When you go through a significant change, it produces a profound impact on almost every area of your life. That change often changes your outlook on life and causes you to speak and act differently. Society calls it “Singing a different tune.” When you let Jesus into your heart, and he comes and cleans house and fills it with His Spirit, you start singing a new song. All those old things are in the past, and new life has sprung forth.
“Indeed, God is my salvation; I will trust him and not be afraid, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my song. He has become my salvation.”
Sing of Your Salvation
Isaiah chapter twelve is a short song that God gave to the people. God wanted to be the strength and song for the Israelites. Isaiah recognized that. Sometimes singing it in a song can help people remember better. That is the case here where Isaiah declares God is his salvation and the source of his strength. Because of this, Isaiah will sing about his trust. Do you have the song of salvation in your heart? Are His praises continually on your lips?
Notice Isaiah’s confidence. He is putting his trust in the Lord and refuses to succumb to fear. There are a lot of Christians that are paralyzed with fear. Want to know how to be set free? Start by singing a new song. I know songs from your generation are almost as good as the ’80s, but you need to put those away and sing unto the Lord. Many old and new worship songs take your eyes off of our problems and place your heart on the Lord.
Singing a New Song
When you start singing a new song, you will find the strength you never knew you had. The longer you sing that song, you will find that the fear starts to dissipate, and your trust will begin to grow. Open your heart and let Jesus reign and let your lips be full of His praise.
The start of a new year brings optimism and a renewed sense of purpose. You want to put away all of the bad stuff of the previous year and replace it with the good habits that will bring needed change. There may be a list in your mind or on paper of all you want to accomplish. It can be easy to treat our faith the same way. You want to do good works for the Lord, and there is nothing wrong with that as long as you do it through faith.
“This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?”
The Heavy Law
Galatia was an area in what we would know as central Turkey today. Several churches were started by Paul and Barnabas that saw both great fruit and brutal persecution. The most difficult challenge wasn’t from the persecution but the infiltration of Judaizers into the church. These men brought heavy requirements like circumcision and following the law. The new converts were starting to abandon Paul’s teaching of being saved by grace and replacing it with works. Paul counters that by asking them if they received the Spirit by anything they have done or faith.
A doctrine of works makes people more comfortable in their faith because it gives them a list to accomplish. Grace means that we have to acknowledge that we are sinners and receive the gift for free. When you are saved, you are filled with the Holy Spirit. It comes by faith in Jesus Christ, and He empowers you to live a godly life. You can’t earn or manufacture this.
Do It Through Faith
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He is fully God and was given to us to guide us while here on earth. The Spirit makes our gifts evident and brings about fruit like love and patience in our life. He is someone you lean on for understanding and respond when He convicts you of sin. All of this comes about by your faith, nothing else. Don’t try to make things happen. Instead, pray and seek His will.
The word “redeem” in the New Testament is a financial term and means “bill paid in full.” It was often used when it came to slaves debt. When that slave worked off the debt, the creditor would stamp “redeemed” on the invoice, which meant his debts were paid in full. When Jesus died on the cross, he paid the debt of your sin and stamped redeemed on your heart. You’ve been redeemed to rebuild your life.
“And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer.”
Same Old Thing
Israel had a pattern of forgetting God and then crying out to Him when they were in a hole where they couldn’t get out. It usually started with sin but then devolved into idolatry. God would get angry and be ready to judge them, and Israel would beg for forgiveness. God would forgive them in His infinite mercy and let them start fresh. Sadly, Israel could never break that pattern. They were sent off into captivity as judgment, and only a remnant returned to the Lord.
Do you go through similar patterns with the Lord? Are there periods in your life where you went off and did your own thing only to find yourself in a predicament you couldn’t fix? This led to you returning to the Lord and making things right, only to fall back into your old habits soon after that. Are you ready to break that pattern and become a new person? Remember that God is your rock, and you have been redeemed.
Rebuild Your Life
A rock symbolized an anchor in times of a storm, a steady foundation to build on. If you are going to break the repetitive patterns, you need to build your life on the rock. He will anchor you when the storms of temptation and turmoil batter your life. You start rebuilding your life by understanding that you have been redeemed. Jesus did that on the cross when He paid the price for your sin. Make Jesus your foundation and His grace and mercy your building materials.
