Settle Down (A Gift of Love)

  • February 27, 2013
  • Blog

Just a few weeks ago, one of my very favorite Bible teachers and heroes of the faith, Beth Moore, issued a little weekend homework assignment on her blog http://blog.lproof.org/ .

And, being that I LOVE digging in the Word for hidden Treasure, I said YES to the adventure.

So, what was the assignment?  To “explore” Isaiah 30:15-18 {in 3 different translations} and then “dig” through a series of very probing questions (they are highlighted in blue).  So, below, you will find the treasures that Grace led me to discover, and I do pray that you are encouraged to “settle down” as you journey with the Father.

{Isaiah 30:15-18, Amplified}

15 For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength. But you would not,

16 And you said, No! We will speed [our own course] on horses! Therefore you will speed [in flight from your enemies]! You said, We will ride upon swift steeds [doing our own way]! Therefore will they who pursue you be swift, [so swift that]

17 One thousand of you will flee at the threat of one of them; at the threat of five you will flee till you are left like a beacon or a flagpole on the top of a mountain, and like a signal on a hill.

18 And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!

{2} Look up the word “threat”…how do you feel most threatened in this season of life?   

Threat – an expression of intention to inflict evil, injury, or damage

First, I needed to understand the word “expression” … one of the ways it can be defined is as a process that gives voice, a product of pressing out. With that, when I think of the word “threat”, it leads me to envision all of the ways (the slow, sometimes torturous process) that the enemy uses his cunning voice, his lies, his defeating chatter, to “press out” my fears, my weaknessess, my insecurities, and my selfish ambitions.

How do I feel most threatened in this season of life?  In fulfilling the “portion”, the calling(s), that God has given me…and some of that portion has been a dream for years.  Sounds like an oxymoron for sure, I know! *sigh*

What about you?  Is that area of “threat” being pressed out through a new opportunity, or maybe it’s right where you are but you have lost the joy and passion you once had?  Is it a new faith adventure or a call to sacrificial serving? Or perhaps it’s becoming a {new} mama or daddy through adoption?  Are you being called to open your home and surrender your family’s comfort, to become the kind of home and family that forever changes the life, the future, of a vulnerable foster child or at-risk teen?  For some of us, it may just be in letting go…

My husband and I have been given the gift of seeing some of our dreams, our callings, for our family come true, and I am terrified.  I don’t really like letting go and walking by faith…sight is good, right?  I can’t handle don’t want any more change, more risk…I’ve been pressed out enough {or so I think}.

But…there is an undeniable stirring of the Spirit…and of course, it is accompanied by the endless chatter of the enemy telling me all the reasons I should FLEE…and they are really good reasons. Sneaky reasons. Fearful reasons. Insecure reasons. AdverntureLESS reasons. Faith-less reasons.

{3) What does “fleeing” tend to look like in your life? In other words, how are you most prone to flee? And, are you in fleeing mode right now?

Ok, so I’m taking a risk here, and being a bit more vulnerable than I like:)  For me, fleeing tends to take on the form of busyness. And, yes, I am in fleeing mode right now…hard to admit, but freeing to recognize.  Feeling “threatened” is pressed out in many different ways.  I tend to run away by busying myself, either through physical work or through the constant mental work of thinking through every.possible.answer to “how do I avoid failing, making a mistake, or letting someone down?”

{And how is that working for me? Like a stinkin’ lonely flagpole on top of a hill!}

Are you in “fleeing” mode?  How does it look for you? I challenge you to really think though this question…it’s a pruning exercise and it hurts, badly.  But until we allow the Gospel (the miraculous life, sacrificial death, and Resurrection power) to daily intersect with our lives, we.will.be {un}settled.

{4} Compare or contrast the Isaiah text (30:15-18) to 1 Peter 5:8-10 and James 4:7

In the passage from Isaiah, there are two very different scenes:

Scene 1: The Father lovingly, earnestly pursuing me with His rest, His peace, His love, His confidence.
Scene 2: The enemy vengefully, deceitfully pursuing me with his threats, his lies, his hatred, his kill-joy.

In 1 Peter and James, there are also two scenes:

Scene 1: The believer who is alert and ready to stand firm against the pursuit of the enemy, who isn’t caught off guard by his roaring threats.
Scene 2: The ONE constant in both passages…the God of all Grace, establishing, grounding, strengthening, and settling His child, before, during, AND after the chase!

{5} Do you perchance need to hear the words “settle down!” as much as I do?

Ahhh, for more and more Grace to be still and trusting long enough to hear and receive this soul-filling gift of Love.

Father,
Thank you for your Word. Thank you for the heart-pounding thrill that is breathed into my soul when I seek You as my Treasure…digging, hunting for just a nugget of your Heart, your Truth. You always exceed my hopes.

The enemy’s pursuit is exhausting. You know this full well…and you know precisely the lion’s devouring process, for he must ask You for permission first.
And You also know precisely my tendency to allow his threatening roars to cause this sanctified-redeemed-justified- and-glorified daughter of Yours to RUN.

And the really, really humbling part that I am seeing through the lens of the Gospel today is this: the enemy is RUNNING too…right beside me, never.losing.pace. Goodness, is he ever so swift. The pace is exhausting. Why? Because I know, deep down, that I will never.get.to.the.finish.line when running with a LOSER. He drains the Joy right out of my heart…he convinces me to give up, to quit, to lose hope, to forfeit my dreams, to do this life my way.

Why do I let the enemy’s tactics have such voice in my life? Because I don’t fully trust You. Personally, I demand far more perfection from me than Your Grace would even consider. But, hallelujah, You are working all things together for good…to conform me to Your image…to teach me to “stand firm and resist”…to teach me that I simply cannot win this race without rest, repentance, training, and faith.  Surrender.

Whether I run or whether I stop to rest, YOU are there…you’ll run behind me to catch me, for all of the times I will trip and fall. You’ll even run ahead of me, when I don’t know where in the world I’m running to…because Your love never runs out. But, most comforting to me today, is that You are even willing to cheer me on, from the sideline. You.wait.for.me. … To settle me down, to encourage me, to focus me, to have mercy on my faithless heart…prone to wonder, LORD I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.  Your Name is Redeemer!

Please, please, don’t let me fall prey to the lion’s swift pace…help me not only to hear Your Voice over his, but to expect it…and then run to You. As long as I am running FROM You, the enemy will be able to keep pace, even out running me. But, when I run TO You, that coward of an enemy runs the other way, totally and utterly alone!

I truly desire to abandon my paralyzing fears and wholly embrace the great adventure of knowing and loving the King of Kings…of having the “unbroken companionship” of the Prince of Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transform me to be like the flagpole on a hill that humbly, yet confidently and unwaveringly, displays the flag of real Victory – one whose color is pure white – the radiant symbol of surrender to the ONE that has already WON!

In Jesus’ Loving, Settling Name,

Jodie