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A Tired God



“I have had enough of burnt offerings…Stop bringing your meaningless offerings…your incense is detestable to me…I cannot bear your evil assemblies…Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates, They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; I will not listen.” Isaiah 1:11-15 NIV
God seems to be contradicting himself in these verses because the very things he wants to stop, that he’s tired of, hates and finds detestable are exactly what he commanded his people, through Moses, to do. They thought they were being obedient and here was God, telling them that their obedience in these things was abhorrent to him. Why?

They were following the form of their religion without the substance. It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with the form but there was something lacking:


“Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” v. 17
I just realized something as I sat here thinking about it. This connects very closely to yesterday’s post. They were doing all the man-to-God things but had neglected some crucial man-to-man things. Their religion was incomplete without connecting to others, especially the needy and oppressed.

What really struck me a night or two ago when I was reading, was that we too have forms of Christianity that we follow. We tithe and give money at church and to meaningful mission organizations. We gather for church once or twice a week, celebrate Christmas, Easter (and other holy days depending on where we live), we pray. We sing songs of praise to God, preach sermons and witness. It’s not much different from what the Jews were doing in Isaiah’s day. Is God as annoyed with us as he was with them? Is he really listening to us pray or has he hidden his eyes and ears from us? How do we know?

God, I want to follow you in all ways. I want to be a delight to you, not burdensome or evil. Keep me on your path in all ways and not deluded into thinking I’m doing what you want when I’m not.

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About the Author

DEBBIE HAUGHLAND CHAN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at debbiehaughland@gmail.com or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …