Posts Tagged Isaiah 40: 31

Anti-aging Pill

Isaiah 40: 31

Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint.

I have written to you before about the most literal sense of this verse but allow me to remind you and then we are going to see the application of it. At its most basic level this verse invites us to become intertwined with God. There are many synonyms I like for this: interwoven, intermeshed and integrated to name just a few. Isaiah communicates to us that if our lives, even our very existence, is intertwined with the life of God, then our strength will be renewed. We will soar on the wind with wings like eagles. We will run and not become weary. Enmeshed in God means we can walk without fainting. It all sounds great but is there any real world, applicable truth in it? Absolutely.

I am living in God’s grace and I bless His Holy name that this verse is true. Your body responds to God’s word. Your spirit yearns for interconnectedness with our God. And if you want the fountain of youth, I honestly believe you are going to find it between Genesis One and Revelation twenty-two. The more we connect with the trinity, the more we are interwoven with “the life.” That life within us is giving life to our mortal bodies (Romans 8: 11). It’s true!

As I said to a friend of mine one time, “Jesus looks good on you.” I honestly believe that who he is in you affects the way you look and the way your body performs. He is the life so when he makes his abode in you, then good things happen. I remember Gloria Copeland and Billye Brim talking about their skin and appearance and they agreed that the life in you helps keep you looking younger.

Okay, so here is the caveat. This isn’t your garden variety, cultural Christianity where we say the sinner’s prayer and then wait for the trumpet blast. This is interwoven life. The life of God intermeshed with all that you are. Remember the Word of the Day titled Lord of the Lunge? It is that idea, applied. Everything we do, say and think we integrate with and involve our Lord. He becomes the very present “now” in our lives. When you wake up with Him, and talk with Him, and go to bed with Him, He can’t help it, He brings more life giving momentum to your world. Honestly, some people even have a hard time dying because they are so filled up with life. That life oils your joints and produces lanolin for your skin. Maybe you will turn gray more slowly or not at all.

It’s great to have good genes. It is even better when you have a revelation of being DNA coupled with the Holy One. Let Jesus run around in your DNA chain. Then let’s talk about our genetic history and make-up. You are genetically tied to the life giving force of your heavenly Father so let’s get excited about this. Get on those eagle wings and soar. Run hard and fast. Live strong. Breathe in the life of the blessed with every breath. Let Jesus truly live his life in you but not only in your spirit. Give him your body. This really isn’t a radical idea. In fact, it isn’t even a new idea. The apostle Paul beat me to it by, oh, a couple of thousand years when he wrote, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship (Romans 12: 1). Get a revelation on this now. Be like John so full of God that the enemy can’t kill you.

You can still be young and beautiful in your eighties, nineties or beyond when you know the secret of the anti-aging pill. Take this verse daily for skin care and for strength in your body. Get yourself all tangled up in Christ and enjoy this great life!

Inextricably Intertwined

John 15: 5

I am the vine, you are the branches.

In yesterday’s Word of the Day I used the words interwoven and intertwined. I want to share with you, today, the basis for those words and why they are relevant to any discussion of Christians and Christian life.

Jesus describes us as branches of himself. That is a really powerful statement if you think about it. In fact, I think you could hang out in John 15 for quite a while gleaning the depth of meaning in it. Today’s verse is also part of the inspiration for the logo for Ivey Ministries. Being a Christian means being a part of Jesus and he being an integral part of you. I imagine an Ivy vine twining itself around a tree. Have you ever attempted to pull the Ivy from the tree? I am sure you found that the Ivy had intertwined itself with the tree. It is not readily removed from the tree. I like to see how the Ivy interlaces itself among the branches of the tree, its leaves comingling with the leaves of the tree. Inevitably the tree and the Ivy become so intertwined that it is hard to tell one from the other. The longer the Ivy abides with the tree, the harder it becomes to extricate it from the tree. There is another verse which eludes to this type of interconnectedness with the Lord. It is Isaiah 40: 31. It is the verse which is on the home page of the Ivey Ministries website. The God’s Word translation reads this way, “The strength of those who wait with hope in the Lord will be renewed.” I like that translation. Another says, “Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength” (Christian Standard Bible). The NIV says that the strength of the Lord is for those who “hope” in the Lord. The reason you see all these variations in the verse is because the word and the idea contained herein is complex and rich in meaning. At its base, one of the keywords in the definition is “intertwined.” This is at the heart of our ministry. I would, therefore, communicate Isaiah 40: 31 this way, “Those who are intertwined with the Lord will renew their strength.”