Every church has more needs than it can meet. It’s supposed to be that way because our trust and reliance are to be on the Lord. Our hearts are to be filled with compassion for the lost and hurting, and when we can’t meet their needs, we are to cry out to Jesus to meet them. When Jesus encountered ten lepers, He healed them all. Only one gave thanks.
“Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan.”
A Death Sentence
Leprosy is a horrible disease. It eats away at your skin and body parts until you die. Modern medicine has created a cure for it today, but it was a death sentence back in Jesus’ day unless God healed you. When Jesus encountered ten lepers along the road to Jerusalem, they begged to be healed. He told them to show themselves to the priest, which was custom for lepers to do when healed. One of the ten returned praising the Lord and thanking Jesus for healing him. Jesus asks why the other nine hadn’t come back and gave thanks.
This story is another in a long line of people who use Jesus to get what they want and never return. It happens in the church all the time. Someone is down on their luck, going through a prolonged illness, or their marriage is on the rocks, and they come to the church looking for answers. Once things get better, they go back to their old life. Only ten percent remain and continue in their faith. It would be easy for the church to be judgmental and not minister to these people, but we are to receive everyone with the love of Jesus.
Only One Gave Thanks
What about you? Have you praised Jesus for the healing He has done In your life? Maybe you didn’t have some life-threatening disease, but His blood redeemed you. Your sins were taken away, and the love of Christ has been poured into you. Have you cultivated an attitude of gratefulness and thanks? You will find that it will do your heart some good.
Have you heard of the seven wonders of the world? There are two classifications, ancient and modern. The world’s modern wonders include the Great Wall of China, the ancient city of Petra, and the Colosseum in Rome. Millions of tourists visit these attractions each year. Did you know that you follow the God who works wonders? There are no other gods like Him.
“Your way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.”
His Way is Perfect
Our God is holy, mighty, and works wonders. He makes His strength known by working wonders among His people. There are no other gods like Him. As a follower of Jesus, you can put your complete trust in Him because He is both holy and strong. You can trust His word because His way is perfect, and you can rest in His power because He will protect you. No one can separate you from His love.
If you look at all of the other religions in the world, you will find stories of miracles that happened to their founder, but none of the gods perform wonders. The God of Christianity consistently does miraculous acts from the beginning of time until now. This shows that the other religions are devoid of power. They may promise you serenity on earth or great treasures in the afterlife, but they offer nothing else. Scholars will tell you that all roads lead to heaven, but if their god doesn’t exhibit the strength and wonders that Jesus does, then you are on the wrong path?
The God Who Works Wonders
You can’t go wrong choosing to walk in the ways of the Lord. His ways are holy, and He will not lead you astray. You discover His ways by reading God’s word and following the leading of the Holy Spirit. Don’t wander off the path and do your own thing. Instead, trust in His word, rely upon His strength. Over time, as you remain faithful, you will see the God who works wonders work in your life.
One of the memorable moments is when your child takes their first steps as a parent. Babies don’t come out of the womb walking. They need to learn. Those steps don’t come easily. The baby needs to learn to control their body by rolling over, then crawling, followed by pulling themselves up, and finally taking that first step. There is a spiritual principle to learn in that process. It is being faithful in the little things. Learn how to take baby steps.
“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.”
Learn to Be Faithful
Jesus lays out one of the essential principles humans need to learn. The principle of “Baby Steps” is vital to spiritual growth and maturity. You have to start small and learn to be faithful with what you have before being trusted with more. If you are impatient with what you have and are expecting more, ask yourself if you are faithful to what you have right now? Getting ahead of yourself will only lead to failure. Ask God what lessons you need to learn to move to the next step.
One of the most damaging things you can do to someone is giving them everything they want. This is true with children and adults alike. When someone is given every desire of their heart, they don’t learn to appreciate what they have and always want more. They look at their parents, spouse, and employers as people who supply their lifestyle instead of people who bring balance. Jesus tells His listeners to be faithful in the small things, and they will be given more.
Take Baby Steps
You can’t run before you walk. Be patient in the baby steps God is taking you through. Ask Him to grow the fruit of patience in your life. Be content where you are at right now and enjoy worshipping God. In due time, He will bring about the desires of your heart as long as they align with His righteous plan.