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Avoiding captivity

…but they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord, no respect for the work of his hands. Isaiah 5:12

What is it that causes people to “perish” or go into “captivity”? The answer that is usually given: “lack of vision” or “lack of understanding.” This, however, is only part of the story. We have to ask, “What is it that they did not have knowledge about?” To understand this better we have to read the beginning of the chapter. It talks about a people who are socially and economically sophisticated: they have mansions, expand their businesses, know their wines and are music connoisseurs.  But they don’t really know God, are unjust and unrighteous.

Therefore my people will go into exile…

Most teaching tends to emphasize what comes after the “therefore”—lack of vision or understanding—rather than what comes before the “therefore.” The big issue is this: having “no regard for the deeds of the Lord” — forgetting the incredible things God has done, and having “no respect for the work of his hands.” What does this mean to us? If we forget what God has done in our businesses, if we lose sight of the way he works or what he creates; if we do not continue to do business and live life God’s way after having received insights, then we all run the risk of slipping backwards, of going into spiritual exile. After we have seen God move in our hearts, and witnessed miracles in our lives and the lives of others, we need to be diligent to remember specifically what God has done. 

Let me say it again: we need to remember. We need to gather regularly, to tell stories and build each others’ faith and spur each another on to greater things. When I sit long enough in a good coffee shop my clothes carry the aroma home. We need to recount the victories so that when we go back to our individual factories or offices or stores we carry with us the smell of victory, the air of the kingdom, the aroma of the King. The word of our testimony will preserve hard won spiritual capital, overcome the enemy, and establish spiritual markers on the contour of our cities. Not knowing is worse than knowing and forgetting, for in the latter we are more accountable. 

Woe to you… for if the miracles that were performed in your city were performed in Sodom and Gomorrah, they would have repented.

 Miracles bring cities to repentance. We are stewards not just of our assets, but of the God-in-my-business story with which he has entrusted us.

Failing to remember and failing to implement what we know of God’s ways will cut off the flow of fresh revelation. This is a sure way to stagnation, corporate captivity, and spiritual exile. So let’s remember to remember:

the deeds of the Lord… the works of his hands.

Reflections

    • How often do you recount the miracles of God to your colleagues, your staff, your household?


    • Where have you experienced victory, but gone back into a relative captivity because you have not stood your ground by carefully regarding the deeds of the Lord?


    • Would you consider making a “Wall of remembrance” in your office or other place of work to earmark what God has done for you?
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