“Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.”
“O LORD, deliver my soul from lying lips and from a deceitful tongue.”
What is your life? What does it consist of? When we look at others around us, why are they so driven to live as long as possible? No one in their right mind wants to die – in fact most of us are or have been afraid of dying. Why is that?
It has to do with how we were made and more so, WHO the Maker is. You see, it was put within the very depths of man a desire to live forever, because man was made in the image of God. Man was made to be filled and enlivened by God. And God is life, He cannot die. His name, I AM, (in Hebrew, Yahweh) means self existing One. Mankind needs air, water and food for physical life and more importantly, the knowing of the true God, for spiritual eternal life. God, as the self existing One doesn’t need anyone or anything to live. He is Life. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life…” John 14:6 He also said “And this is life, that they may know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
What does that have to do with our verse that we are memorizing and meditating on today? Let me share the verse with you. Isaiah 55:3 “Incline you ear and come to Me, hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.”
As I have meditated on this verse and asked the Lord to open it to me, the phrase that stuck out to me was “Incline your ear and come to Me, hear, and your soul shall live…” let me say part of that again with emphasis added, “HEAR, and your soul shall LIVE...”. It really is very simple. Did you know that what you continually hear will be what your life is?
In my own life, growing up I was like many little girls, caught up in day-dreaming about my prince charming. I spent hours, which became days and then years, inclining my ear to what he would look like, be like, etc. my life thus became always wanting attention from the boy who happened to smile at me, or that I thought was good looking. It became my life – what I wanted, my desires and goals. It was all wrapped up in the “prince charming” I would marry one day. Do you see that my life was all about ME and what I wanted?
What about you? What do you find yourself to be always thinking about? This is often very exposing of who we are apart from the grace and life of Christ.
What you incline your ear to, what you hear, is what your life will be. This is no accident. This hasn’t happened because man fell. This is the way God designed and ordained it from the beginning and it was perverted by Satan when he lied to Eve about what God had said. God, who is the Source of life, ordained that who we hear and incline our ear to, is who we will get our life from. If we are continually hearing God and His word we will have true life in Him, if we are hearing anxious thoughts, mundane day-to-day thoughts, day-dreams of future successes, stressful/non-stressful work thoughts, “who will I marry”, “what am I going to do when I grow up”, etc. thoughts, we may have a form of life, but not the eternal life God desires we have and know, it will be our own life, that will perish like the grass.
Hear what Jesus says in Luke 9:23-25 “Whoever wishes to come after Me, let him take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life (lit. for life is soul) shall lose it, but whoever loses his life (soul) for My sake he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gain the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” And look at what verse 26 says “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angles.” (My own emphasis added.)
The LORD says it so clearly and so simply “Incline your ear and come to Me, hear and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” It is only in inclining our ear and coming to the Lord; it is only in hearing Him that our soul will live.
So, if it is so clear and simple, and so essential in our relationship with the Lord, why is it so difficult to incline our ear and hear the Lord? The reason goes back to what was mentioned earlier in this post about Satan lying to Eve about what God has said. Our adversary, and God’s adversary, prowls about like roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8) and Jesus said of him, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, for there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).
The adversary of our souls is actively against our hearing the word of the Lord. So he adds to God’s word, or takes away from His word, so we don’t hear the truth of it. Satan and his minions are working constantly to distract us, harass us and get us to hear anything but the true, pure word of the Lord.
Think about it, have you ever gone to spend time alone with the Lord, to receive and listen to His word, and you sit down and start meditating and within the first 5 seconds you remember that you forgot to brush your teeth, or you remember something you need to put on your grocery list? You will have one distracting thought after another and your time with the Lord is basically a flop, because you’re constantly thinking about the things you need to do, or daydreaming about something else. This is the work of the enemy of our souls. He does not want any person to stop what they are busy doing to incline their ear and come to the Lord.
Have you heard the term ‘spiritual warfare’? I heard it a lot growing up and I thought it meant that someone was casting out demons or delivering someone from the strongholds of Satan. Spiritual warfare does involve those things, but it is also very personal and real to us in our day to day walking with God. 2 Cor. 10:3-5 describes the believers warfare very well. “For though we walk according to the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are divinely powerful, for the destruction of fortresses. Destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowing of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience (lit. is to listen up under, or listen submissively) of Christ.” (My own emphasis added.)
Speculations and lofty things come from what we have inclined our ear to in the past or what we are listening to today that is not the Word or is not in line with the Word of the Lord. But did you also see and hear that though our weapons are not of the flesh, they are divinely powerful weapons? Did you know that when you incline your ear and come to the Lord that is a divinely powerful weapon against the enemy. James says it this way, “Submit therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
In submitting to God, we are under His authority and then by His authority alone, can we resist the devil and see him flee from us. We, in ourselves are powerless against Satan and his forces. But Satan is a defeated foe to the LORD Sabbaoth, (the Lord of hosts). Jesus has crushed the serpents head, and as we incline our ear and come to Him, the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ continues to manifest His victory and triumph through us. As we hear the Living Word, that Word manifests His Life in us and through us.
I think the hymn that Martin Luther wrote says it very well.
“A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our Helper, He amidst the flood, of mortal ills prevailing;
For still our ancient foe, doth seek to work us woe,
His craft and power are great and armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing;
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus it is He;
Lord Sabbaoth, His name, from age to age the same;
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us;
The Prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little WORD, shall fell him.
That WORD above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours, through Him who with us sideth;
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.”
Praise God! The right Man is of God’s own choosing and we overcome Satan and his lies through the living Truth, Jesus Christ! May God, have His desire fulfilled in us, that we would incline our ear, come to Him, hear Him that our soul may know the Life that it was created to know – God’s life.
So, what is your life?