Wall of Separation

Isaiah 58: 3

Why have we fasted and thou dost not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and Thou dost not notice?

This is an age old question. Father, we are doing what we should do. Behold our righteousness. Yet, you are far off. You do not hearken to the voice of your people. Why is the Almighty God silent and impotent?

I love the book of Isaiah. He shows us that each one of us is Zion. We are that piece of the nation of Israel encapsulated in the guise of one person. As Isaiah speaks about the nation of Israel, our own names ring through the heavens. We are Israel. We are Zion. We have been given the keys to the Kingdom and the responsibility that goes with them.

One of Israel’s obvious problems was their favorable impression of their own righteousness. We are doing everything right Father. See our fast. See us in church every week. Why is God not answering our prayers? Anytime we rely on our own rightness, rather than the goodness of the Lord, we have immediately gone the way of pagans. Though we may not intend to hold our righteousness up to God in a demand for service, we so often do just that in subtle ways.

The Holy Spirit, through Isaiah offers additional answer. We have an uncomfortable way of isolating God by our actions. In Chapter 59, verse 2 Isaiah wrote, “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God. And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear.” Doesn’t that chill your bones? People don’t like to hear pastors talk about sin and iniquity, but the truth is that many of us have things that we are doing, or not doing, that keep us from approaching God openly. Our own guilt drives a wedge between us. Maybe we didn’t spend enough time in our Bibles last week and feel guilty because of it. That guilt can be deep down in a person’s soul such that they are hardly aware of it in their mind. It separates them from God though.

Jesus took all of our sin upon himself so that we could commune with the Father. However, whatever we are doing or not doing, that convicts our souls will separate us from God. One strategy people employ is to keep moving so fast, stay so busy, never take the time to slow down and meditate or quietly be with God so that we never feel the sting of our shortcomings. They stay buried deeply enough that our shallowly lived life is immune. Unfortunately, those buried truths are a hazard to our health, our relationships and of course, our relationship with the Father.

If you feel like the Father is far away, ask yourself if you are isolating Him by some action of your own. Ask yourself if you have guilt embedded in your soul. Is there sin putting a wall of division between you? Notice in the scripture that it is we who have separated ourselves from God. Not the other way around. He is waiting for you to clear up what is in your soul so that you can hang out together. He loves you more than you can even comprehend. Do some soul searching and make sure there is nothing separating you from your beloved.


Micah 7: 18

Who is a God like Thee, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love.

I pray this revelation will fill the earth, and the church. God isn’t angry. He does not retain His anger but rather lets it go in favor of unchanging love. Yahoo! And just consider that this is a passage out of the Old Testament. Frankly, there are lots of New Testament believers who think God is angry now. Some folks are willing to concede that God is now a God of love but they think He was an angry God before. The truth is that God doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13: 8). If we take a position that God was angry, revengeful, and wrathful our hearts convict us. We cannot truly believe in a God who is love and live in that love if we believe this same “person” is the one who tortures us and is angry with us. We have to choose – is God an angry deity or is He love?

So do you want another little bite of truth? God sent Jesus to the earth in the Old Covenant, not the New. Even the New Testament begins with Jesus’ birth, yes? So, that means that when God sent him, it was still the Old Testament. Are you following along with me? That would mean that this vengeful, evil, mean, wrathful GOD sent His beloved son to die for us. That makes absolutely no sense at all. Look at today’s Old Testament verse. God chose way back in the day to pardon iniquity and to pass over our rebellious acts. What is that about? Then He chose not to be angry because His very nature is love. He chose to love us rather than to hold onto His anger. He has chosen to put His love for us above our sin.

Here is the bottom line. God chose love over sin. He chose to focus on His love for us rather than on our stinking iniquity. His love has overcome our sin. He put sin under the mercy seat and under the blood. He isn’t writing your name in a book and inscribing beside it every sin you have ever committed. No, your name only has one word written beside it, “Forgiven” and it is written in crimson. You’ve just got to get happy about that. You are forgiven.
Just one side point. I like that God takes His own advice. He has told us not to hold onto our anger. In fact, He said to let not the sun go down on our anger (Ephesians 4: 26). It’s good to see that He has let go of His anger too.