“Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob! You have become tired of Me, O Israel! … You have not honored Me with your gifts on the altar.” (Isaiah 43:22)
Busy, I find myself so busy even in the summer months. A time of rest? No, there are still so many things to do. From the morning when I put my feet out of bed, until I close my eyes again, I run and run and run. Work and laundry and dinner and phone calls and shopping and exercise and dirty dishes…
As I read this wonderful letter to us from Isaiah and I hear my beloved Jesus say to me…
You busy yourself with fruitless nothings that last a moment then return to stubble yet you forget Me. You make Me last, an afterthought, the spare time at the end of the day when you are exhausted, if any time at all.
Give Me the first fruits and see how much will be returned to you, not just in money but in time and your gifts.
You get up early to color your hair but it will turn white again; see even now, it has started. You get up early to cook dinner and by sundown it will be gone. First you make yourself coffee and clean up the dishes, and in hours, they will be dirty again and back in the sink for you. You sit down to write but first play solitaire and check your email. These are not bad things but less important than your devotion to Me. You say you want to use My gift, but to do that, you must sit with Me.
There is no other way. Sit with Me, open the Book and write what I give you. That is the gift, use it. And trust Me.
This is the dance of grace. It is all God and yet, we must show up. We must exercise the discipline to sit down, stop what we are doing and attend to the things of God: study of His Word, prayer, worship, service, using our gifts. There, as we are obedient in the things only we can do, He meets us there and gives us His Spirit in power. It is not that He wants to control us. It is that He wants the best for us. Ultimately, He wants us.