shows how He walks with us through seasons of darkness and wandering, His Holy Spirit directing and correcting course for us and speaking. God is right there with you just as He promised!
The goodness of God can never be diminished by the bad things the depravity of sin has caused on the earth, nor His light diminished by the darkness.
This is one of the many reasons why we worship! The goodness of God can never be diminished by the bad things the depravity of sin has caused on the earth, nor His light diminished by the darkness. But there’s more! Here’s what Isaiah said next: “You shall defile also your graven images overlaid with silver, and your molded images ornaments with gold. You shall scatter them as an impure thing, and say to them, “Be gone!” (Isaiah 30:22) When you’re groping in the darkness of what you’re experiencing in this life, the Lord is with you “lest you dash your foot against a stone!” (Psalm 91:12) He is directing you, can you hear Him? If you can’t, draw close to Him so you can hear better!
Next is your part: Tear down those idols! Everyone has them, even Christians. Why? Because you were created to worship. If you’re not actively worshipping God, you’re worshipping something else, even if it’s an idea or concept, another person, a relationship, a career, money and even your church! God is doing His part to help you navigate the darkness, will you do yours? This is the way!
Thought for today
Even the most fervent worshipper can slip into idolatry. Look at the life of David, who idolized Bathsheba! Tearing down your idols isn’t a one-time event. It’s day by day, situation by situation action of violence against he kingdom of darkness that seeks to oppress you, distract you and weaken you. Yes, even depression and anxiety can be an idol. The news can be an idol. Your hobbies can be idol. Anything that draws your mind and heart toward it has the potential to be idolatrous, and in times of difficulty in your life, the enemy will try to draw you into yourself, and into distractions to keep you “busy” trying to cope and survive, instead of what God wants you to do: THRIVE. So what can you do? Develop a lifestyle structured around worship, the Word of God and prayer, to start with. Then? Ask the Lord to show you your idols, and “scatter them”, “defile” them and cry out, “BE GONE!” Finally, commit to departing from that path and listen to the voice of God, “…This is the way, [choose to] walk in it….”