I was reading some passages in Isaiah that may interest you. I want to take to a couple of verses and tie them together. Now I hope you will allow me to do that, because I swear, I am not changing the intent of the Word of God. But here they are:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths . . . these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer . . .” (Isaiah 2:3; 56:7)
Did you catch something there? I believe the Holy Spirit is saying, “Get back to the mountain — get back into his holy presence.” I realize you have no idea what this means, so give me a moment and I think I can clear this up for you.
I know in my heart that there are all kinds of believers who are hearing this call, this call to come to the mountain of the Lord. When you tie those two verse together, the Holy mountain we are being called to is His house of prayer and many believers have already begun to make time in their lives for prayer and seeking God — and they have discovered vast riches as a result.
However, others are still going about their way, uncaring that something is missing in their “Christian Faith.” Oh sure, they know that something is missing, but they cannot understand what it is.
The problem is they are just too damn busy to climb the Holy Hill! I believe I am talking about casual believers, many you may know yourself, who just want to hang around church because they feel a “need,” of some type. But also believers — even Pastors — who are too busy with their “kingdom” activities to spend any time in prayer.
Isaiah saw both the glory of an awakened ministry and the tragedy of watchmen who have fallen asleep. While some watchmen shake themselves and go back to the mountain of God to hear a fresh word from heaven, there are still others who become lost in endless activities and self-advancement. In fact, Isaiah cried:
“The watchmen who are called to guard the people are blind;
they ·don’t know what they are doing. They lack knowledge and are ignorant.
All of them are like muzzled dogs
that don’t know how to bark.
They lie down and dream
and love to sleep.
They are like hungry, greedy and ravenous dogs
that are never satisfied.
They are like shepherds
who don’t know what they are doing. They lack understanding, and even in their ignorance, they are ignorant;
They all have gone their own way;
and all they want to do is satisfy themselves as they seek their own profit” (Isaiah 56:10-11).
According to Isaiah, the reason they were this way—self-centered and preoccupied with the works of their own hands, interested only in what they are doing, spiritually dead — is because they “have abandoned the Lord and forgotten my holy mountain” (see Isaiah 65:11).
I just read a story of one pastor who was begging his followers to send him $300 so he could buy a $65 million luxury jet, so they can “preach the Gospel” more effectively. Some ministers are living on salaries of $7000,000 a year and have property in the millions of dollars — yet pastors on the other side of the world live in grass huts and can’t afford a Bible. There are ministers of the Gospel who are living in such extravagance, and have no shame or sense of guilt. The are amassing tremendous amounts of wealth, when other ministers are experiencing abject poverty.
We need to wake up and heed this message because Isaiah warned: “Your name will be used as a curse by my chosen ones. The Almighty Lord will kill you and call his servants by another name” (Isaiah 65:15). He will rise up unknown disciples to awaken His church and leave you behind. I know that is a tough message, but one we need to take to heart.
I believe that the Spirit is indeed raising up an army of “mountain men” who are willing to spend time alone with God, shut up in his Holy Presence, listening to his voice, receiving new visions, and returning with joy to deliver “those who cry out because of broken spirits” (see Isaiah 65:13-14).
Oh, yes! They will return — but with power and dominion! His refining fire is awakening new and righteous principles in us. For too long we have been dead to the principles needed to save the church from chaos. The Lord will not be satisfied with a just “being” there in his house; he is looking for the fire of Christ in our hearts
“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’ All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations . . . Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “My servants will eat, but you will go hungry; my servants will drink, but you will go thirsty; my servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame. My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts, but you will cry out from anguish of heart and wail in brokenness of spirit (Isaiah 65)
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
With these Morning Messages, I take you on guided tours to, as Bunyan described, the Celestial City. At times we linger at corners familiar and unseen. And explore the depths of our faith along the way.
The trail is long, but there’s no hurry. Though we do need to stock up on supplies for the way, and that’s where I need your help. If you enjoy these messages, please consider becoming a contributing member of this tour group. It will be very much appreciated.