The Way of Holiness – Isaiah 35

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God speaks to us through His Word.  I continue to ponder this highway that I am on.  I feel His nearness, His love for me, His joy as I learn from Him.  I walk the road with God.

Isaiah 35:1-10:

1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God. 

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you.  John 15:16

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. …. So there was much joy in that city.  Acts 8:5, 8

I desire to abide in You, my LORD, being obedient and submissive to You.  I want to be a fruit bearer, honoring You with joy and song.

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”

“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”  Luke 22:32

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.  1 Thessalonians 5:14

May I serve You, my LORD, with boldness and strength, acceptably, with reverence and awe.

5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.  For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

“…to open their eyes so they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in Me.’  Acts 26:18

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.  Psalm 46:4

Oh, LORD, You are my All in all.  You are the One Who turns me from darkness to light, from blind to seeing, from deaf to hearing.  You set me apart for Yourself.  I am so very grateful.  May the springs flow through me as I walk in this world…that I would be Your witness, Your light, Your salt.

8 And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it.  It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.

Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. ….”  Jeremiah 6:16a

This highway stands before me.  I ask for the ancient paths and walk upon them for this is the good way.  I know I shall find rest there.  Thank You, LORD.

10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their Shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”  Revelation 7:17

I praise You, LORD.  I sing and rejoice for I know You.  You are my Guide.  You are the Way of Holiness.  Hallelujah!  and Amen!

 
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Photo 1:  Patricio Hurtado from Chile:  https://pixabay.com/en/hills-flowering-desert-flowers-960126/  CCO Public Domain (from Pixabay)

Photo 2:  Stas Kulesh, a Russian travel photographer living in Auckland, New Zealand.  https://hd.unsplash.com/photo-1451817045432-8c40f15299f9; https://unsplash.com/@kulesh; licensed under Creative Commons Zero

A Highway

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And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.  Isaiah 35:8

A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Isaiah 40:3

Father God, I want to walk in Your ways, the highway of holiness.  You are Holiness that I seek and desire.  You are Love and Righteousness.  You are Holiness.  You make me whole.  When I walk on this highway, I walk toward You.  I so want to be wholly Yours, and walk the remainder of this life on earth in holiness. 

But my people have forgotten Me;
they make offerings to false gods;
they made them stumble in their ways,
in the ancient roads,
and to walk into side roads,
not the highway,  making their land a horror,
a thing to be hissed at forever.
Everyone who passes by it is horrified
and shakes his head.  Jeremiah 18:15-16

I do not want to wander from this highway yet I am human.  I have; I do; I will.  I have made and will make mistakes and I do error.  Yet, LORD, I do not want to.  You have forgiven me of my many past wrong steps.  I seek Your face, asking forgiveness for these paths I walk down when they are not Yours.  Thank You for loving me back into Your arms, my Precious Father. 

“Set up road markers for yourself;
make yourself guideposts;
consider well the highway,
the road by which you went.
Return, O virgin Israel,
return to these your cities.”  Jeremiah 31:21

I read Your Word, Father, as It is truly filled with the road markers that You have set before me.  I may wander off the highway, yet I want to be able to find You and Your way no matter what happens, no matter which way I turn.  I seek You and am learning to be quiet so that I may hear Your still and small voice, for I want to know You in the beauty of Who You are.  You are my God.  In the dark of night when the highway is black and there is no moonlight, I want to know that I am on Your path for me, for my life.   

But according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace.  2 Peter 3:13-14

With anticipation, with joy, and with expectancy, I continue taking step after step.  Today, I desire to stay in this very moment with You, my LORD.  Tomorrow, I want to walk beside You on Your road for me. 

But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.  Romans 6:17-18

God, You have transformed my heart, beginning with my conversion to be Your daughter in Christ Jesus.  I walk as closely to You as I can.  I hope to stay near You from this moment on.  When I stray, LORD, please draw me near.  I sense Your strength as I am drawn under the shadow of Your wing, into the cleft of the rock.  I want to grow in love and righteousness, live according to Your Word, and be pleasing to You now and for always.  In the Powerful Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen. 

But this command I gave them: ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’  Jeremiah 7:23

Amen and Amen. 

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Photo 1: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7895628@N03/2807135427; “Endless Road” via http://photopin.com;  licensed under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Photo 2:  Stas Kulesh, a Russian travel photographer living in Auckland, New Zealand.  https://hd.unsplash.com/photo-1451817045432-8c40f15299f9; https://unsplash.com/@kulesh; licensed under Creative Commons Zero

Everything About God Says Strong

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Last time, I wrote of God’s justice.  It will rule one day.  His day.

