Text Free Photo: Pixabay/Skitterphoto
This not meant to be deep, just encouraging to all who are out there fighting today. Reading in my Bible, I came across some very inspiring verses (as usual 🙂 ). I was reading in the book of Joshua where conquests were being made in the name and in the power of the Lord. Enemies continually came out to fight against God’s people. At one point Joshua 11:4 says, “So they went out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots,” (NKJV).
By all normal accounts, this should have been the end of God’s people. According to the standards of human perception they were outnumbered and out powered. But, God . . .
God told Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow about this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel,” (Joshua 11:6, NKJV). Not one shall escape, but all would fall under the power of God working through and for His people. And, if that wasn’t encouraging enough, as I continued reading I came to Joshua 12:7-24 where it lists 31 kings that fell because God was fighting for His people.
That lets me know that no matter what the odds look like that’s stacked against us, they can never out stack God. God is a victorious God and we are meant to be victorious people in Him. We are conquerors; we are people of conquest. It may seem insurmountable to us, but God has already climbed the highest mountains that we face and He has already won the battles against the greatest armies of enemies that try to come against us.
Don’t let the numbers against you phase you. “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them,” (2 Kings 6:16). Since we have God on our side – we have more than they! We outnumber the enemy. Victory shall be ours.
I have learned, that as humans, we don’t really know what we want some of the time. Oh, we have goals, desires, and aspirations, but often how to attain them becomes skewered in our thinking. We may pray for God to move this obstacle out of the way or transfer that particular issue over there, and when He does, we are just not happy or totally satisfied with the results. Sometimes things don’t look or feel like we thought it should.
That’s because as humans we have to realize our limitations. We are not all-knowing. We can barely get through one day with all our faculties intact, let alone for us to try to tell our own end from the beginning and what we think our tomorrows and future should look like.
We can pray about things that bother us and concern us but ultimately we have to be willing to let God lead. And, sometimes we even have to pray that He would help us to follow that leading. When He leads, we don’t always understand the outcome, but then again, if we did, it wouldn’t be the walk of faith, filled with trust in our God that we are called to walk.
Our thoughts can lead us into the land of wondering, but it is our daily prayer that our hearts will follow God in the pursuit of what He has in store for our lives. The Bible tells us, “The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile,” (Psalm 94:11, NKJV). Some other translations relate that word “futile” found in the NKJV as “worthless” (NLT), “vanity” (KJV), and “meaningless” (HCSB) just to name a few.
In other words, our thoughts about a situation compared to God’s cannot be matched. Did not the Bible tell us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts,” (Isaiah 55:8-9)? What He knows about a circumstance far surpasses anything our intellectual capabilities can begin to even imagine. With that being said, our thoughts take a back seat to His sovereign leading.
As hard as it may be to let go of the wheel and allow God to steer, it is something we must do if we are to drive in the right direction and course for our best and most successful life in Him. We have to end the constant back and forth tug of war for control of our lives and submit to the One who is in control of our lives.
Self-sufficiency is a statement of pride. It’s the belief that whatever is going on and whatever we are facing or are trying to do is going to happen because of us. It says that I am more than enough by myself and, “I’ve got this.”
While self-sufficiency is a mark of pride, I see it also as a teller of fear. The fear to let go. The fear to give up control. The fear to not let another in your world to help you along the way because nobody can do it like you can and it’s hard to invest the word “trust” into someone else.
But, as a child of God, all that we have in our relationship with Him, is based on trust. That’s why it’s considered a walk of faith. Faith doesn’t know all the answers for today, better yet tomorrow. Faith can’t really grasp exactly how this is all going to turn out, but faith just presses on. Even though it doesn’t know all the ins and outs of everything, faith just continues to believe.
It believes in the One in whom the trust is deposited more than anything else. It is sure that somehow, someway, God is going to turn this thing around and make “all things work together for good,” (Romans 8:28). This faith is so confident that it knows that we can prepare for and learn about how to win in the day of battle; we can go through all the steps and check off the lists to each one that will secure our victory – but, ultimately it all means nothing because our “deliverance is of the LORD,” (Proverbs 21:31, NKJV).
It’s good to be proactive in life and want to get things done, for God has never been a promoter of the lazy and lackadaisical. But in our pursuit to “do,” we have to make sure we “don’t.” Don’t give pride a foothold and don’t believe more in self, than God. For only in Him and with Him can our true deliverance be found.
