Sunday, March 16, 2008

Simple Spiritual Equations

My chemistry homework lately has been a bit stressful...and I have been a bit stressed out. And all these facts and equations have been floating around aimlessly in my brain. Which is probably why when I was reading my Bible last night I noticed that there were simple spiritual equations in Isaiah 30:15 :)

"This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
'In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength.' "

Repentance + Rest = Salvation

Quietness + Trust = Strength

So I thought about those equations and that verse for quite awhile. Mostly the first one because there were some questions I had concerning it. I understood the fact that repentance = salvation. We learn that when we come to Christ as our Savior. And we know that we need to continually have a heart of true repentance concerning our sins. But I wondered about the "rest" part. How does rest = salvation??? I looked up some verses that include the word "rest" in them. And I found many but the one that interested me the most, and I feel fit my question the best was actually in Joshua 21:44-45.

"The LORD gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the LORD handed all their enemies over to them. Not one of all the LORD's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled."

Do you see any connection there? I did (and I have reasons for it, although later it might be proven that I am also insane :). To me, it made the connection that when God provides rest for us, He does so in giving us the assurance that He keeps His promises. And in that hope, that assurance, is salvation. I know that I need to daily allow God to save me from myself--my fears, my doubts, my flesh, my sins. I need constant salvation from those enemies in my life. Yes, Christ's blood covered my sins once and for all with His death on the cross. But these enemies still come against me everyday. They still try to win a foothold in my heart and life.

And in John 15:9 Jesus says:
"As the Father has loved me, so have I love you. Now remain in my love."

And in John 14:23 Jesus says:
"If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."

When we come and make our home with Christ, remain in Him, obey His commands and learn to rest in Him; that is when we gain victory and the salvation we need from our enemies.
Repentance + Rest = Salvation

In the second equation we find the answer to receiving strength from God.
I thought that it was interesting that it mentions quietness as necessary for strength. Because our world today brings the idea that forcefulness and action is needed to have strength. But God says in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10) that the meek will inherit the earth and in Isaiah (40:31) that those that wait on God will receive strength. Pretty conflicting ideas there...but God says that it is in our quietness of heart that we will find the strength we need from day to day.
A book I am reading by Elisabeth Elliot, called Keep A Quiet Heart, ties this quietness in with trusting God over and over again. She reminds us that it is our distrust of God that causes our hearts to be unsettled and doubt. We say we trust God, but if our hearts and thoughts are questioning Him left and right; we really don't trust Him. When we learn to accept what God has in store for us, His plans for our lives; our hearts can settle down in the comfort of trusting Him. We can be calm and peaceful even when storms rage around us that we don't understand, knowing that He does understand.
That quietness of heart and trusting God is crucial to have peace and is what gives us strength. It makes us firm and unyielding to doubts, troubles, and trials that come our way. Instead of relying on our own strength, it leads us to rely on His.
Quietness + Trust = Strength

Later on in Isaiah 30:18, we are given another reassurance and I want to end with that...

"Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!"

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