“I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’ To a nation that was not called by My name.
Isaiah 65:1 NKJV
Paul quotes this passage in Romans –
But Isaiah is very bold and says: “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.” But to Israel he says: “All day long I have stretched out My hands To a disobedient and contrary people.”
Romans 10:20-21 NKJV
And Paul knew from personal experience that this bold statement by Isaiah was true, because even when he was persecuting Christians, Christ made himself manifest to Paul who was not seeking Him. We know that Moses was tensing flocks and not seeking the Lord when he encountered the burning bush. The Word of God is filled with examples of God showing up and touching lives that weren’t even seeking Him.
Do we think that the woman at the well was seeking anything other than a normal day fetching water when she encountered God come in the flesh as Jesus Christ to touch and change her life forever? What about the man that was healed by the pool, who want seeking Jesus at the time but was hoping to be restored by the powers of a bathing pool that was “stirred by the spirits”? How many times do we see that the drawing by God, of His children into service is continent upon one thing alone – His will. Not the cleanliness or worthiness of one versus another to receive His mercy and grace and calling – no, he takes the weak and uses them greatly to confound the wisdom of men.
Even in His own blameless walk amongst mere men, people would ask things like “can anything good come out of Nazareth” and “isn’t this the son of the carpenter”. He came as a babe wrapped in clothes laying in a stable.
Those voices in our heads try to convince us that is the religious that God would use – but we find that it is the religious that receive His strictest rebuke and discipline, time and time again. And we find that God uses a murderer like Moses, a drunk like Noah, a doubter like Thomas, an adulterer like David, a coward like Jonah, and even a dead man like Lazarus to demonstrate His power and glory and honor.
It was not those Israelites, the Pharisees, who thought they had a monopoly on the grace of God, who thought they were bound eternally to God through a promise to their fathers who received the blessing of the healing touch of God upon their hearts and lives – it was the very ones they despised and looked down on that received the mercy and love and forgiveness and who were renewed to a repentant life. Because these sinners got to taste of the fruit of love and gratitude from a gift undeserved – while the religious kept working towards their inevitable end bought by the wages of their own strength.
Like the tower of Babel, it is proven time and time again, that the power of men working under their own power falls short of the glory of God. Without faith, we cannot please the Lord. Only when He lives in us and works through us can anything that is accomplished be holy, refined, true work of God fulfilling His Kingdom on earth through His body of believers.
Our pride and conceit tells us that it was ourselves who “earned” our seat in “accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior” when it is truly more accurate that He drew us and unveiled our eyes to see what is true, that we are His. There is no room for boasting even in the smallest bit for our own claiming the title or our own parading ourselves other than to demonstrate what He has done and is doing in our lives. We should not tarnish such an amazing gift by claiming even a portion of it as our own work – or we might find that it has in fact all been foolish striving on that last day, and some will find themselves sorely disappointed hearing “I never knew you”.
If your sin and guilt is holding you back from listening to that voice calling you, drawing you home into your living Father’s arms – cast it to the side in a humble and heartfelt prayer for forgiveness and come to the Lord blameless and changed by His very real and alive presence as the Lord of your life.
If you have fallen deaf to His voice over the loud din of religious practice and your own striving – cast it to the side in humble and heartfelt prayer for renewal of love and gratitude and revival of that fire in your bones and that river flowing from your belly, and be quickened to continue along the road ahead, because His work in your life is not yet complete.
You are still a work in His hands, you still have opportunities today to hear Him saying, “Here I am, here I am”.
And if we are asking and seeking, let’s make sure that we are listening as well.
Lord Jesus Christ, we know that you have taught us, saying “no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up” and “no one can come to Me unless the Father has granted it to him”. And we know that you have taught us that “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”.
Lord, we know that you have spoken “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” And our trust is in your words. Heal or deaf ears so that we can more clearly understand your call, your instruction, your guidance. And heal our hearts so that your desires replace our own. Our Hope relies solely on you, Lord Jesus. Come, Lord Jesus, come – and fill our lives.