Over recent weeks God keeps bringing these verses from Isaiah 55 back to mind. v1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.”
Many years ago our Pastor had a vision in which he felt God say the following to him.
” I am going to restore the appetite of the church for the manifest power and presence of God. A spiritual famine has touched your land. It’s not the result of the lack of or withdrawal of God’s presence and power but it’s a famine of the appetite of God’s people.
Then I looked and saw two groups of people. The first group looked thin and drawn and slightly withered, they were frail and looked prematurely old. God said to me, these people are not the result of an imposed famine. Their condition is the result of a famine in their appetites for the presence and power of God. They have withdrawn in their faith, belief and expectation of God. As a result their appetites have been suppressed, reduced and their health is at risk.
Then I looked and saw another group of people, they were overweight, large people. I said to myself, they must have an appetite Lord. And I felt the Lord say to me “they are also part of a famine. They have just filled their lives with something other than the manifest power and presence of God. They have substituted their appetite for God for other things, as a result they too have suppressed their appetites. I was reminded of this scripture. Isaiah 55 v 1-2. Ho everyone who thirsts come to the waters and you who have no money come buy and eat, come buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why do you spend money for what is not bread and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me and eat what is good and delight yourself in abundance. “
I pray that God will restore our appetite during these days so that we may hunger and thirst for righteousness and will overflow the “goodness of God in the land of the living”.
Once a month our fellowship has started an evening service dedicated to worship and seeking God’s presence. I had a picture during the worship time recently of a large lake. A leisure lake and there were lots of people enjoying and having fun in the water. Some people were running and jumping into the lake, doing back flips, dive bombs etc. Some people were stood on the shore just dipping a toe into the water – testing it out. Some went up to their knees for a paddle – some ventured a bit further and started swimming. I felt God saying that the lake represented His presence. People entered and experienced it differently. Some people were taking things slowly (especially if this was new to them) whereas some would dive straight in, but the most important thing was taking that first step. If you want to start by dipping your toe or if you are the sort of person to jump straight in then that is fine. That is your starting point and from there we gain the confidence and enjoyment to stay longer and go deeper with God. God wants to encourage you not to stay in the shallows all the time though and also not just to play around on the surface but to go deeper with Him.
In the picture, I saw people diving down below the surface of the lake going deeper and deeper down. As they did so they discovered beautiful pearls on the bottom of the lake- some of the pearls were hidden in the weeds, some were hidden in the muddy depths, some were in the dark places – these pearls were God’s treasure that was hidden waiting to be discovered. As we go deeper into God’s presence we will discover this treasure that He has for each one of us. We have to search it out and press in even when we feel uncomfortable. I encourage you today not to stay at your starting point but to press into God and see what He has for you and what you will discover about Him.