“at that time, the Lord spoke through Isaiah son of Amoz. He said to him, “Take off the sackcloth from your body and the sandals from your feet.” And he did so, going around stripped and barefoot.
Written by: Shannon Swenson
God asked Isaiah to strip down and walk around naked for three years. It was a sign to the neighboring countries of Israel that they were about to be taken over. Back in that time, it was not uncommon for prisoners to be paraded around naked.
It is hard to understand why God would ask him to do it. Sometimes God asks us to do hard things; things that we find awkward or embarrassing. For us, it will most likely not be walking around naked.
The thing is Isaiah did exactly what God asked him to do. I am pretty sure Isaiah had a million questions about why it had to be that way, but he was obedient and did it anyway. He did what God asked him to do—naked and unafraid.
God asks me to do big, scary things a lot. It is outside of my comfort zone that I grow. It doesn’t always have to feel scary; it can be something that feels hard. It can be something like loving my neighbor when I really just want to let them know how I really feel about the things they do that are annoying. Maybe it’s not driving past the person on the corner with a sign assuming that if I help them they will just go do something wrong or unhealthy with the money. Sound familiar?
Obedience to do the right thing will sometimes initially come at the cost of discomfort and uncertainty, but I know for sure that Jesus walked in those shoes. He did what was right, He was obedient to God’s plan, and He did it willingly.
Even though Jesus was God’s son, He learned obedience from the things He suffered. – Hebrews 5:8
The more I practice my faith through obedience, the more obedient I become, and the more God is glorified in the process. You and I are called to respond in obedience either through acting or refraining from acting. It’s not to break us down, but to grow us up.
He modeled obedience through true suffering far more than I “suffer” for loving when it’s hard, holding my tongue, or giving without conditions.
I can be better about obedience, being uncomfortable, or doing the right thing when it feels a bit inconvenient. Maybe I can be okay with being naked and unafraid like Isaiah. Sometimes God is radical about the ways He uses to get our attention and take over where we think we are in control.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that You want us to be naked and unafraid to trust You in all things and in all areas of our lives. Help us to choose to trust and obey You at any cost. Forgive me, forgive us, for whining and dragging our feet when You simply want to build us up into the creations You designed us to be. In Jesus’ name, amen.