"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
2 Corinthians 6:17-18
This was one of the defining scriptures of my life during this time. I was letting go of drinking and lust and so many other things.
In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover." Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, "Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes." And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: "Go and tell Hezekiah, 'This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city.
- Isaiah 38:1-6
God changes his mind about Hezekiah's death.
I've been thinking about freewill and predestination quite a bit lately. I think it has something to do with my older brother of 34 years recently getting radically saved. I wonder why now? All those years of praying and believing, everything he went through before this... it almost seemed scripted out. Talking to him about it last night, he said he firmly believes in predestination and described it as being in an orchestra. When it comes time to play, you can either play along with everyone else and receive the reward due the band when the song is done or you can play your own song. Did God plan on saving Hezekiah so he sent Isaiah to get him praying?
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
- Isaiah 55:8-9
This verse is key for me right now. I need this verse to guide every step I take and everything I do or understand. So many things happen in ways that I wouldn't plan or hope for... but God's ways are better than my pitiful "logic."
I had a piece of paper with this verse on it that I used as a bookmark in my Bible for years. This really is a wonderful verse that humbles us and comforts us at the same time.
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
- Isaiah 64:6
Sin blows you away from God. Even the "righteous" things you do will be considered dirty.
This is one that every Christ follower needs to be reminded of. It's so easy to slip into a performance mentality and treat God like men, if we just do x, y and z... He'll overlook a, b and c. It just doesn't work that way. He forgives us every time, but we do have to confess and give him our sin.