The Holy Spirit - Learning from Isaiah
‘A few, the remaining few of Jacob, will return to the Mighty God...’ (Isaiah 10:21). So few people take time to worship the Lord. Are we to become discouraged? No! We must take encouragement from God’s Word: ‘The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame’(Isaiah 10:17). We must continue to pray for God’s blessing. ‘Let the flame burn brighter in the heart of the darkness, turning night to glorious day. Let the song grow louder as our love grows stronger; let it shine! let it shine!’. ‘Shine, Jesus, shine, fill this land with the Father’s glory; blaze, Spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire. Flow, river, flow, flood the nations with grace and mercy; send forth Your Word, Lord, and let there be light!’ (Mission Praise, 743,445). May God give us grace to ‘truly rely on’ Him, ‘the Lord, the Holy One of Israel’ (Isaiah 10:20).
‘Abandoned... deserted... a wasteland...’ (Isaiah 32:14). Can such a desperate situation be turned around? Yes! When ‘the Spirit is poured upon us from on high... the wilderness becomes a fruitful field’ (Isaiah 32:15). We must not lose heart. We must keep on calling upon the Lord. We must believe that God is able to turn things around. When the situation seems hopeless, we must put our trust in ‘the God of hope’. We must pray that God will send His blessing: ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope’ (Romans 15:13). ‘Restore, O Lord, the honour of Your Name! In works of sovereign power, come, shake the earth again... Restore, O Lord, in all the earth Your fame, and in our time revive the Church that bears Your Name’ (Mission Praise, 579).
‘The Lord will save me, and we will sing with stringed instruments all the days of our life in the House of the Lord’ (Isaiah 38:20). Some people say, ‘I can be a Christian without going to Church’. Here, we have something very different. Believing in the Lord leads to worshipping the Lord. It doesn’t make sense to say, ‘I believe in the Lord but I’m not interested in worshipping Him’. We believe in Christ. We are saved by Him. We receive a new Spirit of worship: ‘God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Father, my Father!”’ (Galatians 4:4). Let’s have none of this ‘believing without worshipping’ - ‘Abba Father, let me be Yours and Your alone. May my will for ever be evermore Your own. Never let my heart grow cold, never let me go. Abba Father, let me be Yours and Yours alone’ (Mission Praise, 3).
‘Here is My Servant, whom I uphold, my Chosen One in whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will bring justice to the nations’ (Isaiah 42:1). These words turn our thoughts towards the Lord Jesus Christ. At His baptism, we hear the voice of the Father - ‘This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased’. At His baptism, we see ‘the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and resting on Him’. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s Word of prophecy: ‘All mankind shall see the Saviour sent from God’. After His resurrection, we hear Jesus Himself speaking. He says, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit...’ (Matthew 12:15-21; 3:16-17; 28:18-20; Luke 3:6). Let us bring Christ to the nations. Let us serve the Lord in the power of the Spirit.
‘I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants’ (Isaiah 44:3). Here, Isaiah is looking forward to the mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost - ‘They were all filled with the Holy Spirit...’ (Acts 2:4). It is ‘the Spirit’ who brings ‘streams of living water’ into our lives. It is ‘the Spirit’ who sends ‘streams of living water’, flowing out from us to others (John 7:37-39). We are to ‘be filled with the Spirit’. ‘Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ’ - Let your life be full of praise to God: ‘filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5:18-20).
What are we to do ‘when the enemy comes in like a flood’? We must look away from ourselves to Jesus Christ. He has ‘come’ as our ‘Redeemer’. Trusting in Jesus Christ, we must pray that ‘the Spirit of the Lord will come like a rushing stream’. We must pray that ‘the wind of the Lord’ will come sweeping through us with much blessing (Isaiah 59:19-20). In ourselves, there is no blessing - ‘salvation... is far from us’. ‘Our sins have separated us from God’. We need to receive ‘salvation’ from the Lord (Isaiah 59:11,2,17). We must not delude ourselves. Satan is stronger than we are. We have no hope of victory over Satan - until we put our trust in Jesus Christ. Without Christ, we are helpless and hopeless. With Him, we shall be victorious. He is ‘the Rock of our salvation’ (Matthew 7:24-27; 2 Samuel 22:47; 1 Corinthians 10:4).
‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me... to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour’ (Isaiah 61:1-2). Jesus has fulfilled these words (Luke 4:18-21). Jesus has come, ‘proclaiming the Good News of God’. He tells us that ‘the time has come’. This is the time of opportunity, the time for making our response to Jesus Christ. He calls for our response - ‘Repent and believe the Good News!’. He calls us to make our response now - ‘now is the acceptable time... now is the day of salvation’ (Mark 1:14-15; 2 Corinthians 6:2). There will come a time when the time of opportunity comes to an end. When Christ returns ‘with power and great glory’, it will be ‘the Day of vengeance of our God’. We do not know when Christ will return. Get ‘ready’ for His Return. Put your ‘faith’ in Him (2; Matthew 24:30,36,44; 25:13; Luke 18:8).