“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the Lord honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Isaiah 58:13-14, NKJV
This society cannot appreciate the sentiments of this commandment. Turn away from my desires? Not speak my own words? Not do whatever I want? What is this? This is a free country!
But in God’s kingdom, our freedom actually comes out of obedience. Freedom comes out of obedience! What a radical thought- but it’s true. God knows our hearts. The prophet Jeremiah said it best:
“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.”
Jeremiah 17:9-10, NKJV
God knows that our hearts our desperately wicked- He looks into its dark recesses and knows every desire and every motive.
What does this have to do with Isaiah 58:13 and 14? Everything. Knowing our hearts, God knows that the only way to freedom for us is through denying ourselves. The only path to true delight is in not doing our own pleasures, not doing our own ways, and not speaking our own words. Why? Because there is only destruction and vanity when we seek our own pleasure continuously. It’s called selfishness. And when we follow the path of selfishness…
There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
Proverbs 14:12, NKJV
“Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.”
Matthew 7:13-14, AMP
When we do exactly what we want to do, it leads to our death and destruction. An easy path with few obstacles does not build strength, character, or integrity. When you always give in to what you want, you miss out on the transcendent purpose that God has for you. Something BIGGER than you! And when you only what seems right to you, you will feed your flesh (that pesky thing that only wants pleasure, fun, food, entertainment, and instant gratification), and your spirit will die. When your spirit dies, your dreams die, your vision dies, and your soul dies.
This is heavy stuff.
Have you ever had two or three days in a row where you did exactly what you wanted to do? No work, no studying, no cleaning, no grocery shopping, no paying bills, no working out, no answering phone calls? (Maybe even no prayer.) Maybe you just vegged out on the couch with a carton of ice cream and Netflix. Maybe you played the latest expansion pack of your favorite video game until your eyes crossed. Whatever it was, let me ask you this….
How did you feel at the end of your “pleasure binge”? Maybe you felt great and refreshed! But maybe you felt as I have in the past…empty and unsatisfied. Did you feel resentment thinking of having to go back to work and face the real world? Did you even think that you deserved more time to yourself? Feeding our own desires and seeking pleasure never satisfies! It’s a bottomless well. We want MORE and MORE and MORE…and we can never get our fill! King Solomon attests to this:
”Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.”
Proverbs 27:20, KJV
Or put another way:
“Hell has a voracious appetite,
and lust just never quits.”
Proverbs 27:20, MSG
Our lusts and our fleshly desires are never satisfied! Our eyes are constantly seeking things that please them and entertain them.
This is why God longs for us to STOP seeking our own desires. He knows that we will never get our fill!
He knows what TRULY satisfies us.
Listen to some of His promises in Psalm 37. I love this David psalm!
“Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more;
Indeed, you will look carefully for his place,
But it shall be no more.
But the meek shall inherit the earth,
And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand.
I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread.
He is ever merciful, and lends;
And his descendants are blessed.
Wait on the Lord,
And keep His way,
And He shall exalt you to inherit the land;
Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright;
For the future of that man is peace.
But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
He is their strength in the time of trouble.
And the Lord shall help them and deliver them;
He shall deliver them from the wicked,
And save them,
Because they trust in Him.
Psalm 37:3- 4, 10-11, 23-26, 34, 37, 39-40, NKJV
And that is only a fraction of the promises God gives us when we choose to delight in Him. When we stop speaking our own words, and begin speaking HIS truth…seeking HIS will and HIS plan for us…we find true satisfaction, wholeness, peace, rest, abundant life, and joy!
(Side note: our SPEECH creates our reality. What are you speaking into existence in your own life? Could this be another reason that the Lord asks us to “stop speaking our own words”? Maybe it’s time to only speak His Truth over your life and your family. Speak life today!)
Are you ready?
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