Your statutes, LORD, stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days Psalm 93:5 NIV

קֹדֶשׁ

qodesh

sacredness, holiness, separateness, apartness, set-apartness

…of God

…of things

…of places

Your decrees are very trustworthy;
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, forevermore.  Psalm 93:5  ESV

Your testimonies are very sure;
Holiness adorns Your house,
O LORD, forever.  NKJV

Your testimonies are fully confirmed;
Holiness befits Your house,
O LORD, forevermore.  NASB

The rules you set down are completely reliable. Holiness aptly adorns your house, O LORD, forever.  NET

The sure justice that is to come stands upon the solid holiness of our God.  He is Who He says He is.  He does what He says He will do.  He is faithful and trustworthy in all and everything.  As I learn to walk in the ways of the LORD, I feel that surety in my steps because He orders them.  Everything about God is just, truthful, strong, perfect.


“The Rock, His work is perfect,

for all His ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
just and upright is He.”  Deuteronomy 32:4

 צוּר

tsuwr

rock, sharp edge, stone

Mighty One, Refuge, Protection for Israel

strength

He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity: just and right is he.  WEB

He is the Rock, His work is perfect;
For all His ways are justice,
A God of truth and without injustice;
Righteous and upright is He.  NKJV

A rock is solid and strong.  God is our Rock.  He is our Stronghold.  He is stable.  He is upright and authoritative.  That pillar above is strong and stable.  It holds up so much.

And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.  The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.  Exodus 13:21-22

עַמּוּד

`ammuwd

column, pillar, upright, platform

God, a pillar of strength.  The pillars of cloud and fire held God.  How much stronger can anything be?

Father God, You are my LORD.  You are my Rock.  You are strong and mighty.  You have brought me from the depths of darkness and have loved me into Your Light, continuing to love me into the beauty of Your Light.  Your Son is my Savior, the Light.  I am most grateful and filled with respect for He is my Salvation.  Thank You, Father, for standing firm in my weakness.  You are my Refuge where I am protected.  I know that Your justice is perfect and will come one day to this world just as I know that Your perfect way keeps me aligned with You when I obey.  Lead me to Your Rock for it is higher than I.  You are my Stronghold.  In the Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen. 

Hear my cry, O God,

listen to my prayer;

from the end of the earth I call to You

when my heart is faint.

Lead me to the rock

that is higher than I,

for you have been my refuge,

a strong tower against the enemy.  Psalm 61:1-3

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Photo: http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/1209.html

Clouds … Fog

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Walking in fog…like walking in mist, translucent and close, yet not confining except for a visual confinement of sorts.  A cloud near to or on the ground.

cloud is defined as “a visible mass of liquid droplets or frozen crystals made of water or various chemicals suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of a planetary body.”   Fog is defined as “a collection of liquid water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth’s surface. Fog can be considered a type of low-lying cloud, and is heavily influenced by nearby bodies of water, topography, wind conditions, and even human activities.”

“A low-lying cloud”… 

Moses and the people of Israel knew a cloud that came down, a cloud that led them in the wilderness.  Moses alone knew that from the cloud God spoke to him.

And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.  Exodus 13:21

And the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.” ….  Exodus 19:9

The glory of the LORD dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud.  Exodus 24:16

When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the LORD would speak with Moses.  Exodus 33:9 

And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door. Exodus 33:10

God spoke to Peter, James and John when they were on the mountain with Jesus. 

And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is My beloved Son; listen to Him.”  Mark 9:7

Jesus went to Heaven by a cloud and, one day, He will return for us on a cloud.

And when He had said these things, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight.  And while they were gazing into heaven as He went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven?  This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.”  Acts 1:9-11

And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  Luke 21:27

Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of Him. Even so. Amen.  Revelation 1:7

These are but a few of the many verses in the Bible with the word “cloud.”  But these particular verses also tell us of God.  God came to Moses in a cloud.  He spoke to Moses.  He spoke to Peter, James and John when they were on the mountain with Jesus.  God led the Israelites through the wilderness by “the pillar of cloud.”  They walked in obedience to God for they knew God was in this cloud.  

I can look upon fog and clouds through new eyes as I place these and many other verses together in my heart’s eye.  God reveals Himself in so many ways to those who listen and watch for Him.  I sense His nearness with God when enshrouded by the low-lying cloud, the fog.  A cloud above me reminds me of His Presence.

Father, desiring to know You is my heart’s desire.  I pray that as I stroll through a woods on a foggy day or look up into the sky to see the beautiful white puffs against a bright blue background, that I shall see You in my heart, feel You wrapped around me holding me closely.  May I listen and know the words You speak to me whether it be through Your Word, actual words spoken, or through others who share Your Truth with me.  I pray that I am available and obedient to Your call.  May I know the “pillar of cloud” when You go before me leading me on Your chosen path.   You are my God and I desire to know You…to know You in the ways that You come to me, to know Your character, to know Your Truth, Your Holiness.  Whether by a cloud, a rainbow, Your voice, I want to know You.  Guide me in every step, LORD.  Thank You. I pray in the Name of Your Blessed Son.  Amen.  

