READ: Isaiah 44-45
THINK: Do you know people who claim they don't believe in God-or who believe in a different "god"? Whether they admit it, or even realize it, everybody serves somebody-or something. Whatever gets the bulk of a person's attention or determines a person's priorities or becomes the basis of a person's identity is essentially the person's "god." If that role is filled by anything other than the true God and Creator of all things‚ then the person has set up an idol-a false "god"-in his or her life. That can be a possession, a pastime, or even another person-anything that takes place or priority over God. But regardless of what a person is devoted to in this life, everyone that ever lives will one day-either voluntarily or involuntarily-bow and confess that Lord is God.
RESPOND: What did Isaiah prophesy about Israel's future at the beginning of chapter 44, and what would make this possible? (See 44:3 note.) What does it mean for God to pour out His Spirit, and what benefits does this bring? (See 44:3 note.) When was this prophecy regarding the Spirit's outpouring partially fulfilled, and when will it be completely fulfilled? (See 44:3 note.) What's one of the more obvious results of the Spirit being poured out on individuals (44:5)? (See 44:5 note.) What does 44:6-20 emphasize about idols, false "gods" and those who rely on them? (See 44:6-20 note.) In what ways do people today set up idols for themselves? Why is it foolish and futile for people to create their own gods (44:16-20)? What does God's use of Cyrus reveal about God's plans and who He can use to fulfill them (cf. 45:4-6, 9-13)? (See 44:28 note.) What invitation does God make in 45:22, and what must people do to accept God's gracious offer? (See 45:22 note.) Although most people will never follow God or accept Christ, what will every person who ever lives eventually do in regard to the Lord (45:23-24)? (See 45:23 note.)
PRAY: Give thanks for the power and refreshment that the Holy Spirit can bring to your life. Pray for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit for renewed boldness, guidance and insight. Praise the Lord that He is the only true God.
ACT: Is there anything you've allowed to gain undue influence or priority in your life to the point that it detracts from your devotion to God and your dependence on Him? If this is true to any degree, get rid of whatever it is that's becoming an idol in your life. Restructure your time, efforts and priorities to reflect complete devotion to Christ.
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