Category Archives: God fights our battles

On We Go!

Standard

Go Forward

 

 

“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 
Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water 
so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.”
Exodus 14:15 – 16 (NIV)
 

Is God telling you to “move on” today? Is there something you have been praying about, and you sense that God has told you to move in a direction that seems humanly impossible? You can always be sure that if God leads you to it, He will lead you through it.  If you listen carefully to your Heavenly Father’s divine directives and follow His guidance, He can turn dead ends into miraculous detours.

With mountains on one side and the red sea at their backs, the Israelites felt trapped as Pharaoh’s pursuing army closed in on them.  There was no obvious route for their escape, and the people were terrified. But God told Moses to stop crying out to Him and start moving…into the direction of the Red Sea!  The people had no idea that God would part the sea for them to cross on dry land.  As God’s chosen leader, Moses told the people, “Do not be afraid.  Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.  The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14: 13)  Moses had just witnessed God’s incredible deliverance of the Israelites out of bondage from Egypt, and he had faith that God would again protect His children and provide a way of escape from the approaching army. Moses obeyed God’s command, raised his staff, stretched out his hand over the sea, and watched the miracle unfold before his eyes as the sea parted and made a way of escape for God’s children.

So there comes a time when we need to stop praying and start doing. If Moses had doubted God’s directives and continued praying for another answer, the Israelites might have been doomed. Often we refrain from doing whatever God is calling us to do because we are fearful and we doubt our abilities.  But even in your most desperate situations, you can be sure that God is whispering in your ear, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsakeyou.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)  So with God by your side, you can have confidence to move on. Absolutely nothing is impossible for the God of all possibilities.  Never doubt His power nor His abilities.  His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and His solutions are beyond our imagination. God’s greatest work is accomplished through our weaknesses.  When we are weak, He is strong, and in our weaknesses God can shine!  On we go!

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man, this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'” Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:14 (NLT)

Advertisements

God’s Help When We are Powerless to Help Ourselves

Standard


IMG_4916

 
 
What a wonderful God we have—
He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the source of every mercy,
and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials.
And why does he do this?
So that when others are troubled,
needing our sympathy and encouragement,
we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us.
2 Corinthians 1:3 – 4 (TLB)
 

“I think you ought to know, dear brothers, about the hard time we went through…We were really crushed and overwhelmed, and feared we would never live through itWe felt we were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us, for he can even raise the dead. And he did help us and saved us from a terrible death; yes, and we expect him to do it again and again.”  2 Corinthians 1:8 – 10 (TLB)

Have you ever been in a perilous situation where you felt “crushed and overwhelmed,” where the circumstances were so dire that you feared you might not live through it, and you were powerless to help yourself?  It’s these types of extreme difficulties that drive us to our knees…because we have no where else to go.   At some point we come to the end of ourselves, and we have nothing left to cling to except God Himself.  During severe trials, our faith is stretched beyond the limits, and it emerges on the other side of the hardship much stronger and deeper than ever before.  When we experience such extraordinary suffering, we learn to rely not on our own strength or abilities for deliverance, but only on God.  We learn to set our hope on Him alone and trust that the One who raised the dead can surely save us too!

It is our precious Savior who says, “Let not your hearts be troubled.”  He graciously speaks peace into troubled souls, calms our raging fears, comforts with His tender mercies, binds up the broken-hearted, heals the most painful wounds, strengthens the weak, and provides hope and joy during the heaviest of sorrows.  We must learn to put everything in the capable hands of our Heavenly Father who loves us and who alone can save us.

Prisoner of Hope

Standard

fortressReturn to your fortress,

O prisoners of hope;

even now I announce

that I will restore twice as much to you.

Zechariah 9:12

Usually the thought of being a prisoner of anything is extremely undesirable.  It conjures up negative images of a place of confinement, such as a jail cell, where freedoms are completely relinquished.  Aside from being held in a prison, there are many other prison-like strongholds in life ~ without locks and bars ~ that can hold us captive.  Some are prisoners of fear, overwhelming debt, difficult life circumstances, a troubled past, controlling relationships, or shameful addictions.  The encouraging message here is that you can break free of anything in life that holds you captive by completely surrendering your life to Jesus Christ.  The key to your freedom lies in His nail-pierced hands.

If you are a Child of God who is completely surrendered to Him, you are essentially a prisoner of Hope.  You are eternally tethered to His divine Hope and captivated by His grace and mercy.  In Colossians 1:27, Christ is referred to as the “Hope of Glory,” and Hebrews 6:19 calls this glorious Hope an “anchor for our soul” that is firm and secure. So you are a prisoner of hope, if you are totally committed to the Hope of Glory, Jesus Christ.  All control of your life has been freely relinquished to your Heavenly Father, and your soul is securely anchored in His limitless love forever.  It’s not just a “life sentence”…it’s eternal!

