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Monday, December 17, 2012

The Hills Are Alive

Okay, okay.  Half of you have already burst into song, "The hills are alive with the sound of music!"  The rest of you are groaning.  I can hear it.  "This post isn't a musical, is it?"  (And yes, Jason, I know you're included in this groaning group.)  To ease your minds, no this isn't a musical. . . at least not exactly, but it does come straight from the Word of God.  What?  You didn't know the Sound of Music was in the Bible?  Well, the movie isn't, but the principle of the sound of music certainly is.  I know, you're on the edge of your seat in anticipation, right?  Okay, I'll tell you if you'll promise to stop singing.  (Just kidding!)

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. - Isaiah 55:8-12

See, I told you.  The mountains and hills are alive with the sound of music.  Not just any music, mind you, but songs of praise to the Lord God Almighty.  Praise to the One whose thoughts are above our thoughts.  Worship to the Lord whose ways are beyond our ways.  Thanksgiving to the Savior who is the Giver of life, love, joy and peace.  It is a sweet song that is accompanied by the clapping of the trees of the field.  (Oh, I just had the mental image of those scary trees from the Wizard of Oz.  I don't think those are the same trees.  Anyway. . .)

As much as I love that thought (of the sweet song, not the scary trees), I cannot escape the comfort I've found in verse 11.  You, possibly more than any others, understand the constant battles I face in my ministry.  You are aware of my struggles to follow the Lord's leadership to write, especially when I don't see any income or outcome from my efforts.  I cannot tell you how many times I've questioned the Lord about His plans for my life and wondered if I'm completely off the path.  When I read verse 11, the words hit me like a ton of bricks.  They were meant for me, to bring me comfort and assurance.

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

God's words will not return void.  Not the words of the Bible.  Not the words that He has given me to share with others.  Those words will accomplish what He pleases and will prosper in the way He intends.   Over and over again, Satan tells me I'm a failure because I'm not successful according to the world's standards.  I'm not even successful according to my own standards.  But according to this verse in Isaiah, God's standards are the only ones that matter.  He has a purpose and plan for my ministry, and according to this verse, that purpose and plan will be fulfilled.  It may not be what I planned or expected, but I have no doubt it will be better.  I'm not a failure.  I'm a willing vessel, and I'm privileged to be used of God for His glory.  Talk about joy and peace!

Yes, the hills are alive with the sound of music, and I'm joining in the song.  You can join in too.  It doesn't matter if you can't carry a tune (Jason) or remember the words (Daddy).  All that matters is that you sing from the heart.  God is more than worthy of our praise.  Let's not allow the hills and mountains to out-praise us.  We have a reason to sing, so let's lift our voices in praise.  And if you don't mind, leave the lederhosen at home!

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