Tony Brown preached from Isaiah 30:1-5 last night, talking about the human tendency to find its own solutions rather than depending on God. In this passage, Judah was faced with the threat of invasion from Assyria and Hezekiah, the king, sought to form an alliance with Egypt, looking for protection from that country rather than looking to God. So often, we do the same, seeking advice and help from other people instead of coming first to God and being prepared to wait on the Lord.

God is our protection, shelter and refuge (Ps 91:1-2), our fortress in times of trouble. Yet it is all too easy to fall into the age-old sin of self-reliance and independence, since we like to be in control. We who are created are not wiser than the One who created us, but all too often we fail to understand that God has a masterplan for our lives (Jer 29:11).

If we are to avoid the sin that Judah committed, we need to:
(1) turn to God and seek Him first
Jesus issued an invitation to come to Him and to exchange our heavy yoke of burdens for His light yoke (Matt 11:28-30). He told us to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness and promised that if we put things in the right order, God would take care of our earthly needs (Matt 6:31-34). Our priority has to be God; our focus has to be on Him.

(2) understand how big God is
We need a vision of the bigness of God, an understanding of who He is, that He is all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful and well able to deal with all of our problems. When we see God as He is, our problems are put into their proper size, instead of us having a small God and huge problems. We need faith to see God as He is, but so often believe that our faith is too small to be any use. Instead, as in Matthew 17, we need to see that small faith can do big things when it’s faith in a big God.

(3) Patience is a virtue
We are impatient people and so often problems arise when we feel we’ve waited long enough for God to act and take things into our own hands (as Abraham and Sarah did when Sarah suggested solving the problem of her barrenness through her maidservant, Hagar, with the result that Ishmael was born, not the son of promise that God had intended.) It is absolutely vital that we learn to wait upon the Lord, for God does not need us to help Him; instead, He requires obedience in waiting for Him. God’s timing is always right and perfect, but we need to understand that as we seek God, He will provide for us and will work all things together for good in our lives.