(Friends, this blog is twice as long as usual. Stay with me. The subject matter is so important! And don’t forget to look for the recipes at the end of the blog!)
The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Psalm 37:23 NLT
Every detail of their lives! He delights in every detail of the godly person’s life! Not just godly areas of their lives, not just when they are reading their Bibles, not just when they are in church or helping someone out. He delights in them when they are eating, sleeping, at work, piddling at a hobby, working out, sipping their morning coffee. But there is one caveat, the word godly person. He delights in everything a godly person does. .What is a godly person? Jesus said that the entire law hinges on loving God then your neighbor as yourself. And Micah 6:8 puts it quite succinctly. “This is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
Let’s take a broader look at the godly person in Isaiah 58 to see some things God does and doesn’t like in a person.
Verse 1. God Gets Your Attention
Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Shout aloud! Don’t be timid.Tell my people Israel of their sins!
This verse merely tells us that God wants Isaiah to use all means possible at that time, his voice, to get us ready to listen to Isaiah tell us how we are getting it right and wrong.
Verse 2. God Tells You What He Sees
They act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me.They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God.They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me.
God wants us to stop pretending. To stop going to church acting like we are eager to learn during the Bible study and the sermon. To stop asking him for things when we really just want the things and not him. Stop pretending we want to be close to God.
Verses 3-5. Why Won’t He Answer My Prayers
We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!’ “I will tell you why!” I respond.“It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers. What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the LORD?
Have you ever known anyone who deprives herself from food while in prayer for something? Man, right here God slams the person who acts holy but still is in a spat with another person. If that person is an employer and doesn’t pay fair wages or allow for sick days, for example, God doesn’t want to hear from her. God even seems to scoff at the person who believes God is happy with them. “Do you really think this will please the Lord? He outright mocks the one who bows her head in prayer but is only going through the motions.
Verses 6-7. Because You Are Not Godly. Here Is How a Godly Person Looks.
“No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
Are some of these things even possible to do? How can we free someone from prison? There are organizations that work to free innocent prisoners that take donations. So let’s not let this one stump us. Maybe we don’t have anyone working for us, not even someone who cleans our home. But if you do, are you overly critical with her work? How about donating your money and/or your time to a homeless ministry? That covers sharing food, clothing and shelter. This last one may be the most difficult. We need to stop hiding from our relatives who need our help. . .again.
We have just looked at what God requires of us before he will hear our prayers. Ouch!
Verses 8-9. What Happens When You Do Become Godly
“Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the LORD will answer.‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
Then. you will pray and God will say, “I’m here and listening!” WOW! He also guarantees your protection.
Verses 10-12 Say It Again
Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.
Isaiah sums up what God wants from us: feeding the hungry and helping anyone who is in trouble. Not only will he listen to our prayers, He will guide us continually! He offers us his restoring companionship.
Verses 13-14 Now You Can Rest!
“Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the LORD’s holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.Then the LORD will be your delight. I will give you great honor and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob. I, the LORD, have spoken!”
Take one day a week to enjoy it and to delight in the rest we are getting. We shouldn’t use it to satisfy ourselves by catching up on our work or gossiping. Honor it. We ought to guard our rest time! Not only will God delight in us. We will delight in him!
I didn’t say much in this blog. I mostly let the Scriptures speak for themselves. It’s my favorite chapter in the Bible; it keeps me on my toes! Back to my title. Examine your life to see whether you are living a live close to God. If you are, when you ask yourself what does God like about me, you can say, “Every little detail, not just the pretty parts, but every little detail! Tell me something you do that God delights in. A hobby? How you care for your family? How you cook lasagna? Your smile or your laugh? What detail of your life does God delight in? Tell me in the comments below.
http://woundedjoy.com/?p=118 Look here to see last week’s recipe at the bottom of that post
Today’s recipe is the main dish Turkey
Let a whole stick of butter come to room temperature and mix in fresh chopped thyme, rosemary, and garlic powder. Slide your hand between the skin and the meat gently working your way to make a pocket on each side of the breast. Rub half the butter mixture between the skin and the breast. On the outside of the skin rub with paprika, salt and pepper.
Stuff with fresh marjoram, thyme, rosemary onion, a quartered lemon-pierced to release the juice, and the remainder of the herb butter. If you are using a flat pan instead of a rack, make a rack by placing a bed of celery, carrots and onions in your flat roasting pan and place the turkey on top. Leave in the frig overnight. Before cooking pour a can of chicken or turkey broth into the pan. Turn the turkey upside down and bake according to the wrapper instructions depending on the weight of the turkey.
Yep this is our favorite turkey! So moist and delicious!