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin…So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  John 8: 34, 35

God is your fortress, your strength, and your refuge in times of trouble and distress.  He is a high tower for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of desperation, and a shelter from the storms of life.   So as a prisoner of hope, there’s no better place to be than in the safety of your fortress, the Almighty God.  You will always be under His loving and watchful care.  “Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope”

 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.  You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.

Psalm 59: 16 – 17

The Lord also will be a refuge and a high tower for the oppressed, a refuge and a stronghold in times of trouble (high cost, destitution, and desperation). 

Psalm 9:9 (AMP)

God of the Angel Armies

Standard

011912_1251_MeteoricLov1.jpgSeek good and not evil— and live!
You talk about God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
being your best friend.
Well, live like it…Amos 5:14a (MSG)

“I, I’m the One comforting you. What are you afraid of—or who?…You’ve forgotten me, God, who made you, who unfurled the skies, who founded the earth….For I am God, your very own God, who stirs up the sea and whips up the waves, named God-of-the-Angel-Armies.  I teach you how to talk, word by word, and personally watch over you.  Isaiah 51:12-13;15-16a(MSG)

How would you go about your day differently today if you truly lived like the “God-of-the-Angel-Armies” is your best friend?  How much courage, comfort and hope does that thought instill in you to face whatever challenges you may encounter?  The truth is, as a child of God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies is always by your side.  He formed the heavens and the earth and everything in it…including you, and the He personally watches over you moment by moment.  He’s never asleep on the job. 

Live today like you believe this truth.  Envision the God-of-the-Angel-Armies intervening in your behalf, protecting you, instructing you, and walking beside you every step of the way.

 “What, then, shall we say in response to these things?If God is for us,who can be against us?” Romans 8:31(NIV)

Unseen Footprints

Standard

Sunrise Gleam2

Your path led through the sea,

Your way through the mighty waters

though Your footprints were not seen.

Psalm 77:19 (NIV)

Maybe you don’t have an army chasing you like the Israelites did after Moses led them out of Egypt, but you may find yourself ensnared by a situation in which you feel hopelessly trapped.  Perhaps you feel that your back is against the wall, and it is impossible to escape from your circumstances.

When the Israelites were cornered against the Red Sea, they were terrified and felt doomed.  Moses calmed their fears with these words, “Do not be afraid.  Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.”  (Exodus 14:13a, 14)

If you feel doomed by your circumstances and see no possible means of escape, pray and ask God to intervene on your behalf.  The same powerful Hand that parted the sea for the Israelites can provide a pathway out of your trouble.  Don’t be afraid; don’t panic.  God can open up a way out for you.  Simply stand firm in your faith and watch the deliverance God will bring you.  Follow His unseen footprints…

“But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.”  Exodus 14:29

The Promise of His Presence

Standard

IMG_9453“…for God [Himself] has said,

I will not in any way fail you,

Nor give you up

Nor leave you without support.

I will not,

I will not,

I will not

In any degree

Leave you helpless

Nor forsake you

Nor let you down.”

Hebrews 13:5b (AMP) 

Read the words above with this truth in mind:  God keeps His word.  He doesn’t break His promises.  If you are a child of God you can rest in the assurance that God will not leave you…ever!

In the book of Genesis we learn about the life of Joseph.  During one season of his life, Joseph’s jealous brothers stole his possessions and then threw him in a pit, then eventually sold him into slavery.  As a slave, he was falsely accused of a crime and imprisoned for over two years in a dark dungeon with vile conditions along side the worst of criminals.  Yet those who met Joseph along the way knew that no matter what God was with him.  Even in the midst of these terrible circumstances, God never left Joseph.  In fact, the Bible tells us that when Joseph was a slave, “The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered…The Lord was with him and gave him success in everything he did.”  (Genesis 39: 2a, 3b)  And while Joseph spent time in the grim conditions of the prison, we are told that “the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.” (Genesis 40: 21)  Even though he was in the most terrible situation of his life as a prisoner, “the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.” (Genesis 40:23b)

Perhaps you can identify with one or more of the hardships that Joseph faced:  betrayal, financial loss, abuse, abandonment, false accusations, or even dire living conditions.   If so, remind yourself of God’s promise to His children:

I will never leave you…

Forsake you…

Abandon you…

Fail you…

Leave you alone…

Desert you…

Run away from you…

Forget you…

Leave you without support…

Give you up…

Let you down.

