Isaiah 61...it still captures me.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. To proclaim the year of the Lords favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” – Isaiah 61:1-3
My reactions to this sweet text:
“He” has sent “Me”. You can look around, but I don’t think you’re going to find a more absurd phrase in the Bible. What is He doing sending the likes of us to accomplish so great a mission. As Paul said in 2 Cor. 2, “Who is equal to such a task?”
Do you ever feel unqualified by your talents or disqualified by your behavior? I do. Do you ever feel too uneducated, too small town, or too inexperienced? I do. So many humans have such an inferiority complex that they can’t climb out from under the weight of their own unworthiness. They are reminded by the inner jury of their own soul that they are guilty of unspeakable personal felonies leading to a verdict of GUILTY. You can watch them live life with a “guilty as charged” sign hung around their neck. For people like this, it’s nearly impossible for them to accept God’s invitation to join him in this rescue mission to recover the jewel of great price, the human soul.
They can’t wrap their arms around the idea that God would send them in his stead. His reputation on their shoulders. His success dependent on their movement. People’s healing hanging in the balance with us standing in the gap on behalf of God. We are the ambassadors…the spokesmen…the reps of redemption. This is a tall order. This is an epic invitation in need of a heroic volunteer. Who is equal to such a task?
No wonder the hero’s and heroine’s who live out this mission are called “oaks of righteousness” by God. They are the strongest breed of believer. They are the deepest rooted in their allegiance. They weather storms and shelter pilgrims. They are slow growing and long lasting. And their presence reminds people of the splendor of God…they are “display” booths of his truth that endures to all generations.
I’m a part of a church plant…so I love the phrase “a planting of the LORD”. It’s something that he is always doing as the gardener of the gospel. He is planting type of God. He is growing people and grooming people to GO. To be on mission. To live out an organic experience of God in this world, to this world. I happen to think that church planting is the best kind of “planting of the Lord” to display his glory…but that’s just my bias. ;)
He sent Us. Holy Hope coming through Fragile Followers. Unreal.