"For without consulting me,
you have gone down to Egypt for help.
You have put your trust in Pharaoh’s protection.
You have tried to hide in his shade."
Isaiah 30:2 (NLT)
When I read this today, I was struck by the reality that I do the same thing. I forget to ask the Lord about [whatever the issue] and seek to remedy it on my own. It speaks to my own arrogance and lack of trust in Him. How is it that I think I know best? How can it be that my limited intellect and experience supersede that of the God Who created the universe?
But isn’t that how we’re taught today? In this age of humanism and materialism, even the church – all the way down to my own life has become infected! Culture screams, “You’re enough! You’re worth it! You can be whatever you want to be! You are successful, confident, powerful, wealthy, and strong.” The list goes on and nauseatingly on. Somehow, those unrelenting messages find strongholds in my thinking and I find that I default to myself or to “trusted advisors,” rather than first going to the One Who truly has the answers.
Work out your own salvation
I know, I know . . . I have to “work out my own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). But then I’m reminded that this admonition is written to a church community, not to an individual. And that reignites the recognition that the expression of God in the world today is through his Church.
Find the right shade
And I need to seek safety in His shade. Not the shade of cultural affirmations, which are like the gods of this world. They are drawn from the myths of self-indulgence and make each of us his own god. I need the Shade of His Body. The Shade in which I hid last night as the men from our Men’s Ministry group huddled around me, laying hands on me, and lifting Sherry and me up in prayer – reminding me that the only lasting safety and contentment I’ll ever find resides in His Shade.
Whose shade are you hiding in?