SIXTY ONE : NINE
DEEPLY DISCOVERING THE DECLARATION OF ISAIAH 61
There isn’t a way I could ever decide on my most favorite verse in the Bible, but there are without a doubt some that rock me more significantly than others. Isaiah 61 is my daily declaration, the passage I feel most like my intimate Father crafted just for me. Recently He whispered in my ear as I read it to myself that He wanted me to break the passage down into bite-sized pieces and share it in this easier-to-chew form with the rest of the world. I immediately said “no thanks” (politely, I should add). I am not a Bible scholar and am therefore underqualified for any assignment to further explain this profound book. Then He led me straight to 1 John 2:27: “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.” Now, I don’t believe this means that we don’t need Bible scholars and educated pastors to help guide us and make us understand, because we do. I believe this verse is in this book to clarify to us that after we accept Jesus Christ and rely solely on His Spirit, should He call us to a task, we needn’t fear whether or not we know all there is to know because He knows all there is to know and will share it with us. As a matter of fact, I could do an entire separate series discussing all the underqualified believers that He uses. It’s kind of His style.
So here we are. This eleven(ish) week study will break down the verses of the bold and brilliant declaration that is Isaiah 61. I am praying for clarity, understanding, and inexplicable Holy Spirit guidance so that together, we can uncover the truth about who we are called to be once we receive the Holy Spirit.
THEIR DESCENDANTS WILL BE KNOWN AMONG THE NATIONS AND THEIR OFFSPRING AMONG THE PEOPLES.
Aren’t we all at least a wee bit hungry for acknowledgement? At least a tad hopeful that we will be remembered beyond the grave? Don’t we all dream of impacting the world so greatly that our name would be uttered for many years after our earthly deaths? It is easy to, at times, feel guilty about this desire and God is telling us that these desires come from Him. That it is not wrong to fill our minds with hopes of such a high-impact, resounding life because He put those desires in us and, should we honor, exalt, and share His name and His heart, that kind of holy fame is a natural byproduct.
Imagine this: God is telling Israel that the cause of their fame and popularity would be Him. This is a rare and wonderful promise. How often do we get to see people in this day and age gain fame for their heart for the Lord? Not nearly often enough. God is promising His people that so long as they remain in covenant relationship with Him, they will be well-known around the world without any guilt or regret attached to their fame.
ALL WHO SEE THEM WILL ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEY ARE A PEOPLE THE LORD HAS BLESSED.
When we step into covenant with Christ, we step our most perfect and impactful potential. He is saying, “Israel, without me you are a dot on the map but if you continue choosing me and I in turn continue choosing you, your name will be a household name all around the world. People will speak about your blessings, about the undeniable way that I hold you under my wing and provide for you all that you need.” It is impossible to look at the nation of Israel and not acknowledge the heavy presence of God on the land. But when along came Jesus Christ, we were all adopted into this holy heritage and we are a part of the nation chosen by God.
If we allow the covenant we make with Christ to be the heart of our existence, it becomes impossible for people to look at us and not see blessings. And while blessing does not mean perfection, the hand of God on a life can make it look too good to be true. Because it is. A life touched by God is too good to be true in this world, and that is how we know someone other-worldly is involved. I find that the nearer I draw to my Father, the more often I get this wildly uncomfortable question: How is your life so perfect? And it isn’t, but there isn’t language on this earth that can effectively nail down what happens to a life when it is taken captive by the God of the Small Stuff.
See, life with Christ isn’t perfect. Often times, the desire for a new standard of living adds petrifying difficulties and emotions but, because we know God is light it makes sense that, when He is blessing us, we begin to shine in an indescribable way and people become infatuated by this presence of holiness in us. And this is the promise of Isaiah 61:9. Not that things would become perfect in our covenant with Christ but that He would change us and our lives in such a way that people could not look upon us without recognizing the blessing of Christ on our life.
Our job when the world sees it is to explain it. This is what it is to make disciples.
This week, as God presses into your life and begins to transform it from the inside, I pray that you discover the truth of what it means to be a person that He has blessed. May you continue dreaming of a life so consumed with your Creator that your name would resonate throughout generations for your impact on the Kingdom.
May you recognize blessing as it washes over you.