by Tammy Phillips
April 17, 2021
“Pay attention, O Jacob, for you are my servant, O Israel. I, the LORD, made you, and I will not forget you. 22 I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.” (Isaiah 44:21-22 NLT)
We learn in Isaiah 44 that Israel had carved out wooden idols and had bowed to them like the idols could save them.
What idols have we carved out in our imagination? Where have we put our faith or adoration? Is our idol in the shape of a football, baseball or basketball? Is it in a man, a sports figure, government official or Hollywood actor? Has our imaginary carved an idol that resembles a job, money or fame? Is our idol food, drugs or alcohol? Have we been so foolish to place our trust and worship in anything other than the Lord God and His Son, Jesus Christ, who died and paid for our salvation with His own blood?
Even though Israel had slipped into the folly of carving images, God continued to love Israel back to Himself. He loves us back to Himself in the same way. In the last verses of Isaiah, the Lord directs us to remember , “I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God.” Can you hear His voice begging us to come home to Him? Listen. Slow read each line. Hear the love and promises of our Father…
I am the Lord.
You are my servant. (I believe here that the Lord is lovingly implying, “You are the Lord’s. You are mine. I have marked you, My own,” as servants were commonly marked or tattooed in the hand with their master’s name.)
I made you.
I will not forget you.
I have blotted out and swept away your sins like a cloud.
I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist.
I have redeemed you.
I have paid the price to set you free.
I am your Redeemer.
Can you hear the Father saying, “COME HOME?”
RETURN TO ME!
Restore our relationship.
Refresh your adoration to me.
Renew yourself to me alone.
Salvation, Redemption and Love—what good news! It should send us running into the arms of our Creator with shouts of joy and songs. There is joy, songs, and freedom in returning to God! You might say, “But, I know God!” I know God, too. I have an intimate relationship with Him, but I had not completely surrendered everything to Him. Honestly, for me, surrender is a daily thing. I must be resolute in my choices. Returning to Him is the first choice I make each morning. I exercise my faith. I crucify my flesh. I make healthy food choices instead of ingesting a tablespoon of peanut butter for a snack. I determine to consistently exercise my body. This is the path of God’s best life for me. Our path’s may look different or maybe they are the same.
I enCOURAGE you to RETURN TO GOD in every area of your life. Work with God. Get on the path of life that will bring you so near to God that you can hear His very heartbeat walking along with you. I promise and 100% guaranteed, you will not be disappointed in the surrender. The surrender, the return, it is actually life, real and free.