“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bring his sheaves with him,” Psalm 126:5-6, NKJV
Good Friday or Holy Friday, no matter which name you call it by, it was a day of great tears and sorrow that ushered in a day of rejoicing.
From the Garden of Gethsemane where He prayed earnestly until His sweat became as great drops of blood (Luke 22:44), to the illegal trials at night that stripped away any rights He may have had in the human form, Jesus knew anguish. He knew more than just heaviness of heart. He experienced deep, physical pain – yet, the night was not over.
Had it stopped at the trials and mockery, some would say it was tolerable (though I wouldn’t). Let us not take lightly all that Christ endured on that night. For He not only bore the pain of stripes and nails, but He carried the weight of the world. He carried the soul’s destiny for every human that ever walked the face of this earth.
It was a time of great sadness. As a parent mourns over a wayward child, Jesus carried the burden of people in His bosom. Earlier He said, “How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37, KJV).
Now, on this night of sorrow, spiritually He is doing just that. No one could ever put into words the pain of what it felt like to hang on that cross and bear the sins of the world. But, as He hung there, with blood pouring down, He was in the gathering process. That’s why He couldn’t come down because even as He was nailed and left to die, He with great sorrow and tears, was working at gathering that would eventually lead to rejoicing.
What a clear head and frame of mind our Lord kept through it all. Most of us would have gone into survival mode under such duress, thinking of self. Jesus went to survival mode, too. Not for Himself rather, “To seek and to save that which was lost,” (Luke 19:10, KJV).
As He hung there, He thought about all those that are captive by sin and needed a great deliverance. These people staring at Him as He bled knew a little something about being a people held captive. Their history repeats over and over again of how they were forced out of their promised land due to sin and negligence.
But God didn’t leave them like that. In each instance, He brought a plan of deliverance and salvation into the mix. When they cried out, He saved them and brought them back to their homeland. They shed many tears as the farmer scatters seed. Just like the seed, there comes a time where sowing stops and gathering begins and “shall doubtless come again with rejoicing bringing his sheaves with him.”
As He hung there, Jesus was doing both. Sowing: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit,” (John 12:24, KJV). He was also gathering: “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. This He said, signifying by what death He would die,” (John 12:32-33, NKJV).
Jesus was sowing the seed in tears and at the same time reaping with rejoicing. On this Good Friday; this Holy Friday, we are now the benefactors of that great work done on the cross. When God brought the children of Israel back from captivity, the nations said, “The LORD has done great things for them.” (Psalm 126:2, NKJV). Their response was, “The LORD has done great things for us, and we are glad,” (Psalm 126:3, NKJV).
Jesus brought us out of captivity on that Friday. Through our life of sinfulness, we have experienced many tears. Through the sins of others, we will sow many tears. Now, because of Christ, we can also “Reap Rejoicing.” “And, we are glad!”
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When we think of the vastness of God’s power stretching from history to history, and eternity to eternity it can leave one with an awe-inspired feeling. As I read through the Word I am always left in amazement the strategy and planning God did to bring certain events into place, including our salvation.
When God first called Abraham out to establish a people for Himself through him, God did not rest in the satisfaction of just having one people or nation as His. He wanted it all. He wanted the world.
Isaiah 49:6 tells us, “It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” Instead of the words “light thing,” the New King James Version says, “It is too small a thing” which means the same thing but shows us a deeper level of God’s plan and His heart. It wasn’t enough for God to be content with the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, to touch and affect the lives of a single race or family. God wanted more!
God’s thinking for salvation was too big in scope and depth for His heart to settle for reaping the souls of just a single kindred or nationality of folk. As far as His love (which can never be measured by human standards) reaches – that’s how far He wants to grab a hold of people and love them as His own. He couldn’t rest with just saving some, but He wanted the sum of humanity to have a chance to experience this awesome deliverance.
God always wanted more. His intention was that all the families of the earth be exposed to this offer of salvation (see Genesis 12:1-3). I don’t know about you but I’m glad God wasn’t satisfied with “some.” In His high degree of love for people, His thinking was bigger. Because of that, everyone has the opportunity to be in the “sum” of the saved; to be a part of that heavenly number if they will answer His call.
You, my friends, are the “more” that God has always wanted. You were always in God’s plan. You were always on God’s mind from the beginning. You have always mattered to God and He wants you in that heavenly number.