- Isaiah 56:1-59:21
“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.'” –Isaiah 57:15, ESV
There are times you read a passage throughout your spiritual journey, and something there, which has always been there, suddenly jumps out. Today is that day for me. The first half of this verse has always been familiar. The first half of the next verse about God not contending forever was also familiar. And what I walked away with was the a contrite and lowly heart was the way to not be contentious with God. Though this is a true statement, those are only the bread pieces to a much heartier sandwich.
Think about it. You don’t have a white bread sandwich, or a 9-grain bread sandwich. You have a grilled cheese sandwich. Or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Or a ham sandwich. You don’t go in describing the outer layers. You describe your meal by the substance between the bread. Check out the substance between the slices of bread in this passage.
“…to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
God has a purpose for us coming to Him lowly and contrite. It is not merely that we recognize His holiness or recognize our sinfulness. Those are true, but they are such a first level statement. He wants us to come that way so that He can build us up. If we come lowly and contrite, He will revive us according to the way He created us to be! Not according to our own skewed sense of reality, but His revival comes in accordance with all that He is. We can try to motivate ourselves, pump ourselves up with catchy phrases and affirmations, but being revived by the Lord God Himself goes so far beyond anything we can imagine. He knows how to build us up; but we have to start lowly and contrite. Wouldn’t you rather come to Him that way? Otherwise He would have to get you that way before reviving you. Wouldn’t you rather He build you up with an everlasting name (Isaiah 56:5)? What we build will crumble. But what God builds lasts forever.
So come to Him lowly and contrite. And take joy that He will revive your lowly spirit, and He will revive your contrite heart.