The Faithfulness of God – Micah 7:18-20

God ALWAYS Keeps His Word

18 Who is a God like you,
who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy.
19 You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
20 You will be faithful to Jacob,
and show love to Abraham,
as you pledged on oath to our ancestors
in days long ago.

Perfect Pardon

Unlike men, God is perfect in all His ways.  When God pardon’s our sin, He pardons it completely.  It is as if it had never happened:

as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

God no longer holds our sin against us.  We who are in Christ, who have believed upon the name of the One and Only Son of God, have been cleared of all charges – past, present, and future.  God greatly desires that as former criminals we be reformed and act as He would desire, just as man wants former criminals to be reintegrated into society in a lawful and peaceful way.  Sanctification is the tool that allows that to occur.

Faithful Forgiveness

God is not a liar.  He is incapable of lying, for God IS truth:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

God is completely faithful to forgive anything that we have done, anything we bring before Him.  We must, however, turn from our sin and turn towards God.  When we ask for forgiveness and then immediately (and WILLFULLY) go back to what we were doing, we are basically like the child who says to dad and mom “I’m sorry (that I got caught, please spare me the consequences of my actions, I’ll be more careful to hide what I am doing from you going forward).”

God greatly desires to see us walk in His ways.  His faithfulness to forgive frees us from the fear of punishment that the un-Godly will encounter.  God is faithful in all things, for His very nature – His character – allows Him no other course of action when we approach Him in good faith, no matter how many times we stumble and fall.  Will a loving parent reject a child who falls down and skins their knee when trying diligently to walk carefully and cautiously?  If we would not, why would God?

Abated Anger

We are created in the image of God.  God has emotions.  He gets angry.  But God’s anger only lasts a little while.  God will not turn His face away from us forever in His anger.  God will not turn His face away from those who are faithful to Him.  He delights in His children.  God tells us to be angry and do not sin.  He also tells us that we should not let the sun go down on our anger.  God is NOT a hypocrite like men.  If God tells us to do something, will He then not model it for us?

Moved to Mercy

God’s heart is a heart of mercy.  Knowing that we are unable to do what He commands us to do, He took it upon Himself to pay our debt.  In His great mercy and compassion, He sacrificed His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, to bear our iniquity and to receive our just and due punishment upon the cross.  He now has legal authority to show us mercy.  God greatly desires for all of us to come to Him.  But without His mercy, we are unable to do so.

God’s mercies renew every morning:

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

We fail to remember the mercy and compassion of God because the enemy of our souls, when we transgress God’s law, tries to convince us that God will not forgive us.  It is that much more important that we seek out God and his mercy that we may be free from the bondage of sin – our guilt.

Fully Faithful

God is faithful in all that He does.  He cannot be unfaithful, for His very nature relies upon it.  Imagine that God’s faithfulness wavered.  Would not everything that He did be tainted by that?  Imagine if gravity only worked some of the time, and it was completely unreliable, working and not working randomly.  What would happen?

In the same way that we can trust that the Sun will rise every morning, that the Moon will rise every night, that the stars will cross the sky, that God is faithful in each and every thing He does, and in each and every promise that He makes.  God has made many promises to Jacob about his inheritance and descendants.  God will keep each and every one of these promises faithfully in just the right time and in just the right way so that God will be praised and glorified to the utmost degree.

Profound Pledge

God has pledged to Abraham millennia ago that He would love his offspring, care for them, and make them so numerous that they would be as numerous as the sand on the seashore and the stars in the sky:

17 “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

God does not lie, and He does not make promises that He cannot keep nor will not keep.  God keeps every pledge He makes, no matter how long He takes to fulfill it.  Since He has prophesied through His prophets about these things, He fulfills them at just the right time.  And the time has come when God is calling all men to Himself.  His angel has gone out into the world and proclaimed the Gospel to all nations. He is gathering His people as He promised to the land He gave to their ancestors, and He is bringing all things to a close.  Seek Him while you may find Him, for time as we know it is about to end.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I relying on the faithfulness of God through my trials?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You are completely faithful and trustworthy.  Nothing and no one can cause Your plans to fail.  You have carefully engineered through millennia the circumstances that have brought about each and every prophesy that You have given to us.  Your word will stand now and forevermore.  Help me to trust You completely in my pain through my trials.  It is very hard to do so because of the lies of the enemy.  Stand strong for me and with me as I overcome all things in Your strength.  Give me everything I need to grow through my trials, and comfort me as I fend off the stinging rebukes of my enemies.  Holy Spirit, plead my case before the Father, and pray for me, for I don’t know how to pray through these things.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Transition of Power – 1 Chronicles 11:1-3

The Whole People Should Recognize The Leader That God Has Chosen

1 All Israel came together to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. 2 In the past, even while Saul was king, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord your God said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.'”

3 When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, he made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel, as the Lord had promised through Samuel.

