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The Misconception-Deception Trap (Isaiah 49:14-18)

Zion says, “The Lord has abandoned me; the Lord has forgotten me!”
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, or lack compassion for the child of her womb?
Even if these forget, yet I will not forget you.
Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.
Your builders hurry; those who destroy and devastate you will leave you.
Look up, and look around.
They all gather together; they come to you.
As I live”— this is the Lord’s declaration— “you will wear all your children as jewelry, and put them on as a bride does.
-Isaiah 49:14-18

Imagine with me, a people, a whole tribe, a nation that is being set free, by a power greater than the power that has walled them in and held them back.  The good news comes to their ears, but they can not recieve it.  Instead of responding with joy, they are skeptical, pessimistic, or cynical.  This response is disharmonious and out of sync.  Why?

The walls come down, the gate opens, but they don't walk out.  In the face of good fortune, some are so invested in misfortune, that they can not believe it.  What?

We can take on an identity, based on our loss, that is negative.  It is a simple fact that we can come out of suffering better or bitter.  Two people have the same loss, but one finds redemption, while the other stays stuck.

Some losses or traumas go deeper.  Post traumatic stress is real.  People set free need aftercare.  Not knowing how to feel and experiencing a whole range of grief is real and normal and part of the process for some.

But, for those set free, "victim" is not their identity.  Their identity is now something akin to "newly-set-free-child-of-the-king".  To come out of victimhood, and take on the new identity, I will have to grow and take responsibility. 

After being delivered, set free, and released from captivity or bondage, we will now have to grow up into being responsible sons and daughters, receiving and stewarding our inheritance from God.

We can misconceive God, based on our bad experiences.

Somebody hurt us.  Life hurt us.  We hurt ourselves.  We end up blaming God.  We can become deceived, as we make incorrect judgements about God, and then live in a negative style, based on a misconception.

You might need to repent- ask forgiveness for passing judgement on God.

To say, "God has forgotten me", goes against all that is true about God.  It is like we are saying that God has chosen to forget me, because either God does not care about me, or God is punishing me for my badness.

"Buzzzzzzz -Wrong answer!"

God has an enemy.  He tries to get us to doubt God (Gen. 3:1), Jesus called him "the father of lies" (John 8:44), and he is also "the accuser of our brothers and sisters" (Rev. 12:10).  The enemy always wants to distort the Lord's character.  The Lord is always good (Ps. 100:5, 118:1, 119:68, 135:3, 136:1; Jer. 33:11; Nahum 1:7) and that's not "good", as in air quotes " ", but genuinely good.

When someone is set free, they need care, healing, and structure in order to grow into their new life on the outside.  Addicts, once freed, relapse or find a new addiction, if they do not grow into maturity.

There are people in the Christian community who have never lived the abundant life.  When they become revived, restored, awakened, and empowered; they might not know what to do with on in their new life.  We will have to rediscover life in Christ.

In this section of Isaiah 49, God addresses the fearful doubters.  These folks are not rejoicing when the emancipation proclamation rings out.  We have to back up and find out where they are at.
Zion says, “The Lord has abandoned me; the Lord has forgotten me!”
The word of the Lord comes to a people.  It is good news, a message of freedom and a long forgotten dream now coming true.  Oddly, some people cannot receive it.  They have acute self-pity, from which they have created untrue beliefs about God.

These folks have become sick in heart (Prov. 13:12).  They are seemingly cemented in a "present-past" mindset.  Their minds are so full of their failures and God's seeming unfaithfulness and their personal misfortunes, that they cannot process or take in the good news today.  When we are like this, we are not evil.  They are stuck.

Here are some words that describe a people who have taken on a style or an identity, based on their belief of being forgotten by God:
  • Grumbler: complainer, faultfinder, disagreeable, griper, grouser, kvetcher. 
  • Despondent: hopeless, discouraged, downhearted, despairing, melancholy, woebegone, miserable, and depressed.
  • Defeatist: negativist (negaholic), pessimist, skeptic, cynic, doubter, fatalistic.
People whom these words describe are people who God is wanting to set free into a restored, abundant life.  But crossing that river is a huge challenge for them, because they carry such deep wounds.

Deep wounds require deep healing (1).  We don't practice "victorious denial", merely naming and claiming healing.  Healing often comes in a process.  You get free externally.  Then, the internal healing can begin.

Former victims of suffering, need to become disciples, leaning to be transformed from slaves to sons and daughters.  The person who remains a victim, does not follow after and become a disciple of Christ, and refuses to grow up from child or slave to become a man or woman, will remain stuck.

Our style gives us away.  Our words reveal what we believe.  We base our theology on our human reasoning about our misfortunes, rather than who God really is.

But God is merciful.  God has very special words for those who find themselves believing he has forgotten them:
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, or lack compassion for the child of her womb?
Even if these forget, yet I will not forget you.
Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.
Your builders hurry; those who destroy and devastate you will leave you.
The word from the Lord to those who feel forgotten is that He has not forgotten you.  The Lord sees our brokenness.  God has a "present-future" plan (Jer. 29:11) for each of us.  The Lord intimately knows us.  He knows how we are broken and how we need restoration.
Look up, and look around.
They all gather together; they come to you.
As I live”— this is the Lord’s declaration— “you will wear all your children as jewelry, and put them on as a bride does.
The Lord calls us to look forward, to get ready for an ingathering, to get ready for children, and to get ready to reproduce.

God knows about the destruction and devastation, but he looks to the rebuilding, the restoring, the reviving or what was dead.  Will we look with him?

Stating facts about God is not enough for some people.  We need to get it as a revelation.  We need the truth to get ahold of us on the inside and set us free.

____________________________________________
The painting above is, “Starry Night,” by Vincent Van Gogh.
1. Deep Wounds, Deep Healing by Charles Kraft; is a book I recommend.
For more about deliverance: Deliverance From Evil Spirits by Francis MacNutt
For more about walking with God in your life: The Practice of The Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence

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