You shall establish yourself in righteousness
(rightness, in conformity with God’s will and order):
you shall be far from even the thought of oppression or destruction,
for you shall not fear, and from terror, for it shall not come near you.
What an amazing things to see a plant that appears to be growing right out of a rock. It always prompts in me the question, “How? How was it able to grow in such a difficult place?”
Hannah Hurnard’s Hind’s Feet on High Places tells of one such flower. In this classic allegory, the characters are named after their main personality trait, and all of nature comes alive in new ways as God’s children are led on a spiritual journey to reach the High Place of His love.
The way seems especially difficult for the fearful and crippled Much-Afraid, but as the days progress she learns to find beauty in the midst of trial. On one particularly desolate cliff, she was startled to find a hint of life.
With the sun shining down, a graceful but sturdy flower was indeed a things of great beauty. With a soft laugh the little flower proclaimed, “See now! There is nothing whatever between my Love and my heart, nothing around to distract me from Him…There is no flower in all the world more blessed or more satisfied that I, for I look up to Him as a weaned child and say, ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire but thee.”
You know, we are righteous only by the sacrificial blood of Jesus–nothing more, nothing less. But in this place of shocking grace, God wants our roots to go deep; he wants us to be established in righteousness as a shield against destruction and terror.
The Hebrew word for establish in Isaiah 54:14 is kûwn, meaning “to be erect; (i.e. to stand perpendicular”; to establish, fix, prepare, apply; (fig.) to appoint, render sure, proper or prosperous.” It is also to confirm, direst, fashion, fasten, frame, ordain, perfect, and make ready.
This difficult but necessary process doesn’t happen in a moment. It can take months, sometimes years. It is not like establishing ourselves in the business of life. We can get pretty far on our own strength in the natural things, but when establishing ourselves in righteousness, our greatest portion is humility.
We must first recognize our great need and then choose to receive God’s flawless grace and mercy. As he shows Himself extravagant in our weakness, our roots will go deeper into his peace, his joy, and his compassion.
Find more of Amy’s encouragement in Will to Be Filled
Amy Layne Litzelman is passionate about knowing God more intimately in each moment and helping others do the same. Amy released her first book, This Beloved Road: A Journey of Revelation and Worship, in 2011. She has also composed over seventy songs, recorded four CDs, and traveled to teach and lead worship across the United States and in the Philippines and China. She and her husband, Matt, live in Jackson Hole, WY and have two adult sons.
Click here to learn more about gifted faith writer Amy Layne Litzelman