When God makes promises, circumstances change.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Not Just for Joshua
The author of Hebrews took to heart that this promise was not just for Joshua, son of Nun, but reiterated it in Hebrews 13:5 –
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
A Promise Provided
This promise is fulfilled with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He is a down-deposit for our inheritance. He won’t just go away when we sin, or are in need, or feel lonely, or scared, or depressed. He is ALWAYS there – comforting us, guiding us, leading us, empowering us, and encouraging us in our walk with God.
Light Leads through Love
Ephesians 5:18, showing us that the Holy Spirit leads us, saying:
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,
The word “filled” is plErousthe in the Greek. It means “to be controlled by.” Just as wine controls us in drunkenness (who can honestly say that they are in their right mind and in control when they are drunk?), we are to be controlled by the Holy Spirit in all that we do. It is an imperative command – not a suggestion! We are expected to do this!
Since God is love, everything that The Holy Spirit does is in love – even if it is to refine our character and test our hearts through trials – even when we sleep! We can be confident that when God is leading, we are in good hands.
Provision of Power
God doesn’t just give us an empty promise. He promises not to forsake us. To do that, He empowers us through The Holy Spirit:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God provides us with the source of the power of the resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. He doesn’t just dwell in us; He provides power for all that we are to do. We can take comfort and strength knowing that He is not just accompanying us through our journey, but providing for us as well.
The Fear Factor
Satan prowls about like a roaring lion, looking for prey to devour. Lions are not creatures that we should confront without appropriate protection or weaponry. It is easy to be frightened when confronting a force that can easily overwhelm and destroy you. Have you noticed that just about every time an angel visits someone in the Bible, the very first words out of their mouth is “do not fear”? There is a very good reason for that. When confronted with the power of angelic beings, we are immediately aware of our fragile nature.
But God has provided us with the Spiritual Armor of God. And we have an offensive weapon as well – the Sword of the Spirit, which IS the scriptures. And God’s Word says that there is no fear in perfect love. Since God is love, and we are in Christ, we no longer need to fear. Fear is predicated on consequences, and ALL of our sins – past, present and future – have been forgiven. God has chosen not to forsake us, and even in our incapacity to live life perfectly because of our sin nature, God still provides for our future sins, having known about them from before time began.
The Qualifying Question
So, let’s ask the question: given this wonderful promise, are we allowing the Holy Spirit of God free rein to lead and empower our lives as we walk with God to the extent that we should?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, You have made us this wonderful promise. Give me the strength today to let go of those things that interfere in Your guidance of my life. Rid me of my own evil desires, and place within me the desires of Your heart. Help me to yield myself to you completely as a living sacrifice. Remove the dross from my heart, and help me to submit completely to the Holy Spirit. Father, I recognize that in submission to You there is freedom. Set me free from myself that I may be free in You. Bless Your Holy Name, for You give Your children wonderful gifts and promises. Knowing that I am never alone, and always in Your care comforts me through my trials. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.