Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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God has revealed many times in my life where past hurts have caused behaviours and patterns, which have been detrimental to me. He has put on my heart to draw close to Him and bring others to Him also. .... Read More...

Seeds of the Kingdom

The Lord is Near

by Anne Lawrence

I bring my righteousness near, it shall not be far off.
Isaiah 46:13a, NIV

We serve an awesome God. He’s far above all other gods. He’s awesome in majesty. He’s the creator and sustainer of all things. What a privilege we have to be His children! Do we need to be reminded of this? Don’t we know how powerful our God is?

I was reading Isaiah 46 recently and I was struck by how, several times, the Lord established His credentials and reminded the people who He was. ‘To whom would you liken me and make me equal and compare me, that we should be alike?’ (verse 5). ‘Remember the former things of old, for I am God and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me’ (verse 9). He also says in verses 3 and 4 ‘Listen to me … I am He …. I have made … I will bear...’

It was as if He was saying - ‘Hey, remember me, I’m the almighty God.’ So the question is ‘why did He feel He had to do this?’ When you look at the passage, you see that the people of Israel were going their own way. In fact, they were making idols out of gold and silver, and then worshipping those things. The Lord was telling them how futile this was because those false gods couldn’t help them. They couldn’t answer, or even move!

I suddenly felt God’s heart of sadness as He looks down on us. We’re often facing difficulties and problems, and instead of turning to Him, we try to find other ways of solving problems. We have many strategies of our own - such as turning to food or drink; going on a spending spree; losing ourselves in the soaps or movies; looking to others to solve our problems; hurting ourselves, trying to comfort ourselves, turning to addictions, and sometimes new age or false religious solutions. All the time He’s looking upon us, with His heart breaking, saying to us as He did to the Israelites: ‘Hello. Don’t forget me. I’m the one who knows all things. I’m the one who created you. I can solve your problem - it’s not a big mountain to Me. Come to Me; turn to Me. Bring your problems to Me.’

It may not be that we turn to idols, or even false religions, but that we turn to something else instead of Him. That breaks His heart because He’s the one who has the answers. Often we don’t realise we’re doing it. We don’t realise that we’ve turned to something else instead of Him, because it’s a habit, or an addiction, and we’re unaware of it.

Ask the Lord to show you if there’s anything in your life that you’re going to instead of turning to Him. Take time to do that now. Resolve in your heart to turn to Him with every worry and concern. He has the answers. ‘Listen to me you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness; I bring My righteousness near; it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger’ (Isaiah 46:12-13a).

Prayer: Lord, I’m so sorry for the times when I turn to other things and not to You. Please forgive me. Thank You for being patient with me, and for Your salvation which is near to me. Lord I acknowledge that You are almighty God, and that You hold all things in Your hands. I resolve today to turn to You with my whole heart. Help me with this, Lord, and teach me Your ways. Amen.

Anne Lawrence joined the team at Ellel Grange in 2010 and is the Deputy Centre Director. She is married to Paul, Centre Director. Anne previously worked in education. Her last post was CEO of a College in Dublin. She has written courses, syllabi and a book for the English for Work series published by Longman. She has a heart for the broken and a passion to see people set free and released into more of what the Lord has for them. She loves to teach, listen, worship and create things.

 

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