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Pre-Retreat Reflections: Isaiah 58

I just wanted to share something with all of you that came up in my devotional from My Utmost for His Highest.

Last night we were all talking about Isaiah 58 and came to the overwhelming conclusion that God is God! Praise God! (: God is not an idol who’s arm I can twist, God is God and everything is His.

After the meeting, Henrik and I were talking about how nothing else matters except Jesus. “If I have Jesus and nothing else, I have everything; If I have everything but Him, I have nothing." Our sole focus and goal is Christ!

From Chambers: "The key to the missionary’s devotion is that he is attached to nothing and to no one except our Lord Himself…”

During the meeting Bobby was talking about how our faith is that connection to Jesus.

From Chambers: “Faithfulness to Jesus Christ is the supernatural work of redemption that has been performed in me by the Holy Spirit— “the l…ove of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit …” (Romans 5:5). And it is that love in me that effectively works through me and comes in contact with everyone I meet.”

That night, Henrik and I were involved in a discussion in which we were basically saying something to the effect of “Who cares!!” When we said this, we meant it in the sense of “Who cares what happens! we are focusing on Jesus!" But then Henrik texted me earlier today basically saying, "If 1 John tells us that that us not caring about be people (loving people) is an indication of us not loving God, then I guess we can’t say ‘Who cares!’ anymore" 

Which brings me to the last point in today’s devotional that, I think, ties all these thoughts together.

From Chambers: "Our Lord told us how our love for Him is to exhibit itself when He asked, “Do you love Me?” (John 21:17). And then He said, “Feed My sheep.” In effect, He said, “Identify yourself with My interests in other people,” not, “Identify Me with your interests in other people.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 shows us the characteristics of this love— it is actually the love of God expressing itself. The true test of my love for Jesus is a very practical one, and all the rest is sentimental talk.”

“Identify yourself with My interests in other people,” not, “Identify Me with your interests in other people.”

Is this not what Isaiah 58 was talking about? It seems like the true fast is identifying ourselves with God’s interests! Not treating God like an idol and putting Him into our interests. I believe that surrendsering to Christ and submitting to his authority as master involves us identifying ourselves with His interest in other people. We always say, my identity is in Christ.. After refelcting on today’s devotional, it seems that If I am truly to be identified with Christ, His interests will dictate what I do.

So in conclusion, “Why do we go forth?”

The devotional verse for the day was 3 John 7 “They went forth for His name’s sake." As we prepare for the retreat, let us go forth not for our own name’s sake, but for His name’s sake!

I pray that Christ truly be our identity.. our focus.. our goal!