"Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
Over the course of the past month I have been studying Isaiah chapter 40, a message of comfort for the people of God who are desperate for the revelation of God to break through in their lives.
To the original readers this meant deliverance from Babylonian exile, restoration of an Israelite nation and rule, and the hope for a Savior.
To readers today, this highly figurative chapter promises a breaking in of heavenly light into the hearts of all mankind through Jesus. It's God's solid word that all mankind will see the glory of the LORD in the revelation of Christ. And as Christ is revealed to each of us, He restores our soul.
He raises up our valleys. Those deep depressions of mind in both providence and grace (emotional pain, heartache, distress). Do you have a valley that needs raised up?
He makes low our mountains/hills. Those obstacles or difficulties that stand in the way of the revealing of Christ in our life and circumstances (outward—people, job, society; inward—hard heart, unbelief, doubt, sin). Do you have a hill or mountain that needs to be made low?
He makes straight our crooked things: Those things that go up against everything holy and godly, making us insincere before God. Those people who curve our path, those circumstances or environments that present daily temptations, and those significantly rooted sin that makes everything else in our life crooked. Do you have a crooked path that needs straightened?
He smooths out our rough places: Those outward trials, thorns & thistles, that are constant sources of vexation and pain (poverty, sickness, strife in relationships). Those stumbling blocks like expectations, ideologies, idols, and fleshly will that make one’s road more perplexing and full of thorns, so much so that one cannot move, or even dredge through, without stumbling, tripping, and being wounded by them. Do you have a rough place that needs smoothed?
As I've intently pondered what valleys, mountains, crooked things, and rough places are in the way of a deeper revelation of Christ in my life, I have been struck by the reality of my own doubt and unbelief. I don't doubt Jesus is Lord and that He has given me salvation, but I do sometimes doubt He can reveal Himself more deeply in my daily struggles.
So often we long for Christ to break through into our darkest placesand to reveal His glorious light in our darkness. This is surely what our soul is seeking after. Yet, doubt and unbelief stand in our way, intercepting the light of heaven to our soul.
The remainder of Chapter 40 reads as if God Himself is responding to those of us who have this doubt and unbelief. The following is a word about how the Lord has spoken to me personally about my doubt and unbelief.
I pray it blows your mind as you meditate on the wonders of who our God is. I pray that whatever valley you need raised, whatever mountain you need made low, whatever crooked thing you need straightened, and whatever rough place you need smoothed that Jesus will break through into your heart and circumstances today and deeply reveal Himself.
Here is what God spoke to me:
“So you doubt my revelation of Jesus in your life?
So you question whether your valley can be raised up, your mountain made low, your crooked thing straightened, and your rough places made smooth?
Well Here I Am.
I am Your God.
I am strong and powerful and I allow you to be in my presence, to accompany me. You are my reward. [v. 10]
I am your gentle and tender Shepherd. I deliver you and gather you in my arms. I carry you close to my heart and lead you. [v. 11]
I am all powerful. I am in control of all. [v. 12]
I am all knowing. I am full of understanding. None can enlighten or teach me. [vs. 13-14]
No power, nation, obstacle, or people can stand before me. [vs. 15-17]
There is simply nothing that compares to me, no image or man-made idol. [vs. 19-20]
Do you not know this?
Have you not heard this?
I am God the Creator.
I sit enthroned above all.
I control the destiny of all. [vs. 21-24]
So, to whom will you dare to compare me?
Who or what could possibly be my equal?
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens!
I bring out the starry host one by one and call them each by name.
So why do you say, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God?’
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
I am the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
I will not grow tired or weary, and my understanding no one can fathom.
I give strength to the weary and I increase the power of the weak.
Even the young grow tired and weary & stumble and fall.
But if you hope in Me I will renew your strength.
You will soar on wings like eagles; you will run and not grow weary, you will walk and not be faint. [vs. 27-31]
So Here I am.
HERE I AM.
Beg of me to manifest myself in love to your heart.
Bless me for your valleys, mountains, crooked things, and rough places.
For they are there for the good of your soul.
They reveal your dire need for Me.
And when you come to me with a sincere and humble heart I will do what I said I would do.
I will raise up your valley, make low your mountain, straightened that which is crooked, and smooth out the rough places.
Because My word stands forever.
Trust me my child.
I’m pretty much awesome in power and love.
Here I Am.
I am Your God.
I pray you would continue to reveal Yourself to my children in a deeper and deeper way. May Your glorious light break through into their lives. May doubt and unbelief never intercept Your revealing light. I pray they would be comforted by the words of Isaiah 40. I pray they would stand in awe before You because of how great You are. I pray they would allow You to raise up their valleys, make low their mountains, straightened those things that are crooked, and smooth out their rough places. May they began to grasp the promises of Your Word and may they allow them to transform their minds, heal their hearts, and change their lives.