Have you ever been looking for the finishing touch for a newly decorated room? Or the last accessory to complete an outfit? It's been often said in our family that if something is in the mind's eye, then it really doesn't exist! I have often said myself "In my mind's eye I know exactly what I need." I can see it in my head, yet in reality that item can be an elusive holy grail! However, at the time, no other thing will do.
This month we're returning to Isaiah 45:22…
"Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other."
Isaiah was prophesying to the kingdom of Judah, which had been steeped in sin and had turned from God. While punishment (by exile into Babylon) was inevitable, God was offering Judah forgiveness and salvation from their future captors, revealing Himself as the only true and living GOD - a contrast to the idols of the Babylonians.
As the mighty ancient Babylonian empire rose and fell, we can see the rise and fall of many world systems/powers… eg Hitler, Stalin, communism in Europe (now over 20 years since the Berlin wall came down). Apartheid in South Africa is now a thing of the past, and Saddam Hussein has gone. Many world religions also exist but none subscribe to the true and living God whose word remains, living and breathing into our hearts and lives. All the ends of the earth need to look to Him and be saved, for there is no other.
In weakness/illness/isolation/loneliness/depression/bereavement it's hard to have a mind's eye. It's difficult to see through to the next hour. However, often through the prayers of others, God sustains. Eventually, we do realise that there is no other who can comfort and strengthen.
Counselling rooms are full of people who have experienced previously unimagined tragedies - they didn't see them coming, can't see God in them and feel angry at Him at the time. Yet after many weeks, years sometimes, they can start to see God at work in their hurts and circumstances, and realise that there is no other One they can rely on to get them through.
So what (or who) do we see in our mind's eye as the answer to our needs in this New Year?…
2 Cor 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.
Phil 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Eph 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.
1 Cor 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
Gal 6:3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
God wants to save us and care for us as a Father. He wants us to lean on Him for ALL we need… there is no other who can supply our every and varying needs.
Don't forget where everything we have and are comes from. Unfortunately we often need to be at the bottom of ourselves to realise that our own strength is, at best, unreliable!
Phil 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
So, as the New Year, and a new decade, opens up before us, what's in our mind's eye? Anything or anyone that will make us feel better? Ease the pain of living?
Or do we realise that there is no other but God who can offer us forgiveness, hope for the future and comfort in our hardest times?
Isaiah 45:22 Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
Are you SURE that you have your place booked in Heaven? Read this if you're not!