“LORD, you will establish peace for us, for you have also done all our work for us. LORD our God, lords other than you have owned us, but we remember your name alone” (Isaiah 26.12-13).
There are two directions that ought to occupy my thoughts each day. I look ahead and realize that peace will be mine because the Lord Jesus did all the work for me. He did so through His perfect life, death, burial, and resurrection. He died for my sins and lives again to grant me His righteous life. However, I look behind and realize what I deserve because of my sin. I am ashamed of the other “lords” I’ve served.
“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness” (Romans 6.16)? Am I devoted to God or to the god of the American dream? Am I devoted to God or to the god of materialism and work. Am I devoted to God or to the god of pleasure? Am I truly seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness? Am I practicing Christianity or family-olatry? It is true that God is not in any of the thoughts of wicked people. Is He in all mine? Lords other than Him have owned me even while I have paid lip service and bowed a pharisaical knee to the true God. I have drawn near with my mouth, honored with my lips, but have removed my heart from the LORD (Isaiah 29.13). I have had a form of godliness devoid of true power (2 Timothy 3.5). My prayer and devotion has been routine, listless, and cold. But still, I remember His name alone.
I will make mention of the God of Israel and do so in truth and righteousness (see Isaiah 48.1). He has done His work for me as undeserving as I am. It is my reasonable service to present myself as a living sacrifice to Him and to not be conformed to this world. He alone will establish peace for me. He alone will reward my labor for Him. What shall these other lords do for me but leave me empty and wanting? Satisfaction and blessing are ahead of me; therefore, I choose to forget those things behind me.
My life is eternal in its quality. So, I patiently continue doing good while seeking for glory, honor, and immortality (Romans 2.4). I live out of my faith in the LORD God. I refuse to draw back lest my Father has no pleasure in me. I believe until I am finally home. Father, “my mouth will tell about your righteousness and your salvation all day long, though I cannot sum them up. I come because of the mighty acts of the Lord God; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone” (Psalm 71.15.16). It is true, LORD. You know it. Lords other than you have owned me, but I remember your name alone.