December 17, 2010: Isaiah 40:1-11 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Pastor William Kang, Gracepoint Berkeley

What preparations were being called for in anticipation of the glory of the Lord being revealed in the form of the coming of Jesus? How might this apply to me today? We’re to make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.  Valleys will be raised up and mountains will be made low.  The rough ground shall become level and the rugged places a plain.  In the eyes of Israelites back then, this spectacular moving of land and earth must have been the most difficult work—work that only God can do.  (Even today, so much labor and equipment is required to do build highways across the Bay Bridge and in the Sierras.) Yet, this is the work that God called the primitive Israelites to do.  This is the imagery that God gives to his people about what it will be like to prepare the way for the Messiah.  They’re to do the work that really only God can do.  Only he can move mountains; only he can fill valleys.  But He gives us the task.  We’re about to bring almost 90 youth students to the InterHigh winter retreat this weekend. The youth students are coming, some with excitement and eager anticipation and others with a lot of spiritual baggage. Disenchanted by life, bitter toward God, unhappy at home, or cynical about making another commitment at a retreat, many youth students are coming. For four days, we are going to give messages, lead the youth in praise, play games in the snow, play games in the barn, have campfires, cook delicious food, roast marsh-mellows, dog-pile the 12th grade boys in the snow (sshh–don’t tell them), sing songs around the fire at the gazebo, take night hikes and do responsive prayers.  All of this will be our attempt to prepare a highway in hearts that have been razed by the media, by their non-Christian friends, by the pressure they feel to fit in.  Even though they’re young they have experienced so much “life.”  As I have been praying for them and against what they’re up against, I feel like God is asking me to do the impossible.  In some ways, moving a mountain is easier than moving someone’s heart.  But God calls me to do the impossible.  Knowing that only God can move mountains, I know he isn’t expecting ME to change their hearts.  He is just inviting me to participate in His work so that I can fully appreciate what HE is about to do.  And perhaps in my earthly attempt to prepare the way, God can transform my character and enlarge my heart for people.  I see that by preparing the way for others, God is preparing me.  There’s a lot of “landscape” to raze this weekend.  I will do my best and leave the rest to Jesus.

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2 Responses to “December 17, 2010: Isaiah 40:1-11 Devotion Sharing”

  1. […] It’s this weekend!  It’s in about 4 hours!  Please pray for us as we spend the next four days in the Sierras.  I’m praying that many students will make significant decisions for Christ this weekend.  I’m thankful for today’s devotional. […]

  2. Hannah says:

    thanks for sharing! I will definitely be praying. Last night we prayed for the retreat with the riverside team sisters. We are hopeful that this retreat will be a spiritual marker for many of them.

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