A Great Gathering

After Saul died, all of Israel came together as a group.   This was important, for it showed unanimous consensus among God’s people that they recognized the transition of leadership to David.  Samuel had anointed David’s head with oil as the next king over a decade prior.  And now, that promise of God was being fulfilled.

Royal Recognition

It is important that all of them recognized the transition of power.  Rather than refuse to acknowledge the new king, they embraced him as God intended as one people.  It is very difficult when questionable circumstances overshadow the transition of power.  That can divide a nation and cause irreparable harm to the unity of the people.  It has been said, “United we stand, divided we fall.”

The enemies of peace have long understood this concept, and work tirelessly in opposition to unity in order to foment discontent and resentment towards the leaders that they do not like.  When a nation is torn in two this way, the nation is being set up to be financially pillaged and eventually overrun.  There is great profit in confusion.

In this particular case, the people pulled together to recognize David as their new king.  The ardent followers of Saul supported David.  They did not try to stage a coup and insert their own candidate for king.  This served to unite the people even more.

A Climatic Covenant

David not only assumed the throne, he made a covenant with the people.  He did not merely take a verbal oath, he made a promise that carried with it the penalty of death should it not have been held up.  David was a servant to the people.  He shepherded them as God intended, rather than seek His own glory, power, and recognition apart from The Lord God Almighty.  This solidified his position with the people and gave him the accountability necessary to ensure that he would take promise and responsibility towards the people with the gravest of attitudes.

The Powerful Promise

By uniting the people, recognizing his role, and taking the necessary steps to ensure his accountability, the promise that God had made to David was fully secured in the support of the people.  Samuel’s anointing of David’s head as the next ruler of the people of Israel was complete, and he was able to rule them in joy and with God’s protection and power.  God demonstrated His choice of David as His chosen vessel of authority over men in that He increased David’s power and influence among them.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I willing to accept the leadership that God has placed over me?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You have placed leaders over us for our protection and to bring about Your will.  Help me to be supportive of Your decisions, and to do my very best to submit to leaders who are yielded to You.  Father, I ask that You would strengthen and encourage the men and women You have chosen as leaders over me to yield themselves to You.  Help them to become the servant-leaders that You desire them to be.  Give me the strength to endure wicked leaders when You send them as judgment upon a nation, and to encourage all to pray for the people who are under difficult leadership that they would call out to You, and seek Your face, and turn from their wicked ways, that You would heal the land.  Bless the leaders that You have chosen with wisdom, restraint, and advisors that would honor and glorify Your name.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Promise of God – Psalm 34:15-16

The Lord Watches Over The Righteous

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.

Willfully Watching

God watches over the righteous.  He keeps his eyes upon them.  He knows our coming and going.  He delights in the righteous, and ensures that their needs are met.  God has said:

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 forsake you.

Just as a parent carefully keeps their eyes upon their children to ensure that they are OK and are behaving themselves, God keeps His eyes upon His children, the ones made righteous by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.  We can be assured that He is watching us closely.

Longingly Listening

God is attentive to the cries of the righteous.  Just as a parent listens to the cries of a child who is in pain, or who is in need, God listens for them and helps them with their needs.  God loves us in a way that is so far beyond what human parents are able to do, and our parents helped us in our time of need.  We can be assured that God not only listens but has planned a response already for our cries:

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

And God’s answer may be delayed for various reasons.  Demonic activity may impede a response to prayer.  God may be also be waiting for the necessary spiritual development to occur before the answer is provided.  Whatever the reason, God has already provided the answer.  Be patient for its arrival.

Against Antagonists

God turns his face from those who do evil.  No one who does evil should expect assistance from God until they repent.  God is holy, and because of this, He cannot tolerate evil in His presence.  But thanks be to God for Jesus Christ, whose perfect blood provides the means through which God can see us as righteous.

One of the most gruelingly difficult questions for the oppressed is:  why does God allow the wicked to prosper?

You are always righteous, Lord,
when I bring a case before you.
Yet I would speak with you about your justice:
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why do all the faithless live at ease?

And we should be consoled with God’s response:

14 This is what the Lord says: “As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the people of Judah from among them. 15 But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country. 16 And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives’—even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal—then they will be established among my people. 17 But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it,” declares the Lord.

