Green Valley Sermons

Longing

Sunday, October 18, 2015         

Isaiah 30


What do you long for? What desires do you have that have become an ache down in the depths of your soul that could be counted as a longing?

People long for many things. Some good. Some, not so good. A woman carrying a child, longs for the day the child is to be born. A man in a job that does not suit him may long for a chance to do something else.

A person in prison may long to be free. A young adult, away from home for the first time, may long for a chance to go home again.

A people in bondage may long for deliverance from the oppression and injustice they are living under. Someone who loves machinery may long for that sweet, sleek speed machine he sees in those glossy magazines.

Judah was in dire straits. The king in Jerusalem was longing to be freed from the conditions he and his people were suffering. It led them to take matters into their own hands.

Isaiah 30:1-2

"Woe to the rebellious children," declares the Lord, "who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; 2 Who proceed down to Egypt, without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh, and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!

NASB

Our longings may not be evil in themselves. But what do we do to get what we long for? Our longing may lead us to compromise our character. God has a plan for us. He has rules for living that we must follow. We must not give up our relationship with the Lord to meet our needs or desires.

God has a plan for us to follow. He wants us to follow Him and seek His help in meeting our needs.

Judah's king decided to take matters into his own hands and to look for help in the wrong place. He decided God was not moving fast enough to bring about the changes in his and his people's situation. He put his trust in his own plan instead of waiting for God to work His plan.

God, through Isaiah, called them rebellious children. It seemed like a good plan. Surely, making allies to fight a common enemy is not wrong, is it?

What is it that God wants for us? Why does He not allow our longings to be fulfilled? Why not now instead of sometime in the far distant future?

Look with me at Isaiah 30:15

15 For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, in repentance and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength." NASB

Repentance and rest. Quietness and trust.

Salvation comes with repentance and rest.

We gain strength as we quiet our souls and put our trust in God.

God gave us longings. We think those longings, those heartfelt needs can be filled by what we do, but God says to put those things aside. Do not depend on your own plans. Put off the flesh, the old man, the ways of the world and seek God. Seek to be led by God's Spirit and His Word. Here is our salvation, the fulfilling of our longings. Repentance and Rest.

A familiar verse comes to mind, Be still and know that I am God. Rest, relax, put your trust in God and His plan for your life. Stop resisting the Spirit's leading and repent of seeking to meet your own needs. Trust God to lead you in the way everlasting. Rest in HIM.

Isa 30:18

18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. for the Lord is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him. NASB

Do you hear that? God has a longing too. He longs to be gracious to you. HE longs to be gracious to us. He waits patiently to have compassion on us. He waits for us to repent and rest. HE is waiting for you to put your trust in Him and to stop seeking to fill that emptiness with other things. He longs to give you the grace to face the challenges that will come.

Emmanuel. God with us. He is what we long for. We think we long for things, or other people, but what we really need is to put our trust in God and allow Him to fulfill our needs in His way. Quietness and trust in God is the way to peace.

Proverbs 3:5-12

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

8 It will be healing to your body, and refreshment to your bones.

9 Honor the Lord from your wealth, and from the first of all your produce;

10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.

11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord, or loathe His reproof,

12 For whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father, the son in whom he delights. NASB

Too often we think we know what we need, when what we need in Him. He knows what is best for us and he longs to be gracious to us. He patiently waits for us to come to Him so that He can fulfill the emptiness in us. He will fill it with Himself.

He is your loving heavenly Father. His reproof is always for our good. He delights in us. He longs for us to turn to Him and worship Him as the only one who can meet our needs. Mostly, what we need is Him.

We fill our lives with things, and activities that, in the end, will disappoint us and leave us empty once again.

One of my instructor's in Bible College taught about winning souls and disciple making. He talked about finding the whole in the hearts of people. We all have this hole in our hearts and only one thing will fill that void. We try to fill it with any thing but what it was made for and we always find out in the end that it was not what we really wanted after all.

God wants to meed our needs. HE is longing to meet our needs. We must quiet our souls long enough to listen to that still small voice that bids us to come to Him. He will meet our needs.

Matt 11:28-30

28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. 30 "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light." NASB

Isaiah 30:15

15 For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, in repentance and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength." NASB

In repentance and rest you shall be saved. In quietness and trust is your strength. Does it matter where we place our trust? Yes. We must put our trust in God and Seek Him. He will direct our path if we believe in Him and begin to see Him as the loving heavenly Father that He truly is.

What have you filled up your life with? What takes up your time and energy? We are here for one purpose above all others. That purpose is to honor and glorify our Father in Heaven. All our efforts and activities should move us closer to Him.

Lay down your heavy burdens. You do not have to face life alone. He wants to be the answer to all your prayers, all your desires, all your longings.

Judah and her king thought Egypt could fill their longing to win the battles they faced. In the end, Egypt disappointed them. Whatever you think will meet your needs, if God is not in it, it will ultimately disappoint you.

What is the longing of your heart? If it is anything other than God, then you need to repent. Repentance and rest are our salvation. Turning back to God and resting in Him is the answer to the longing of your heart. Quiet all the other voices that call you away from Him. Be still and know that He is God. Rest in Him; trust in Him.

God is longing for you to turn to Him. There is no other name in which we can find the salvation that we seek. Those other longings will lead us astray. Put your trust in Him, rest in Him. He is our Lord. He is our Savior.

Isa 30:19-21

19 O people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. 20 Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. 21 And your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left.

Lay down those heavy burdens at the feet of Jesus. Trust Him to fill that longing in your soul.