Monday morning I sat down to read for a bit and turned to the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. Looking for a particular passage, I came across a verse I underlined in chapter 7.
Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.Isaiah 7:9
Immediately, I recalled a ballet audition on Got Talent Global by a 73 year old grandmother and her grandson. I watched in amazement as this duo performed an extremely difficult routine. The outstanding quality of the performance is the unbelievable strength of both dancers and the complete trust of one for the other. You can watch it here.
This is a beautiful picture of God’s words to his people through the prophet Isaiah. When we stand firm in our faith, God can do amazing things.
In Isaiah 7, the king of Israel had combined forces with the King of Syria and set out to attack Jerusalem. But they were not successful. Still, news of the alliance reached the king of Judah and scripture says, “the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm.” (Isaiah 7:2) So God sent a message to them through Isaiah. This is what he said:
Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah. Yes, the kings of Syria and Israel are plotting against him, saying, ‘We will attack Judah and capture it for ourselves. Then we will install the son of Tabeel as Judah’s king.’ But this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “This invasion will never happen; it will never take place; for Syria is no stronger than its capital, Damascus, and Damascus is no stronger than its king, Rezin. As for Israel, within sixty-five years it will be crushed and completely destroyed. Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria, and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah. Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.”Isaiah 7:4-9
The knowledge of God and the perspective of the people were markedly different. The people of Judah saw two fierce kings. God saw two burned-out embers. The people heard of a plot to overthrow them. God said it will never happen.
If the people watched the enemy, listened to the plots and shook in fear, God could not make them stand firm. Their eyes had to be on God and what he saw and what he told them. They needed to live from his perspective, relying on what they could not see, trusting God to take care of them.
Life with Jesus is a dance. My trust has to be completely in his ability to lead me, my core strength (faith in him) determines whether I stumble along or twirl magically with Him. I ask myself, is my faith firm in Him? Am I willing to let him control the dance? If not, what do I need to change?