I will not relax My hold on you…assuredly not!

Joseph’s responses to each circumstance in his life give us a good example to follow.  His positive attitude transformed each of his setbacks into a step forward.  His lowest point was like a launchpad for his successful future.  After two years, Joseph was released him from prison and Pharaoh put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.  He quickly went from a dingy, dark prison to Pharaoh’s palatial palace.  During his lowest points, he didn’t dwell on asking, “Why are these things happening to me?”  In each situation he trusted in God and held on to the personal knowledge that God was with him.  Instead of asking why, he chose to ask, “What can I do now…”  His life was a testimony to others of God’s presence, provision, protection and blessing in spite of hardships.  He thrived in situations where others would have simply given up.

If you are find yourself in a “pit” in life, remind yourself that God will not leave you…ever!  Perhaps He is molding you and preparing you for greater things through these difficulties.  Allow God to transform your setbacks into giant leaps forward.  Although you face difficulties, it doesn’t mean that God has abandoned you.  He is true to His word, and He will never, ever leave you alone or helpless.

 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,

for He who promised if faithful.”

   Hebrews 10:23

 

               

When We Face Fiery Trials

Standard

IMG_2549

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace,

the God we serve is able to save us from it.

Daniel 3:17

 

How many times have you been through “fiery trials” in life?  Do you possess the kind of faith that allows you to say that the God you serve is able to save you from a blazing furnace? 

Three young men in the Bible had faith to believe that our God could save them from the fate of a blazing furnace.  Because they would not bow down to worship a 90’ tall golden image, King Nebuchadnezzar ordered that they be thrown into a flaming furnace for punishment.   This blazing furnace was a huge industrial size furnace, possibly used for baking bricks or smelting metals.  The king had ordered that it be heated seven times hotter than normal to assure that no one could survive this fatal punishment.  In fact, the temperatures were so intensely hot that its fiery blast killed soldiers who went close to the opening.  In spite of this, the three young men proclaimed, if we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it.”  (Daniel 3:17 NIV)

Per the king’s orders, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were tied up tightly and thrown into the blazing furnace.  Miraculously, they survived their intended fate without any harm.  In amazement, the king himself actually witnessed a heavenly visitor walking around in the flames with them:  “He said, ‘Look!  I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like the Son of God.’”  (Daniel 3: 25 NIV)

Notice this important fact:  God showed up right in the midst of their fiery trial.  He preserved their lives and walked along beside them, comforting them throughout their frightening ordeal.  He protected them from harm, and He made His presence known to them.

Upon seeing this miraculous event, King Nebuchadnezzar ordered the three young “servants of the Most High God” to come out of the blazing furnace.   All the royal advisors crowded around as well, and “They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair on their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.”  (Daniel 3:27 NIV) These young men had been completely untouched by the fire and heat!  You can’t even sit around a camp fire without your clothes and hair smelling like smoke!  The only things that had burned in the fire were the ropes that bound them, proving that no human can bind us if God wants us free.

The same God who preserved the lives of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego inside the flaming furnace can save you from your own problems.  What type of fiery trial are you facing today?  Your extreme difficulty may be in the form of a

  • tragic accident,
  • critical illness,
  • financial crisis,
  • violent crime,
  • disabling condition,
  • broken relationship,
  • troubled child,
  • loss of a job,
  • loss of a loved one, or
  • devastation from a storm.

No matter what you are up against in life, the God we serve is able to save you right in the midst of your “blazing furnace.”

Many times we wonder why God didn’t prevent the fiery trial in the first place.  We might become angry, bitter, resentful or depressed about the fact that God allowed something terrible to happen in our lives.  Yet the miracle that God performs in your life when He brings you through a time of extreme difficulty has an amazing impact on others as a testimony of God’s greatness.  It also strengthens your own faith like nothing else can and draws you closer to God than you ever would have been otherwise.  God’s protection in times of great trouble transcends anything we could imagine.   If God always prevented believers from enduring any type of problem in life, Christians would not need faith.  We should be faithful to serve God whether He intervenes in our lives or not.

If you are a child of God who finds yourself in the midst of a fiery trial today, look for God’s presence right there beside you.  The same power that delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the blazing furnace also parted the Red Sea and raised Jesus from the dead.  That same power can deliver you from whatever you are facing.  Trust God in every situation in life and realize that there are eternal reasons for temporary trials.

Be thankful that your destiny is in the divine hands of God!

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”  Genesis 50:20

 

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28