God’s desire for our hearts to be changed

Psalm 71:8

My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.

Listen to “Refuse to be denied” by Desperation Band as you read this post

Scripture – Isaiah 1:16-17

Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
learn to do good;
seek justice,
correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.

Observation

I just read the first 5 chapters of Isaiah and God appears to really be at the point of some decisive discipline in regards to His people. He says, “even though you make many prayers, I will not listen” by which he was saying that he wanted His people to stop with the religious, spiritual show, without any real change or heart or behavior. God is not saying that he ignores true prayers that come out of a desperate and repentant heart, but He is saying that he sees straight through our motives and he won’t stand for hypocrisy from His people.  He gives us clear instructions on what to do to really demonstrate a changed heart.

Application

1. Remove the evil of our deeds from before our eyes (Stop looking at and lusting after stuff that will ruin you).

2. Cease to do evil (Control your hands and make a decision to say “no”).

3. Learn to do good (it’s something we need to intentionally learn – not just avoiding doing bad things but developing patterns in our lives that will end up with us actually doing good works – serving people)

4. Seek justice (It’s easy to go through life never really taking on the burden of others who need someone in their corner – make a point of looking for ways to bring justice).

5. Correct oppression (oppression is everywhere, in our homes, at our workplaces, in our cities – do not be someone who just watches and allows oppression to go on without doing anything about it. Take stands, be willing to be mocked and persecuted – but do whatever you can to correct oppression)

6. Bring justice to the fatherless (When a child has no father, it is unjust, it is not right, it is out of whack, it is out of alignment. Bring this injustice back into alignment by taking the cause of the fatherless by doing whatever you can to help put fathers back into people’s lives).

7. Plead the widow’s cause (Make the decision to be someone who speaks up and advocates for widows, a group of people who are often neglected and forgotten about. Understand how much God cares for the widow).

Prayer

Jesus, let this not be just another list of instructions gleaned from the truth of your Word, which is your very heartbeat, rather convict and stir change in our hearts, our minds and our actions and you disciple and train us through the power of your Word by the Holy Spirit. Give me a heart that desires and easily receives correction and discipline from my heavenly Father. Amen.

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