I would like to help you become so integrated, so intertwined with the Lord that it is difficult to discern where one of you begins and the other ends. In fact, the amalgamation of you and Jesus can be so complete that there is no end to either of you but rather where one of you exists, there, also is the other. Everywhere you go, there is Jesus. Every word you say, Jesus speaks. Wouldn’t that be great? Every thought he has, you hear. Every desire of your heart or his, is shared completely between you. His life and light flow through your veins and strengthens every cell of your body and illuminates your mind. You will understand the deep things of God and see beyond the constraints of humanity. There is an entire universe for you and Jesus to share and explore together with no bonds to restrain you. When you hear me talking about intertwining, this is what I am thinking of. This is the vision and the goal.

Intertwined with Jesus

Isaiah 40: 31

Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

When you go to our webpage (www.iveyministries.org) you will see this verse on the leading banner. One might question why we have chosen this verse when there are others which seemingly fit the logo better. Of course, one thinks of John 15: 5, “ I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” Yes, I love that verse. It is rich, but so is today’s verse.

To really appreciated today’s verse one needs to look a bit deeper. If you stopped reading this and looked at our website, you undoubtedly noticed a difference. Above reads, “those you wait for the Lord.” The website verse reads, “those who hope in the Lord.” That is the NIV reading whereas for the Word of the Day I used the New American Standard Bible. Which is right? Well, they both are. The God’s Word version deals with this verse well. It says, Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the Lord will be renewed.” Certainly that adds clarity between the various readings but still, I have not answered why this verse in any version would be appropriate for Ivey Ministries other than it is just a great verse and inspiration from the Lord. In order to reveal the very essence of this verse we must look in the concordance.

When you look up the word “wait” in Strong’s Concordance (Strong’s no. 6960) you find it is the Hebrew word “qavah”. It is a root word which means to bind together perhaps specifically or particularly by twisting. So let’s look at today’s verse in this light, “Those who are ‘twisted together with the Lord’ will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Now, that makes sense, doesn’t it? Let me restate it, “Those whose lives are twisted together, intertwined, with the Lord, shall have great strength.”  One would expect nothing less. The word qavah also implies a sense of expectation. Truly, if we each had a revelation of being inextricably intertwined with Jesus wouldn’t we have enormous expectations of goodness, power, strength and blessing flowing in and through our lives?

That is what I want for you, a life so full of the indwelling presence of the Lord that when you breath, he breathes; when you speak, he speaks. I want the blessing of the Lord to fill you to overflowing. The overflowing grace of the Lord will bless all people you come in contact with. You have the right to walk in the power of the Lord, yes, but also in his majesty. I want you so full that you have the answers, authority, words and power for every situation. I envision each one of you so full of Jesus that he literally overflows from you. All victory, all glory is yours in Christ and that is what you are entitled to. Do you want to talk about entitlement? This is your inheritance in Christ, full victory and glory of the Father. Everything that Jesus is belongs to you through him. He so desired to give you full access to all the glory of God that he chose to go to the cross. Let us not stop short of everything. Let us not settle for anything less than Jesus’ absolute best. This is the Kingdom of God, that we should be intertwined with the Beloved and behold His face. Glory to God and to His children.

No Weariness Here

Isaiah 40: 28     (paraphrase)                               Index Card 7

I do not faint or grow weary, or tired.

This is a good word that most of us need to hear weekly if not daily. Our strength really isn’t in our bones and muscle. It is in our interconnectedness with the Lord. When I am in Him, I am strong. When I rely on my own strength I get run down and bone tired. That makes me think that if I am complaining about being tired, it is probably a good indication that I am relying on my strength rather than the Lord’s.

The slogan for Ivey Ministries is “Intertwined with Jesus”. The image in my mind is of an Ivy vine being inexorably intertwined with Jesus so that you cannot separate the two. The Lord, our God, showed me this while pondering Isaiah 40: 31 which reads, “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” The word “wait” in that passage means to become intertwined with. The fruit of becoming intertwined with Jesus is much more expansive than in this context alone but here is our promise of physical strength and vitality. You know, when Moses was one hundred and twenty years old the scripture says of him, “his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated” (Deuteronomy 34: 7).

There is one other thing I would like to point out about this passage. If you look it up you will find that I have paraphrased it rather than quoting it. Remember, I am taking these from my index cards. So, what I have done here is make this personal. This is a personal promise from God to me. Father never grows weary, tired or faints and since we are inextricably intertwined, I don’t either. No weariness here!

Wait Lifting

Hebrews 4: 11

Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.

