Isaiah 66:1-2 NIV
“This is what the Lord says:
‘Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me?
Where will my resting place be?
Has not my hand made all these things,
and so they came into being?’
declares the Lord.”
There are many people today who are convinced that they are supposed to build God’s house for him, only what they are doing is building earthly kingdoms and businesses of men, marketed just like any other business, using marketing schemes and ploys to attract the world to a product.
But what they are selling is just a Christianized version of what the world is offering, just cleaned up a little to make it more family friendly. For they are patterning the gatherings of the church after what the world wants, not after what God wants his church to become.
And human beings and marketing books and training seminars in how to plant or grow a church, based off business models, are what are setting the direction the church is headed, rather than the Holy Spirit and the word of God. For they are convinced they must attract the world to their gatherings using worldly means and methods.
But the church, the Lord’s house, is not a building or an institution of men or a church denomination or a corporation or a business created by man. The church is the body of Christ, comprised only of those having genuine faith in Jesus Christ, which submits to Christ as Lord, and which follows Him in obedience to his ways for building his church.
For the building of God’s church has nothing to do with church programs, but it has everything to do with the spiritual growth and development of God’s people as daily they die to sin and self and walk in Christ’s righteousness and holiness, empowered by God’s Spirit (Lu 9:23-26; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
And Jesus is the one to build his church, and we as members of his body are to build one another up in the faith in holiness and righteousness, speaking to one another in truth, encouraging and urging one another to forsake sins and to walk in obedience to our Lord, in surrender to his will for our lives.
Isaiah 66:2 NIV
“These are the ones I look on with favor:
those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
and who tremble at my word.”
Amen! The Lord is not looking for those with the power to persuade and manipulate others to their advantage. He is not looking for the attractive by the world’s standards who have many people flocking after them. And he is not looking for smooth-tongued orators who deceive people, either.
Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. Many people may be outwardly winsome, charming, fun, creative, likeable, and popular. And they may be the ones people flock to, and that they prefer for companionship or for socialization. But they may be rejected by God.
For what the Lord looks for is those who are humble and contrite in spirit (heart, mind, and soul). They are those who are unpretentious, simple, modest, who do not put on airs, who do not try to impress people, who have an honest and sober view of themselves, and who are not proud or arrogant.
They are remorseful over their sins, repentant, and determined by the power of God’s Spirit to walk in holiness and righteousness, and to not give way to sin, nor to give the devil a foothold in their lives. Their desire is for the Lord to please Him in all that they do for the glory and praise of God.
They love God’s Word, too. It is a lamp unto their feet and a light unto their path. They love to sit at Jesus’ feet, listening to his teachings, taking them into their minds and hearts, and they love to do what the Word says. For they take God and his word to heart, and they do not despise his truth.
Isaiah 66:3-4 NIV
“But whoever sacrifices a bull
is like one who kills a person,
and whoever offers a lamb
is like one who breaks a dog’s neck;
whoever makes a grain offering
is like one who presents pig’s blood,
and whoever burns memorial incense
is like one who worships an idol.
They have chosen their own ways,
and they delight in their abominations;
so I also will choose harsh treatment for them
and will bring on them what they dread.
For when I called, no one answered,
when I spoke, no one listened.
They did evil in my sight
and chose what displeases me.”
The relationship between the Lord’s adulterous people and himself is much like this married couple: The husband, who claims to be a follower of Christ, brings his wife flowers and candy. He writes her sweet and affectionate notes, and he buys her expensive gifts. He fixes things around the house, and he helps with the dishes to try to convince her that he loves her.
Yet, all the while he is doing these seemingly good things, he is continuously committing adultery against her behind her back, and then he is covering up his adultery with lie upon lie. Thus, he treats her with contempt, not love.
Yet, she knows him, for they have been together a really long time. So, she sees right through the lies. Thus, she appeals to him to be honest, to show integrity, and to not commit adultery against her, but to commit his life to Christ, to lead her spiritually, to walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, and to love her as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
But, he seems to ignore those pleas, and he continues to go his own way, thinking if he does enough “good deeds” that he will meet with her approval. Yet, he will not give her his heart, nor honor her requests. But he continues in his adultery, and he pursues his own course, and he thinks he can do what he wants, even knowing that it hurts her.
This is how many people who say they believe in Jesus, and who declare they love him, and who claim to have fellowship with him, and who pursue forms of worship of him, treat him. They have no honor or reverence for God at all, but they treat him with contempt. They ignore his pleas, and they do what they want despite him, and despite what his word teaches.
They chart their own course, and they do not inquire of their God to see what he wants for their lives. They mouth empty words which say, “I love you,” but their actions do not match their words. In fact, their actions speak just the opposite. And God says that these are those who are “smoke in his nostrils.” Yet, they continue on playing religion and pretending to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, while they do not honor Him with their lives.
So, the Lord is judging his adulterous church right now, I believe, for the purpose to bring them back into a right relationship with him, to where they will honor him as Lord, and they will glorify him with their lives.
Give God the Glory
An Original Work / March 10, 2014
Based off Psalm 19
All of creation now proclaims:
“Give God the glory; honor His name!”
Each day the stars in heav’n above
Show forth His wisdom; tell of His love.
They do not speak. They have no voice.
Yet, they declare we have a choice:
“Worship the God of heav’n above;
Believe in Jesus; trust in His love.”
God’s word is perfect, just and good,
Refreshing souls who trust in the Lord;
Makes wise the simple; radiant –
Lighting our lives with God’s righteousness.
Joy to the heart His words now speak;
Pure and enduring, now we seek.
They are more precious than our gold;
Sweeter than honey; never grow old.
Keeping the word brings great reward.
By the word Jesus speaks and He warns,
Convicting hearts of all their sin;
Forgiving all who call upon Him.
Praying You keep me, Lord, from sins.
May they not rule my life again.
Then will I walk in all Your ways,
Following Jesus all of my days.