Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "All Glory Laud And Honour"1 (Lyrics)
Isaiah 52:1-2 – Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for henceforth there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake yourself from the dust; arise, sit [erect in a dignified place], O Jerusalem; loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion. (AMPC)
Life is ever changing, and I have had much change in the past year. Although it has, in many ways, been a wonderful year, it has been a long and lonely year, a difficult year. It has been a year when I have had to closely check my thoughts and attitudes so that my pathway might be straight. To be honest, I have often felt like I was staggering to take it all in.
Last night, I went to bed feeling very discouraged, rather hopeless, and fed up. This morning, I didn't feel much better. But then, I sat down to study the Word and have time with the Lord. As I read today's verses, everything changed.
Israel was in bondage to another nation, but amidst it, God calls for action: Awake, put on, shake yourself, arise, sit erect in a dignified place, loose yourself. In other words, God calls for His people to get moving. He is saying in effect, "Recognize who you are! Release from oppression and bondage are found in My strength and within the beauty of My character, all of which is found within you."
Life changes, but God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He goes before us and behind us. He is "I am He who speaks", and in His speaking is the power to change the world, our world, your world, my world, if only we will truly trust, believe, and do.
Life changes, but so can we, because God does not change. He is our hope, our strength, our beauty within, and when we embrace this, it changes us day by day, bit by bit. When we do the actions He called the Israelites to — the actions that He is calling us to do — nothing ungodly can share our lives. It must flee, setting us free from oppression, discouragement, hopelessness, and yes, simply being fed up. Such action in Christ transforms us to be a people of victory, overcomers who deal wisely and who prosper, a people who exalt and extol the name of Him Who reigns, that others, too, might have the opportunity to hear and embrace the good tidings of salvation in Christ Jesus.
Prayer: Lord God, thank You that Your strength and the beauty of Your character is within all who know Christ Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Remind us of this fact day and night, propelling us to take action and awake, put on, shake ourselves, arise, sit erect, and loose ourselves from the bonds of this world, which desires to render us impotent as Your children, when in reality we are overcomers in Christ, in Whose name we pray. Amen.