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11 September 2008

Stand Firm or Stand Firm?

Basic principle today.

The tail end of Isaiah 7:9 is rendered in a variety of ways over various translations:

"If you will not believe, Surely you shall not be established." (NKJV)
"Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm." (NLT)
"If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all." (NIV)
"If you don't take your stand in faith, you won't have a leg to stand on." (The Message -- a paraphrase)
"And if Ahaz and his officials don't trust me, they will be defeated." (CEV)

If we take this little chunk of Scripture (which is rarely a good idea), the Contemporary English Version, out of the translations above, is the most literal within the context of the whole passage. However, there is definitely a precedent in this one small bit of the passage that applies broadly to the life of the Christ-follower.

In Hebrew, the verse says something like, "If you will not stand firm, then you cannot stand firm," or, "If you will not be true to Me, then you cannot be true to Me."

This is an area I think about on a daily basis during prayer. I've come to learn that there is sometimes a huge difference in asking God to do something for us (like give us new desires) and to do something for us (like give us money to pay a bill that we shouldn't have taken on in the first place). Many times (most of the time?), God requires action of us that will go hand in hand with what He does.

This is borne out all through the Scripture -- when we honor God with the sacrifice of our lives, He will honor us by allowing us to be conduits of His glory. To assume that God will happily jump at the chance to serve us when we are not actively living for Him is essentially asking Him to become our genie or our trick dog.


Tony M said...

"Genie or trick dog" - what a reference. Makes me stop & think. You're absolutely correct - it's me who needs to be molded into what God wants, not the other way around. Great perspective; thanks!

Preston N said...

Good point. I am reading a book about prayer and one of the points the author makes is when we pray to remember God is interested in developing our character and not just to simply give us what we want or ask. I think your point goes along with this same train of thought.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that One Trak Mind did record a CD and Bruce said he would make a wave file for you. Either that or I'll give Preston a copy of the CD to give you the next time you guys meet for coffee. Thanks Dean.

Pam M

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