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He'll Do It Again and Again and Again

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He'll Do It Again and Again and Again
Some of you know that I have this wonderful dog named Beau. He is a joy. But he has a few bad habits and one in particular has me vexed. He’s done this since He was a pup.
He tears up his beds. I have gotten him at least … I don’t want to confess to you how many… dog beds and the minute you turn your back He’s got them ripped to shreds. I have walked in to find rooms literally covered with the stuffing from these dog beds, it’s incredible to learn how much stuff can be stuffed into a 3x5 bag of material.
Yesterday, I had enough. I dished out the big bucks to get him a heavy duty chew proof dog bed. I went to the PetSmart and paid more than I ever dreamed I would to get the one that is indestructible. I laid it on the floor and introduced Beau to it, and left the room. And in about 10 minutes I heard a noise, which was not unusual because He will chew on his toys, etc.,
But then I went to look. And there it was. The indestructible chew proof dog bed… in the early stages of disrepair.
I did catch him in time to salvage it.
I belong on Social Media to a group. It’s called “Aussiedoodles, Goldendoodles, All Doodles Welcome A Place To Share”. I belong to it to see the cute little puppies. They show up on my time line and I like them.
Anyway, I shared… Here’s what I shared in my frustration:
My 1 1/2 year old Goldendoodle chews up every bed I buy for him. Will this end, can I help it end, and any suggestions?
Immediately I got a notification that someone had answered my question. I navigated to Facebook and I looked at my answer to solve my dilemma. Someone with more knowledge than I had solved this problem, they had wisdom to impart and I could not wait to hear what I could do to stop my precious furry child from continuing down his path to canine delinquency.
I found the answer from someone who I do not know. Her name is unimportant. Her wisdom, however, was stunning.
What was the answer to my question; My 1 1/2 year old Goldendoodle chews up every bed I buy for him. Will this end, can I help it end, and any suggestions?
“Yes, it will end. As soon as you stop buying beds. “
Well, believe it or not, that has something to do with Isaiah 40.
Isaiah 40:21 ESV
21 Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
Israel is in Babylonian captivity. They are being responded to by God.... he is answering questions that will shortly be disclosed in this text.
But to save you the research, they were something like this: How much longer is this going to take until we can go back home? Decades have passed! Are you going to get us there? Are we going to die here? Can we count on you again? Will you be God for us or should we give up?
And much like a fatherly figure, being told that he will be taken care of as in the past, Israel is being gently chided to remember what God has done across time… he hasn’t changed.
Look at verse 22:
Isaiah 40:22 ESV
22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
That phrase,” the circle of the earth.” There was an understanding of what God’s creation is like.
‎The ancient Israelites divided the world into Heaven, Earth, Sea, and the Underworld.
This world He has created, He controls. Always has, always will. Nothing happens that He is unaware of. Nothing.
Look at verse 23...
Isaiah 40:23 ESV
23 who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.
This means that no person, no matter how great, can be without limitation.
Isaiah 40:24 ESV
24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
World empires only exist because God allows them to exist.
Isaiah 40:25 ESV
25 To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
Implicit in this question, God is asking, what celestial being… what star or planet will you compare me with. Babylonian religion was dominated with deities from the heavens, stars. God asks, who will you compare me with?
And God’s answer is that the very beings that you worship are nothing more than His creation… look at the 26th verse...
Isaiah 40:26 ESV
26 Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might and because he is strong in power, not one is missing.
God knows the universe and its individual solar systems and stars and planets. He knows their pattern because he made that pattern… He upholds all of them, literally, in his hand.
Colossians 1:17 ESV
17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Hebrews 1:3 ESV
3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Isaiah 40:27 ESV
27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”?
Why is Israel referred to as Jacob in this verse? Remember, Jacob too had been an outcast, an exile in Mesopotamia as a result of his own foolishness. And what did God say to Jacob after some time in Genesis 31:13?
Genesis 31:13 ESV
13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred.’ ”
God is telling them to return to the Promised Land.
Notice, what their questioning implies… that God was forgetful or them, or tired of dealing with them. Maybe because their foolishness, too , seemed to never end.
The following closing verses assert that the God who upholds the stars, is not tired of his people. He has them in his hand as well… read on, 28-30...
Isaiah 40:28 ESV
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
Isaiah 40:29 ESV
29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Look at Psalm 84:5 and Psalm 84.7 to see how God gives strength.
Psalm 84:5 ESV
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
Psalm 84:7 ESV
7 They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.
Isaiah 40:30 ESV
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;
They, the people who were in Babylon proper, had much further to travel… but their strength would be exchanged for His strength. He would take them from strength to strength.
Isaiah 40:31 ESV
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Finally, there is a threefold climax…
those who wait renew their strength
they will fly like eagles
they will run and not get tired.
they will walk and not faint.
Please get this.
When you need to fly, God will give you wings. But how often will you actually need to fly?
When you need to run, God will give you legs. But how often will you need to run?
When you walk, you will not wear out. Please get this. The majority of their trip would be walking. I mean the overwhelming most significant most normal means of transportation they will employ will be walking. And He will be with them when they walk.
Listen church, the general distance from Babylon to the Promised Land would have been in the neighborhood of 900 miles. 150 years earlier, Ezra made this trip and it took him 4 months.
I want you to imagine- the people in the entourage that would have been making this trip. Old. Young. Infants. Sick. Slow. Fast. Patient. Impatient.
They wouldn’t have been flying much.
They wouldn’t have been running much.
They would have been steadily walking day in and day out until they arrived.
And this entire passage was meant to not only remind Israel that He would go with them on their trip to return to the Promised Land. It was meant to make them aware of the fact that they had not gone through a single day of their 70 year exile that God was not with them as well.
And that brings me to my Bottom Line:

