Who Is Carrying You?

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James MacDonald gives us five truths on how we can learn from the mistakes of those whose diminished reality led to captivity.

Bel bows down; Nebo stoops; their idols are on beasts and livestock; these things you carry are borne as burdens on weary beasts. They stoop; they bow down together; they cannot save the burden, but themselves go into captivity. “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; 4even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save—Isaiah 46:1-4.

As you woke this morning, was it with the realization that God’s unbreakable promises to you in Jesus are designed to produce unimaginable salvation in you through Christ? It is easy for us to live out our salvation with some sort of diminished reality which in turn diminishes our capacity to live for God’s greater glory. Isaiah 46 speaks to people for whom such a diminished reality led to captivity. And we should learn from their mistakes. Think on these five truths.

Truth #1: The greatest of strength and the deepest of knowledge will end up face down before Jesus. The gods of their captive world were shown to be inter-galactically weak. Literally, they sink to their knees, stooping, crouching, and cowering before the living God. 

Good news right? Except that there was a further reality at work here: 

Truth #2: The people whom God called His own had made Bel and Nebo their gods too. That meant they were broken people with broken gods who had broken relationship with the One true and living God. Rather than being carried through life by faith in God, their spiritual loyalties were very divided, resulting in both spiritual and physical captivity. 

So who’s carrying you?  Or, more correctly, what are you carrying? Their gods were only as strong, responsive, or mobile as they were. Does that describe where your trust is today? The things you are trusting in are carried on your shoulders in your strength. Eventually, they become a burden that weighs upon you. Has it occurred to you that is why you are finding no peace or rest? Has the reality hit that this is the cause of the heaviness felt today and for quite a few yesterdays? 

Truth #3: We need to realize in a fresh way today something about our god-alternatives. If you can carry it, there will be a day when it can’t carry you. Further, if you have to carry it, then it’s already crushing you. It’s time to give up investing such massive amounts of energy and emotion propping up idols. This passage speaks of three things sinking to their knees. Do you see it? The idol, the animal, and the one crazy enough to entrust their life to something made from the same raw ingredients as them. 

Truth #4: God is saying, “Listen to me: while you are trusting in Disney characters, I am still speaking. While you are walking straight into captivity with whatever you have replaced Me with tucked under your arm, remember this—I have carried you from birth.” God is speaking of Jesus shouldering the burden of your sin, carrying your load, taking the strain of all that weighs you.

Truth #5: We need to realize when we are trusting in an idol and heed the warnings God is sending us every day! 

Journal:

  • Which describes me: One who willingly allows the Lord to carry me, or one who carries my idols wherever I go?
  • How can I tell the difference?

Prayer – Almighty Father, I am no different than the Israelites of old. I make and carry idols every day. Sometimes it seems like half of my life is spent guarding against the idols that creep up on me.  Please forgive for not throwing them down and jumping back into Your loving arms. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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