I was reading in Isaiah this morning and came across one of my favorite passages of all times. (I know you are laughing because I have like 50 million favorite passages and I say that all the time…) Well this particular one the Lord used in amazing ways to help me to overcome some of the habitiual sin in my life and to press on toward His plans for me. Isaiah is speaking about why God has sent him to share the message of salvation and hope to people…..”To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Is. 61:3 He does not ask us to come to him as beauty, He says come with your ashes and I will trade you for things of beauty. Come to me broken and mourning, and I will give you joy. Bring me your heavy heart and I will give you a heart of praise. So often in our lives we just loose touch with our creator. We get busy and making time for Him is the first thing that we drop from the schedule. The relationship is compromised because we get to the point where we no longer hear that still small voice speaking to our hearts. We get caught up in sin and don’t feel the conviction we used to…..we have effectively “quinched the spirit” (1 Thess. 5:19). This eventually leads us back where we started….broken in need of repair. Ashes that desire beauty, broken in need of joy, heaviness in need of praise! This is exactly where the Lord wants us to be. If we don’t see our need for repair, we are irreparable. If we don’t bring the ashes, they will not be made beautiful. This paints an amazing picture for me of just how much my redeemer desires me. Who else would trade junk for things of value? Who would trade you a station wagon for a porche??? It seems a little crazy, but so was the blood shed of an innocent man years ago. God does not expect us to “clean up our act” before we come to Him, but He is one that is more than willing to clean it up for us. He is one that is willing to give us direction and peace as we seek to live a life that is pleasing to Him. He is one who is willing to take us in our beaten up state and trade it in for a better version. I don’t know about you….. I choose to TRADE UP!!
trade up March 16, 2010