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Photo: http://www.hinghamweather.com/

Quotes on “cloud” and fog” from  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fog and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud

Empty, Purify, Fill Me, and Pour Me Out, LORD

As I seek Your face, Father, I want to be empty of me.  How can this happen, LORD?  Can I truly be empty?

But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.  Ephesians 4:20-24

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16

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I accepted Jesus Christ as my LORD and Savior, asking forgiveness for the sinful person I was.  The old Linda is gone and the new Linda lives.  I am empty, was emptied, yet need to empty again and again.  The sinful one keeps edging her way back in.  The love of Christ never leaves me though.  I am being emptied moment-to-moment.

In the emptiness, I need to be purified so that I may walk in purity through this world.  Only You, LORD, can purify me.

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD Malachi 3:3

For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.  Hebrew 9:13-14

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.  2 Corinthians 7:1

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Father, as I am emptied and purified, I want to be filled with You, filled with Jesus, filled with Your Spirit, that I may walk in Your Light.

I am the LORD your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.  Psalm 81:10

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.  Romans 15:13

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  John 14:16-17

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Yes, Your Holy Spirit dwells in me, Father.  I am so very thankful and love You with all of my heart.  Thank You for bringing me into Your family, for accepting me as I am, and molding me on Your potter’s wheel.  I am a vessel of Your making.

Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?  Romans 9:21

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.  2 Timothy 2:21

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Pour me out, O LORD, into this world that I would do what You have called me to do and be the woman that You have made me to be.  Use me, LORD, as You will.  May I be empty for Your use, LORD.  Teach me Thy ways, my Father.  In the Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.  Titus 2:11-15

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.  Romans 7:25

Father, You made me and desire to use me.  I pray that You empty me of me, and that I am willing to be emptied.  I pray that You purify me so that I may walk in the cleanliness of Your Holiness.  I pray that You fill me with all that is You.  And then, Father, pour me out into this world in the ways that You have appointed for me, for my life.  In Jesus’ beautiful Name, Amen.

Fill

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“Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away?

Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him?”  declares the LORD.  “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD Jeremiah 23:23-24

Yes, God fills all.  He is Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient.  He is the beauty of the earth, the laughter of children, the joy of a new mother, the love between us, the peace around us.. He is the constant filling and filling to where I am never empty when I allow Him to fill me.   He gave His Son to be the Living Water that I should never thirst again.  His Son is also the Bread of Life and I shall never hunger for anything.  He fills me up. 

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In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  Isaiah 6:1

And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”  Isaiah 6:3

He fills, is filling, and has filled for always and always.  The whole earth is filled and is full of His glory.  Hallelujah! 

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As I am being filled to overflowing, may the Word of the LORD, the likeness of Christ, be spilling out of me onto those I touch each day.  Amen. 



I am joining Five Minute Friday @ Kate Motaung’s “heading home.”

If you’re new to 5MF or haven’t participated before, here’s how it works:

Every Thursday a one-word prompt will be announced here on my blog at 10pm EST (and continuing through Friday).

Oh, and before the prompt is revealed, many like to connect on Thursday evenings on Twitter at the hashtag #fmfparty.  Come join!

Those who’d like to participate in Five Minute Friday will write for five minutes on the topic of the week, post it on their own blog and link up the post here (via the InLinkz button at the bottom of the post).  Make sure you add the actual permalink to your specific post, and not your blog’s homepage (e.g. http://katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday/ and not just katemotaung.com).

This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.

Just write.

Also, the most important rule is that you visit the blog of the person who linked up before you and leave some encouragement.  That’s the most fun of all, and the heart of this community.

One more thing: I’ll be choosing one post each week to feature in the sidebar of my blog the following week, as our Featured Five Minute Friday.  Be sure to check it out!

Photos and Graphics:

http://www.heartlight.org

http://www.jenniferrothschild.com

http://www.wallpaper4god.com

Give Unto the LORD

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Psalm 29:2

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name; 
Worship the LORD in holy array.  NASB

Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name;
Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.  NKJV

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.  ESV

God… Jehovah, I AM THAT I AM, His character, His creation, His love, His Son, His sovereignty, His sufficiency, His providence, His grace… deserves our worship.  There is no way we can ever give Him all that He deserves, yet we are to worship the LORD.  In our prayers, our devotions, our song, our praise, our adoration, we worship Him in honor and glory.  “In holy array”, “in the beauty of holiness”, “in the splendor of holiness”  is holy adornment, honor, as in wearing something that befits the occasion.  We wear our worship to honor the King.  We wear our love to give Him all the glory.  We wear our praise as we kneel before Him.

And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.  2 Chronicles 20:21

Father, may we seek Your face in all.  You have made us and called us to Your flock.  May we worship You in all the beauty of holiness to the very best of our ability as we lives our days on earth in these human bodies.  One day, we will be able to truly worship You as You so deserve.  I love You, LORD.  I pray in the Holy Name of Your Son.  Amen.

And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.  Revelation 4:8

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Both Photos:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/naturegal/