The Overcomer's Path - Pt. 1
The path to freedom is before us, our choices determine life ahead
Chapters 52-55 of Isaiah contains a roadmap for the overcomer, a path to follow from repentance through a righteous life afterwards. In it, we find what is required and expected of us and the provisions and promises God makes towards us.
Imparted to Isaiah as a message to a nation in bondage and longing for freedom, this word rings true in our personal lives today. The pathway to freedom is before us; our choices will determine our life ahead. The first choice is one of the hardest. We must choose to confess, repent, and be forgiven.
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Confession and Repentance Open the Gateway
For thus said HASHEM: For naught were you sold, and without money you will be redeemed. Isaiah 52:31
Rabbinical Note: You were sold to your enemies only in punishment for your sins, and you can be redeemed from their subjugation through repentance.
Point: Overcomers need not fret over the price they must pay God for their past. Repentance is the only cost God imposes and is the gateway to forgiveness and freedom in Heaven and on earth. The world may surely impose other costs, which we call consequences. Even here, God provides all we need to bear these and live a redeemed life.
Burst out, sing glad song in unison, O ruins of Jerusalem, for HASHEM will have comforted His people; He will have redeemed Jerusalem. HASHEM has bared His holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; all ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God. Isaiah 52:9
Point: When we realize that we have been set free, rejoicing should come naturally, as it did for me one evening when I left my stoic facade behind and rushed to join others in exuberant worship. Sometimes it will come suddenly as mine did, for others it will be a slow awakening to new freedom. Whenever and however the joy of freedom comes, release it as a praise and witness for the God of your freedom. Don't hide it, release it for all to see. Let them marvel and celebrate with you, and let it witness to those who do not understand.
Our Choices Dictate Our Future
Turn away! Turn away! Get out from there! It is defiled; do not touch it! Get out from inside it! Cleanse yourselves, O bearers of HASHEM's armor. You will not leave in chaos, nor will you go in flight; for HASHEM will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard. Isaiah 52:11-12
Point: This is our part in our own restoration. We are to be righteous in all things, running like the wind from the things that previously enslaved us. We are to "Turn away! Turn away! Get out of there! ... Get out from inside it!" God has redeemed us, now it is up to us to walk in His shadow and stay redeemed.
The wisdom of turning away is obvious, but what is "Get out of there!" and "Get out from inside it!" about? It is about breaking the intimate relationship we have entangled ourselves in inside the beings of our addiction and sin. It has not only been a part of us, but we have also been a part of it, inside it as it were, and made a part of it through our obedience and service to it.
How do we get out? Remember, holiness and righteousness are in the choices we make. Every choice is a decision to honor or dishonor God's work in our lives. Choose well! Bear the new mantle God has placed upon your life with desire, intent, and purpose, and let those guide every decision and every step.
Next Week in Part 2: Our new life that follows our surrender, confession, and repentance.