No, I didn’t misspell the word “wait” in the title. There is a concept imbedded in those two words. It is the precept that in our quiet contemplation with the Lord there is power to lift great weight and succeed in every calling of the Lord.

I was speaking with some friends last week when this idea, this principle came to the foreground of my thoughts and I have been unable to shake it. The awareness that we are meant to glean from this passage is that our labor, our effort is in entering into the rest of the Father whereby we cease from our striving. In Him, we are able to do all things (Philippians 4: 13). Apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15: 5). Therefore, the purpose of our effort is to become integrated with Him and thus be “in Him.” The King James Bible says it this way, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”

We have become such externalists that our faith and the expression of our faith has become largely external rather than internal. Contrast this ideology with some of the great historical icons of our faith. People like Thomas á Kempis, Martin Luther or Julian of Norwich. These and others, noticeably the Apostles John and Paul, believed and argued that the labor of our faith was to come to know God in the quietness of our spirits. Our faith is not in the things we do but in our connection internally with the Father, Son and Spirit. This is our works, extending our faith, believing with our hearts. Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent” (John 6: 29).

We should not “do” works at the cost of sacrificing the quiet contemplation of our souls. Instead, external work should be at the direction of our Father and as an extension of the quiet, meditative connection with the Father. As in all things, balance is key. I know people who are so spiritual that they are no earthly good. What do I mean? They spend all of their time feeding themselves but it never has any expression beyond their own gorging. The true unity with God ought to show. It ought to spill over on to others but not by mere works but rather from the overflowing grace of the Lord.

When we rest in the presence of the Lord we gain substantively. This is not all subjective. It has real world consequences that can be objectively observed. We are empowered in the presence of the Lord and through communion with His Spirit we are guided; directed. He imbues us with power and then directs that power to His good intentions. “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary” (Isaiah 40: 31). He fills us up to overflowing, speaks to us in our spirits and directs our paths. He gives us the power to do all things. All of this comes from spending time and investing our effort in “knowing Him” and the power which flows from just such a knowing (Philippians 3: 10). 

When Moses died and Joshua was appointed by God to take over the leadership of the nation of Israel God’s advice to Joshua was, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success (Joshua 1: 8). I think that same advice will serve us well today. We should wait upon the Lord in the meditation of the Word, prayer and in the contemplation of the Lord. In that waiting, that quiet communion spent with the Lord, is great power; great strength. As we rest in Him, as we wait in His presence and in prayer He performs the works; His power goes into action rather than our limited power. He assigns angels and directs ministering spirits. His is the power which does all of the heavy lifting while we meditate in Him and the authority of His grace. In Him, in our rest, we become powerful ministers of the gospel of grace. In Him we become mighty “wait lifters”.

Please share your thoughts with me. How did this Word of the Day impact you? We always appreciate your comments. Thank you.

Hearing Aide

Romans 10: 17

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

Faith is an important trait for every Christian. In fact, without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11: 6). That is a weighty statement. So, if it is important, even vital for us to have faith then you would expect the Father to provide a means by which we can obtain this mandatory commodity. Enter Romans 10: 17.  Here God is teaching us how to get faith.

Apparently faith comes from hearing. Okay, from hearing what? Many people teach that faith comes by hearing the Word of God or the Word of Christ. Absolutely there is interconnectedness between the Word of God and faith. However, there is an intermediary as this verse indicates. How do we recognize the truth of this? It is in the text of the verse. Think of it this way. If you wanted to convey that faith comes from hearing the Word, you would say exactly that but that is not what Paul wrote. He said faith comes from hearing, and then he said that hearing comes by the word of Christ. There are two steps here. So let’s take just the first phrase first and figure out what this hearing is that creates faith in us.

What I believe Paul is trying to convey to us is that faith comes through communing with God in our spirits. That takes no great logic leap. So, faith comes when we hear God speaking in our spirits. Let’s say that you have a financial need and during your quiet time with God you hear His leading or perhaps He shows you a scripture that pertains to finances. What happens to your faith? It skyrockets, right? Any time you hear God in your spirit or He speaks through scripture it brings great encouragement and renewed belief. That is what I believe Paul is trying to convey to us. It is not all that different from Isaiah 40: 31 which we looked at earlier in the week, which told us to be intertwined with God and we would soar on wings like eagles. When you hang out with God your faith just soars. It happens.

“But,” you say, “I don’t hear that well.” Right; God thought of that. Paul wrote, “[H]earing comes by the word of Christ.” If you have a Bible with references and look at the note for this phrase it will tell you that a closer translation is “hearing comes by the word concerning Christ.” What is the difference? It all has to do with John 14: 6, where “Jesus said …, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me.’” The way to the Father is through Jesus. So, for us that means that the way for us to improve our ability to connect with the Father is through Jesus. We wish to hear God better so it is not only through the Word of God but also through the person of Jesus Christ that we can do that. Don’t miss hear me though. You cannot separate Jesus from his word. That is why the rendering that we gain faith through the word is not inaccurate. It is just incomplete. It is not through studying the Bible that we improve our relationship with the Father or our ability to hear Him but rather through the person of Jesus. Jesus leads us to the Father. His mission on earth was to reveal the Father to us and provide a way for us to be reconciled with Him. Therefore, when we need revelation or when we simply need a touch from the Father we go to Him through the person of Jesus. Jesus is our mediator. He has provided us with the means to connect with the Father in a deep way. Whatever we need, Jesus can lead us and teach us. 

The bottom line is that in order to have faith, you need to hear the voice of God. If you cannot hear the voice of God or your hearing just needs improving, Jesus is there to help you. The good news about what Jesus has done for us is the catapult to deep fellowship with him and with the Father because Jesus always points to the Father. If you look at Jesus’ earthly ministry you will see that is true. So, this is how I would restate today’s verse in order to make it more clear, “Faith comes from hearing God’s voice, and the ability to hear God’s voice comes through Jesus.” The good news about who Jesus is and what he has accomplished is an engraved invitation to the throne room of God where you can be very relaxed in the presence of your father. Good ears come through the good news and the good news is “the word concerning Christ.” Jesus is the way. His role as our high priest and as our mediator is to lead us into the Father’s presence so that we can easily hear the voice of our beloved Father. Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12: 2) and tune your ears to God expecting to hear Him speak to you. Then your faith shall rise as upon eagles’ wings.

Waiting to Fly

Isaiah 40: 31

Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

I have been learning a lot about this verse recently and I discovered that I had no idea as to its real meaning. We all want the result that this verse promises. Some people think this is just poetic language with no real meaning. Well, they would be wrong. This is an actual promise from God that you can begin living today.

It took a bible teacher to unveil what this verse really stands for. Dr. James B. Richards of Impact Ministries reveals that the word that we translate into the English word “wait” has a much richer meaning in Hebrew. The Hebrew word used in this verse is qavah. It does not mean to sit around on your hands waiting for God to do something; far from it. In fact, the NIV Bible translates this word as hope. Both of them are right but each is only a nuance of the fullness of the Hebrew meaning. Dr. Richards explains that the most illustrative rendering of this word would be to intertwine. And now following his cue and doing my own brief study on the word I can concur. One of my sources says “to bind together by twisting.” Doesn’t that sound like intertwining? The word also expresses expectancy and looking patiently. We wait not because we are waiting on God or that He is tardy but rather that we are expecting something to happen. We have a hope, a joyful expectation that God is on the scene and about to show Himself.

There is also, within this word, a sense of unity; getting together, binding together. Think of it as harmonizing. It is getting together in one accord. We are one, we harmonize. We are of one mind, one voice. It is to bring into unity, oneness.

I would also interject into this verse and this word the sense of stillness from Psalm 46: 10 where God tells us to “Be still and know that I am God.” The New American Standard Bible reads, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” In other words, when we cease striving in our own strength, when we still our hearts and minds for a moment, then we can experience God and His strength. Then we can be united with Him, intertwined around Him. When our lives become intertwined with God, when we stop running off half-cocked, then we can actually experience what is promised in today’s verse. We will, “gain new strength; … mount up with wings like eagles … run and not get tired … walk and not become weary.” This isn’t a metaphor. This is God. When we bind ourselves together with God, entwine ourselves with Him, wait in expectation of the good that He is, when we bind ourselves with Him in harmonious unity of heart and mind, then we will have a real experience of His strength. 

We can run around in our own strength going places God isn’t even leading us and completely wear ourselves out. It is so like listening to an orchestra where one person is out of tune. Your whole day is loud with the cacophony of discord. Instead, we can start each day listening for the sweet sound of His voice singing in our hearts and join our voices to His. We allow Him to sing the lead and we set ourselves in harmony with Him. When we do this we really do enjoy the power of His might. We get more done, with less time and effort. He has ways that we may not yet understand but this I know, His answers and His blessings flow to us when we are intertwined around and with Him. We enjoy life. We breathe more easily. Everything is better. 

Dad is waiting for you to come connect with Him this day. He has been waiting on us for years. Before you run out of the house, wait a moment. Take a deep breath and join yourself with the Father. Get in harmony. I think you will find your days much more melodious and smooth.