“Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.” Isaiah 44:8, ESV
The compassionate loving presence of God is beyond human understanding – He is our compassionate Father, our Shepherd of Love and our Divine Lover. God’s amazing “chesed”1 is seen in all the encounters of the people of Israel with God as recorded in the Old Testament. The story of the Jews is a revelation of the absolute depravity and deceitfulness of our sinful human nature as well as the steadfast love and patience of our Heavenly Father.
There is a cosmic drama that transcends human life. Spiritual formation, according to John Mark Comer, is the process by which we are formed in our spirits or inner persons, into the image of Jesus by the Holy Spirit. However, there are forces of evil that seek to deform us into the image of the devil through isolation and lies.2 We have a choice between life and death, between blessings and curses.3
We are living in a fallen world that is in darkness, filled with sorrow and suffering. Like Job, we battle with thoughts of meaninglessness, doubts and anger. Faith in God’s compassionate loving kindness is eroded when we are afflicted by loss, pain and suffering:
“Why wasn’t I born dead? Why didn’t I die as I came from the womb? Why was I laid on my mother’s lap? Why did she nurse me at her breasts? Had I died at birth, I would now be at peace. I would be asleep and at rest.”4
Jesus came to show us the power and love of God as he suffered and died on the cross. He rose from the dead to empower us to become the children of God who can have transforming, listening conversations with God. To be witnesses of God’s redeeming love to restore a broken world:
“Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.”5
The prophet Isaiah encouraged the people of Israel in their suffering with God’s promise of the Holy Spirit:
“Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.”6
This was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, when the Jews from every nation under heaven, gathered together in Jerusalem, were filled with the Holy Spirit.7 The good news is that by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can live the kind of life to prove that God has called us.8
Our calling is to live in the Kingdom of Heaven here and now so that God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven. A simple way to do so is to open our hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit through solitude and silence. As we do so, prayer and bible meditation become transforming listening conversations (T.L.C.) with God. Then we will do everything with the love of God and for God.
“Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory.9
Lord, help me to listen to Your Living Word so that I can have T.L.C. with You.
1. How is God speaking to me each day?
2. What is God revealing to me through His Living Word?
3. How can I live to prove God’s calling for my life?
Song of Praise:
Speak, O Lord
1. Chesed is the Hebrew word that means kindness or love between people, specifically of the devotional piety of people towards God as well as the love or mercy of God towards humanity. It reminds me that the love of God is not a feeling but is seen through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
2. John Mark Comer, Live No Lies, 2021, page 73
3. Deuteronomy 30:19, NLT
4. Job 3:11-13 NLT.
5. Isaiah 44:8, ESV
6. Isaiah 44:2-3, ESV
7. Acts: 2:1-6, NLT
8. Ephesians 4:1, GW
9. Speak, O Lord, Keith Getty/Stuart Townend