How are you in meetings?  I have attended a lot of meetings of humans in my career as a teacher and in ministry as a leader.  As I sat there listening, I tried to stay focused on what was being said, but sometimes my mind would wander to what I should be accomplishing in my classroom or in ministry, what calls I needed to make or on what project I needed to complete.  I felt robbed of the time I sat there.  In this day and time, we ask, “Couldn’t this have been written in an email for me to read later?”

Have you ever been in this situation?  Did you keep checking the time?  Did you stop your unfocused thoughts for that moment with ears pricked when the speaker says, “And now in closing…” so the real reason of the meeting is expressed and you can leave?  We ask ourselves, “What are they trying to tell me that will benefit what I have been given to do?”  “What is the real message they are trying to convey?”  Are all these words being said the truth or summations and opinions of past experiences.  What is the bottom line?  What is the last word?

In a world of busy activities that need to be done at a certain time in a specific way, we sometimes miss the last word from the One who loved us first, loves us most and loves us forever.  It was no different in the time of Isaiah.  We might be impressed with who God is and even throw up a few prayers when we are in trouble; but are we hearing, believing, and following His “Last Word”—Jesus, Immanuel, “God with us”? 

Isaiah 8, The Message

Then God told me, “Get a big sheet of paper and write in indelible ink, ‘This belongs to Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Spoil-Speeds-Plunder-Hurries).’”

2-3 I got two honest men, Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah, to witness the document. Then I went home to my wife, the prophetess. She conceived and gave birth to a son.

3-4 God told me, “Name him Maher-shalal-hash-baz. Before that baby says ‘Daddy’ or ‘Mamma’ the king of Assyria will have plundered the wealth of Damascus and the riches of Samaria.”

* * *

5-8 God spoke to me again, saying:

Because this people has turned its back
    on the gently flowing stream of Shiloah
And gotten all excited over Rezin
    and the son of Remaliah,
I’m stepping in and facing them with
    the wild floodwaters of the Euphrates,
The king of Assyria and all his fanfare,
    a river in flood, bursting its banks,
Pouring into Judah, sweeping everything before it,
    water up to your necks,
A huge wingspan of a raging river,
    O Immanuel, spreading across your land.”

* * *

9-10 But face the facts, all you oppressors, and then wring your hands.
    Listen, all of you, far and near.
Prepare for the worst and wring your hands.
    Yes, prepare for the worst and wring your hands!
Plan and plot all you want—nothing will come of it.
    All your talk is mere talk, empty words,
Because when all is said and done,
    the last word is Immanuel—God-With-Us.

A Boulder Blocking Your Way

11-15 God spoke strongly to me, grabbed me with both hands and warned me not to go along with this people. He said:

“Don’t be like this people,
    always afraid somebody is plotting against them.
Don’t fear what they fear.
    Don’t take on their worries.
If you’re going to worry,
    worry about The Holy. Fear God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
The Holy can be either a Hiding Place
    or a Boulder blocking your way,
The Rock standing in the willful way
    of both houses of Israel,
A barbed-wire Fence preventing trespass
    to the citizens of Jerusalem.
Many of them are going to run into that Rock
    and get their bones broken,
Get tangled up in that barbed wire
    and not get free of it.”

* * *

16-18 Gather up the testimony,
    preserve the teaching for my followers
While I wait for God as long as he remains in hiding,
    while I wait and hope for him.
I stand my ground and hope,
    I and the children God gave me as signs to Israel,
Warning signs and hope signs from God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    who makes his home in Mount Zion.

19-22 When people tell you, “Try out the fortunetellers.
    Consult the spiritualists.
Why not tap into the spirit-world,
    get in touch with the dead?”
Tell them, “No, we’re going to study the Scriptures.”
    People who try the other ways get nowhere—a dead end!

Frustrated and famished,
    they try one thing after another.
When nothing works out they get angry,
    cursing first this god and then that one,
Looking this way and that,
    up, down, and sideways—and seeing nothing,
A blank wall, an empty hole.
    They end up in the dark with nothing.


Admit it.  We all want peace but we worry about everything.  We look for love and advice in all the wrong places trying to validate our own selfish thoughts.  This sometimes, debilitating activity, comes from unfocused, wandering minds that think mostly about what has to be done with who to impress instead of developing who we need to be.  Jesus, the Last Word, had something to say about worry, centuries after Isaiah’s proclamation from God;

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:25-34,

I have learned that what is repeated in the Bible is very important to God.

In worry, we become pagans (unbelievers).

To worry takes our minds off Jesus and what He taught.  To worry sends our thoughts to darker places, ravenously consuming worldview thinking—what others think, what to do so others will notice us, what we think we need to control, with how much we need to grab for ourselves.

True believers Seek God first, seek His will, hear his voice, obey His Plan, accept His provisions and protection while in worship of Him with all our hearts, minds and souls.  And the world worry?  It dissipates as we turn back to God!  The worry we had about the things around us become a foolish, useless, time-consuming effort.

God spoke strongly to Isaiah—

“Don’t be like this people,
    always afraid somebody is plotting against them.
Don’t fear what they fear.
    Don’t take on their worries.
If you’re going to worry,
    worry about The Holy. Fear God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

Jesus, our Last Word, speak strongly to us today—Do not worry, Seek Me before doing anything else and above all else! 

To not worry is a process.  The Psalmist explains how to move from world-worry of doing more and more to impress others to a place of thinking more about who God is so that we can BE more like He created us to be “in His image.” 

“He (God) says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Ps 46:10 It is God that we should be worried about pleasing with concern about becoming more like Him.  Seek Him first, last, and all day long.

Be still and know that He is God

Be still and know God

Be still and know

Be still.


Jesus is the Last Word.    


I confess that I am easily distracted as a busy person.  My thoughts go to unholy places that are self-serving and are useless to my becoming more like you, developing your character in my being.  Help me to refocus, renew my mind, refresh my spirit with your Holy Spirit by cleansing all that is unpleasing and dark to you within me. Restore unto me the joy of your salvation flowing through me. You are the Last Word to me.  You are my everything.  I love it when we are together.  I love being with you.

In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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