Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the city of Greenville their sins. For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a city that does what is right, and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. “Why have we searched” they say, “and you have not seen it?” “Why have we humbled ourselves and you have not noticed?”
Yet on the day of your searching you do as you please. You seek me only a little while, then you turn your attention away. You cannot search as you do today and expect to be heard on high. Am I supposed to answer after you seek me for only a day? Is praying only for bowing one’s head like a reed, and for getting down on your knees? Is that what you call a search, a day acceptable to the Lord?
Is not this how I want you to search me out: to loose the chains of injustice, and untie those held captive by sin, to set the oppressed free and break every chain? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-when you see the naked to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help and He will say: here am I.
If you do away with oppression and the pointing finger, and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noon day. The Lord will guide you always, he will satisfy your needs in a sun scorched land and will strengthen your fame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of streets with Dwellings. If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the time of worship a delight, and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. The mouth of the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 58
City of Greenville and East Carolina University, I posted this passage from Isaiah 58 which God spoke to the Israelites centuries ago. I made a few substitutions because I believe God is speaking the same to the city of Greenville.
People everywhere are seeking out God, to know Him personally, to hear His voice. We are seeking the same connection a few of our friends have who seem to love God as though they were married to Him. But as soon as we begin to search and seek Him out, we turn away to other things to bring us entertainment.
If we truly wish to know God, we have to come to Him in obedience. This means listening to God’s word, the Bible. This means setting aside ourselves to live for His Kingdom. We cannot search for God and still do as we please!
Imagine if even a tenth of the students at East Carolina and a tenth of the population in the city of Greenville lived in obedience to God?! If that tenth prayed to Him every day, His voice would be heard, His will known, and people’s lives would be changed so dramatically, we would all stand amazed at what is happening, even those who do not believe.
Seek out God, by obeying and praying. Revival starts with us as Christians from which the streams of living water flow (John 7:37-38).