Our Awareness Of God In The Significant Betrays His Presence In The Mundane

I like eating cookies. A little girl we know is a Girl Scout and she is selling Girl Scout Cookies. I ordered more than any one person should have. Now, you need to know that they are going to my grandkids, but I will still keep a box for me. I love samoas. And we will eat those Samoas.
Despite my love for cookies, I can’t tell you the last time I made cookies. In fact, I think it is probably pre-children, or at least when we had children. It’s monotonous. cookies are a one at a time event. And there’s usually 3-4 dozen of them. Some of you make dozens of cookies for Christmas and give them to others. It’s more monotonous!!!
But have you ever considered the fact that God is there in the cookiemaking?
Some of you did your laundry yesterday. You sorted your clothes. You put them in baskets and they made their way to the laundry room. And you washed. Then dried. Then folded or hung up. (Well, you should have). And between loads you put in detergent and perhaps softener or a bounce sheet. You cleaned out the lint screen.
Have you ever considered the fact that God is there in the laundry?
Some of you went grocery shopping. Some of you were on social media. Some of you sat and watched tv or made a phone call or journaled or cooked or had your tires rotated or read a golf magazine or rested.
Have you ever considered the fact that God was there...
in the grocery shopping.
on Social Media.
in the room while you watched tv.
in the journaling.
in the cooking.
in the tire rotating.
in the golf magazine?
And most likely, you didn’t even notice His Presence?
But the last time a family member became ill… or you had a surgery… or you were in a jam… you likely called the prayer chain… you prayed yourself… you asked other believers to pray for you… and there’s also a likelihood that you recognized God in that event and you may have told others that He was there.

Our Awareness Of God In The Significant Betrays His Presence In The Mundane

Translation: We take God for granted.
We know He can be called upon in the difficult times. Earthquakes and Tornadoes and Funerals. Yes, that’s right. Death. We know He can be called upon and He will be there. Because He said He would never leave us nor forsake us.
So like the good soldier we are, when we get into the heat of the battle, in our personal battle trench, we invite God or we know that God is there with us.
And often, we mount up on wings like eagles. We soar. Not in our own strength or skill, but in the grace that He extends to us.
And He lavishes it upon us, doesn’t He? I mean we sense the Presence of that Holy Spirit. We know He’s with us. And guess what? We wait upon the Lord, and He renews our strength.
We finish that battle in life and we are so thankful that God saw us through. And it is appropriate that we both see that and acknowledge that to others. And often we do.
Other times, we find that we can’t keep up. It isn’t the size of the issues we face… it’s the shear volume. They come at us rapid fire. We put up our shield and attempt to defend ourselves and stay ahead of the things that are there.
And we ask God to step in. And of course, like the good Father He is, He does.
And we run to keep up, and amazingly we do not get weary. Some unimaginable strength, some influx of unexpected energy fills us, and we run and do not grow weary.
And He lavishes it upon us, doesn’t He? I mean we sense the Presence of that Holy Spirit. We know He’s with us. And guess what? We wait upon the Lord, and He renews our strength.
But church, most of the time, guess what. Our time is spent walking. Taking one step after the other for days and weeks and months and perhaps years on end.
And it is so mundane, so ordinary, so incredibly repetitive- that we don’t call upon God. And I think it’s important to note He was there anyway, but we forget.
It’s like when we drive to the grocery store to pick up one or two things and we get there and we forget what we came for. The need is still there, but we forgot what the need was.
We walk. We go along. And we forget that God is right there by our side. And we don’t get tired because we’ve conditioned ourselves to this routine. We walk by day, we stop and eat. We rest for the night. Then we do it again tomorrow. And we fail to realize that God is there and the reason we are not weary isn’t because of our great training but rather because He is righ there with us. We walk and do not grow weary- but we forget why we don’t grow weary.
And He lavishes it upon us, doesn’t He? I mean we sense the Presence of that Holy Spirit. We know He’s with us. And guess what? We wait upon the Lord, and He renews our strength.
But we take it for granted. We take God for granted.

Our Awareness Of God In The Significant Betrays His Presence In The Mundane

Look for Him. He’s there. Right Now. No matter how simple a life or complicated your life is right now. He is there.
Life will not always have the crisis moments. but it will always have the routine. The walk.
And God wants to make your routine a revival if you will only look around and see Him.
His presence in the routine can become a revival when we focus on the relationship. Begin to acknowledge His Presence in the Mundane, His Significance in the Simplistic.
Strengthen the Relationship on the Journey and You will have His grace increase more and more.
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