OK, so yesterday’s post had a bit of a lofty goal…setting the world right…I think I even said that God wanted to use us to save the world. Anyone but me feeling a bit inadequate for that job? What in the world does that mean for us as everyday Christians? And really, isn’t saying that God wants us to save the world a bit arrogant?
I first heard this scripture a couple of years ago and it has always resonated with me. Beth Moore mentioned it again in our video session this week. Just for fun, I decided to look it up in The Message version. Here are some verses from Isaiah 58.
6-9“This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’
9-12“If you get rid of unfair practices,
quit blaming victims,
quit gossiping about other people’s sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.
The part that I have in bold above is translated spend yourselves in the NIV…I have also heard it translated pour yourself out. I guess that is really what we are talking about in terms of how God would use us. How do I spend myself? How do I spend my time? How do I spend my God-given gifts and talents? How do I spend my financial and material resources? How do I spend my political votes? How do I spend my capacity to influence others? How do I spend the extravagant love and grace that God has poured out on me? Or instead of spending these things, do I hoard them, withhold them, keep them all for myself and my family?
I don’t have time today to completely unpack these questions and tell you the ideas I have for putting them in action, but I definitely want to consider them some more in future entries. Stay tuned!