My Blueprint for Living: A Full Life in the Emptiest of Places

10693464_604420376334882_587672560_nIn this passage from Isaiah 58 in The Message version, I find a blueprint for living. A blueprint though that will require much faith, intentional living, and a dying to one’s self.

Previously, I have written much about the first 8 verses of this passage. But never really until now, have I spent much time meditating upon verses 9-12. As I have tried to align myself with verses 6-7, I find here the fruit of such living. Kind of a if-then statement coded right here into the word of God.

I love this. I love the imagery found here.

It reminds me much of what Matthew 6 would look like in action where it reads to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. What does the Kingdom of God look like? What am I seeking?

The least of these. The widows and orphans. The outcast. The downtrodden. The family member who needs your help. The _______________.

Yet too often, as I have previously written, we instead confuse things by seeking first all these other things so that then the Kingdom would be added unto us.

When life gets tough. When one feels unloved. When one keeps banging their head against the wall hoping for different results, seek the Kingdom and stop seeking stuff. You can’t earn your way to peace. When life feels rudderless and one has no idea where to go or what to do next, seek the Kingdom and stop seeking stuff. You can’t will your way to purpose.

Instead, from the emptiest of places, seek this.. for a full life awaits.

“If you get rid of unfair practices,
    quit blaming victims,
    quit gossiping about other people’s sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
    and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
    your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
    I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places
    firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
    a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
    rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
    restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
    make the community livable again.”

A year ago, when life got tough professionally for me, I really struggled with what to do and where to go. I had a constant gnawing deep within. The stress was overwhelming. I was nearly paralyzed.

Yet I remember feeling a strength from within that kept nudging me to not give up. Keep seeking to seek His Kingdom. Keep going downtown on Thursdays. Keep banking on giving to the poor and those in need. Because when you do, you are seeking the Kingdom.

The economy of God is so much different than the economy of this world.

From Psalm 41:

“1 Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!
The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble.
2 The Lord protects them
and keeps them alive.
He gives them prosperity in the land
and rescues them from their enemies.
3 The Lord nurses them when they are sick
and restores them to health.”

So why fret “who knows what” tomorrow will bring? Stop trying so hard to seek to will your way to doing the next right thing on your way to the Kingdom. Instead, simply be the Kingdom.

Because when left to your own understanding, it will never make sense. But when you do, He will make your path straight. He will always show you where to go.

I like this. It beats my blueprint.



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