Devotional 6th December 2017
‘The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned…For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders…’
Isaiah 9: 1- 7; 2:6
This passage, in this first week of Advent, reminds us of the joy of God’s promises. As you reflect how God’s coming as a baby was prophesied over 700 years earlier, rejoice that in your own past, present and future you are secure in his Word and promises.
When we look beyond all the glitz of Christmas and simply reflect on God’s amazing love, nothing can equal the wonder of this gift and what it means to us. We also find a wonderful key: the understanding that if God has shown or promised something, it is already fulfilled in Heaven. Thus Isaiah shares his vision in a glorious muddle of tenses. From an atmosphere of oppressive darkness, he cried out to God for change and then was given the vision of the coming Messiah as a present reality, seeing the great light obliterating the darkness as if it had already happened. Similarly he expressed the joy of the Son’s birth - to us a child is born - like breaking news on the TV. It’s happened! It’s taking place right now!
God wants to give us vision of his purposes too. We need to ‘see’ the answer to our prayers as if they are here in the present moment. I find this removes all the striving and hopelessness. At Marilyn’s suggestion once, a lady thanked God that He had answered her prayers for her backslidden cousin. She’d been praying for 10 years but seen no change. As she thanked him she felt great peace. Later she excitedly shared how this cousin had just texted her saying she’d recently come back to the Lord but had felt too embarrassed to say until that night!
Read Isaiah 9. 1 – 7 and ask the Lord to remind you of any prayer/promise you’ve held onto for a long time. Spend time thanking him that the answer is already fulfilled in Heaven.