Come Dine With Me

It’s a mystery why God should want us to come and dine with him, yet he does nevertheless.

Come

God doesn’t force us into a relationship with Him, he invites us. This is an invitation to those who recognise that they are spiritually dry and in need of refreshment.

"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;"

Isaiah 55:1

Buy and Eat

What are we buying into? God offers us the richest of fare, an extravagant feast.

In scripture, milk is likened to a spiritually sustained life, whilst wine represents the joy found in a true relationship with God.

"and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!"

Isaiah 55:1

There is no cost to us for this spiritual sustenance and joy. It is free and priceless because it’s purely by grace and, therefore, something all of us can afford. God has covered it and cost was huge, paid for by the death of his Son Jesus. “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isa 53:5).

“Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?"

Isaiah 55:2

We are all tempted to look away from God and buy into other things to satisfy our thirst for meaning and purpose, but Isaiah cautions us to consider what we invest our money or energy on as we try to find satisfaction and fulfilment.

“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing” (Blaise Pascal)

God says make sure you buy and eat what is good.

"Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare."

Isaiah 55:2

Listen

We need to learn to discern God’s voice among the many competing voices in our everyday lives and listen carefully to what He is saying. In Isaiah’s day God used prophets to speak to his people. Today we can still hear God’s voice, primarily through his Word the Bible. But are we listening?

"Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David."

saiah 55:3

It’s only by truly listening to God that we will find real and abundant life.

Seek and Call

It seems more and more people are praying and seeking God in this forced period of reflection that we are experiencing today.

“As COVID-19 reminds us of life’s fragility, an increasing number of people are turning to faith and spirituality” – NewStatesman

God wants to be found and wants us to persue him wholeheartedly, not simply in a time of crisis, but with intenisity and a singlemindedness.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."”

Jeremiah 29:13-14

The table has been set and the invitation offered. We need to actively make the effort to seek God and call out to him while we have the opportunity, because there is a time limit on this invitation. There is no guarantee of tomorrow for any of us, so don’t miss this golden opportunity to sit at God’s table while you can.

"Seek the Lordwhile he may be found; call on him while he is near."

Isaiah 55:6

Forsake and Turn

Just like the people in Isaiah’s day, we too need to forsake the wrong things in our lives and turn to God in confession and repentance. This is crucial to removing the barrier between God and us if we want to sit at his table.

To take your seat, you need to ‘wash your hands’

"Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."

James 4:8

To wash your hands and purify your heart means to forsake your own ways – your sins. As you do this, you turn to God and receive His mercy and forgiveness.

"Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon."

Isaiah 55:7

It’s a mystery why God should want to come dine with any of us for eternity. As such, we simply need to accept we won’t have all the answers to the ‘why’ questions and must humbly accept that His thoughts and ways are far beyond our understanding (vv.8-9). God is not a puzzle waiting to be solved, but a mystery deserving to be adored.

What we do know stares us in the face. If you are thirsty and recognise a deep spiritual hunger, you are invited to a meal for two, where God will satisfy you with the richest fare. And if you accept God’s invite you will discover two of the most sought after ingredients in life; joy and peace, which are always on the menu.

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."

Isaiah 55:12

Come dine with God

Come – Come and accept the invitation

Buy – Buy into this, but it will cost you nothing

Eat – You pull up a chair and get stuck in

Listen – Pay attention to what God is saying to you, incline your ear to His word

Seek – Seek God with all your heart while He is still available

Call – Engage in dialogue and get on your knees while He is near

Forsake – Forsake you own way in sin, confess and repent

Turn – Turn to God who sits at the table waiting to have mercy and to freely forgive

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