In repentance and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength. (Isaiah 30:15)

However Israel rejected repentance and rest. They refused quietness and trust. Consequently they were put to flight by the bluff of an inferior force. Even with the swiftest of horses it was a terrible route. The outcome of Israel’s independence was isolation and exposure.

We no longer ride horses into battle armed with swords and spears but the nature of warfare has not changed; there is an enemy who seeks to destroy us. When I hear God declaring that our salvation will be worked out through repentance, rest, quietness and trust, I have a vision of a grace-saturated inner-life, one that we compose, taking our lead from the Holy Spirit.

Sadly, I suspect we too have turned down God’s terms of rest and repentance, and of quietness and trust. Our hearts are the battle field. We still have a diabolical enemy who would love to destroy us. His chief weapon is deception. He is referred to as the prince of the power of the air. When I think of the war he is waging in this air-space, I picture radio waves travelling unseen through walls carrying their messages of advertising, news and entertainment. I see the prince of this age crafting the bulk of these transmissions from carefully blended amounts of fact and fiction. This content too frequently passes unchallenged through our hearts and minds. However, because of God’s part in this war, I picture a day when Satan’s lies will be filtered out. On that day I believe we will be astounded that this singular master lier caused so much paranoia and drove so many into chaos, bondage and misery. We can take courage though because our passage concludes with…

Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him. (Isaiah 30:18)

To compose our hearts for a war with the father of lies we must remind ourselves that light obliterates darkness. Our God is the Father of Lights and we are the children of his light. Our spirits were created to be clothed in truth and light.

Father, may it not be said of us that we rejected your means of working out our salvation. May we establish our secret places of retreat and prayer. May we become adept in discerning spiritual reality, in distinguishing religion from relationship, in separating truth from error. Help us to cultivate longing where there is complacency. We long to see Your justice exercised against Your enemy and ours. Amen.

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