Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

 

Pastor Tony Butler

Prattville Alliance Church

 

"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.  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 your soul will delight in the richest of fare.  Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.” Is. 55:1,2b.3a

 

I heard a story of an explorer who had gone to Africa for a safari. He hired a group of natives to carry his heavy supplies. On the first day under his direction the natives made really good progress that far exceeded his expectations. As the explorer went to bed the first night he anticipated another fast journey the next day as well. When he got up the next morning and tried to rally the natives, to his surprise they would not move.

            When he inquired through a translator why they would not move, he told him, “On the first day they went too fast and too far. Now they must rest and allow their souls to catch up to their bodies.”

The only difference between the natives and us is they knew what was happening and we don’t. The common thread we have with Israel in the above passages of scripture is the refusal to be still and be silent. It is the refusal to look and listen. The refusal to sit at the Father’s feet and behold what is good in creation and in the cross. It is the sin of spiritual sloth. It is doing nothing that we were created to do as beings made in the image of God. There may be a torrent of activity in the life filled with dazzle and talk, but still there is a refusal to do our real work, which is dealing seriously with Jesus and our relationship to Him. We must begin to question ourselves in the midst of all our activity why we spend money on that which is not bread, and labor for that which does not satisfy.

Often our response to a growing inner restlessness is to work harder and harder and become more involved with the activities of life than ever before, hoping that somehow with more activity our souls will catch up to our busyness. All of us identify with this problem in our modern fast paced lives, but the more important issue is the solution to the problem that will bring us to rest. Four times we see the word “come” in Is. 55:1. In verse two and three you will find the words “listen,” twice  “give ear,” and “hear me.” How does our spirit catch up to our bodies? By coming to God and listening to Him.

When we have reached the state that we have spent our money on what is not bread, and are tired of laboring for that which does not satisfy. When neither in the realm of our being or doing is there satisfaction. We must recognize the fundamental cause is working without coming to God and listening. When we come to Him he tells us in chapter 55 our soul shall live and that He would renew His promise to us, he would be merciful to us, abundantly pardon, and give us that which does satisfy. We can then go out from Him with joy, peace, and with singing. Jesus told us to come unto Him that He might bring rest to our souls and peace to our hearts. I encourage you to come and listen to God in Isaiah 55 today. Let Him speak to your heart and relieve you from that which does not satisfy. Augustine said it well when he said, “The heart was made for you oh God, and must forever remain at unrest until it finds rest in you.” May God bless you as you come and listen to Him.