Delivering Destruction

God will blot the name of the wicked from the Earth.  Their name will not be found in the book of life on the final and terrible day of the return of our Lord.  They will be utterly destroyed.  Regardless of their prosperity here on Earth, their eternal reward will be destruction and eternal separation from God.  And not only will they be separated from God and His holiness, power, and purity, they will be placed in God’s prison, the lake of fire, where they will experience torment for all eternity.  We can be assured that God will mete out justice to those who refused to settle their debt before their case comes before Him, the perfect judge.  Fear not, for God’s anger and wrath will surely destroy the wicked at the appropriate time.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Are we trusting that God is watching over us and is answering our cries, even though it may take decades for His response?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, thank You for Your watchful gaze over me throughout this day and my entire life.  You have been faithful to watch over me and answer my cries for help.  Give me patient endurance when Your answers take an agonizingly long time to fulfill.  Strengthen me in Your silence, for silence feels like abandonment.  Help me to walk the straight and narrow path as my enemies seek to destroy me.  Protect me as demonic forces oppose me in all that I do.  Help me to live by faith and not sight, for You have justified me through the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  This I ask and pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Promises of God – Psalm 145:14-16

The Lord Provides For His People

14 The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

Helping Hands

God promises to never leave us nor forsake us.  And in doing so, He is the lifter of our heads.  He upholds us when we are weak, and carries us when we are weary.  God becomes our strength, and shows us His love.  He ensures that when we stumble, we are able to get back up.  God greatly desires to see us succeed in Him.

Proper Provision

God provides for the needs of the least and the greatest of all His creatures.  He feeds the sparrows in the morning, and feeds us as well.  We can depend upon the Lord God Almighty to provide for our needs in His timing and in His way.  Care should be taken when it seems that God is slow in providing, for it is often a test of trust.  And even should we faint, we can trust in God’s provision of righteousness, for this physical life is fleeting, and we will be in His presence in Eternity.

Desires Delighted

God fulfills the desires of every living creature.  He provides for our deepest desire.  And when we have filled ourselves with the things of this world, He still waits to fulfill the desire for Himself that He has placed in each and every heart.  God calls us to re-evaluate our desires and align them with His heart.  Unlike the instinct of creatures, we can choose what we desire.  And when we desire God and His word, He will fulfill our every desire.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I desiring God above all?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, my heart cries out for You and greatly desires You.  I seek You with all of my heart and strength and soul and mind.  Help me to have more of You and to experience Your character in my everyday life experiences.  Help me to rely completely and solely upon You for all things, for You are the one who provides them all.  Teach me to be patient and to trust You more.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Restoration by God – Amos 9:14-15

God Does Everything He Promises To Do

14 and I will bring my people Israel back from exile.

“They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them.
They will plant vineyards and drink their wine;
they will make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 I will plant Israel in their own land,
never again to be uprooted
from the land I have given them,”

says the Lord your God.

Prophesy Provided

There are many who believe in replacement theology – that God has abandoned Israel in favor of the church.  While there are some areas where the church is being used the way Israel was supposed to be used, God is not done with Israel.  This particular prophesy is evidence of it.

God not only provided this prophesy, but others as well, showing that His had is upon His people.  God is far from being done with Israel.  And the blessings and curses for those that bless or curse her are still binding and occurring.  The last two nations on Earth that were Israel’s friends – The United Kingdom and The United States of America – have turned their backs on Israel.

The United Kingdom is now being plagued with descendants of Ishmael who follow the teachings of the one who declared that his god was the greatest of all deceivers. Talking of the one that they follow, Jesus said:

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

The United States of America, whose President has turned away from Israel, and is even now welcoming and transplanting the very same people that are plaguing the United Kingdom and all of Europe into its country, will soon suffer the same fate.

God Gathers

Not only is this prophesy evidence that God still loves and has great plans for the Israelites, but many in this generation have seen it come to pass with their very own eyes.  In 1948, the dry bones became as flesh, and Israel, the only nation ever to have been scattered to the four winds, was once again a nation, and her people repatriated to her.  What had become a desert began to flourish.

But although God gathered them, they were still under Gentile control.  On June 6, 1967, after the Six Day War, God delivered them from their oppressors and Israel once again, the only nation ever to have done so, became completely sovereign over its land after millenia of being scattered.  God doesn’t mess around, and He does EVERYTHING He says He is going to do.  Even if it takes more than TWO MILLENNIA. And He ALWAYS does it at the exact right time.

Verdant Ventures

Have you ever took a look at what Israel looks like from space?  It is a verdant, lush country.  What was once desert has been terraformed by Israel with the help of Almighty God.  At the Eastern edge of Israel, it looks as if God had used his finger to outline the edges of the country from other land.  On one side, it is green and lush.  On the other, it is dry and desert.  God is blessing Israel and protecting it.  They are able to grow their own food, and drink their own wine, because God promised this to them more than TWO THOUSAND YEARS AGO.

Is God slow in answering His promises?  Absolutely not!  God has perfect timing.  Why now, you might ask?  Because He foretold it in Daniel over 2500 years ago, and then gave Daniel the time for it to occur and only defining the time after the death of Christ.  We often find that we must wait for a while in order to come through our issues.  But God is faithful, and no matter how long it takes, He will always fulfill all that He has declared.  The Israelites have personally experienced this.  In 2 Peter 3:8, in the Greek, a hEmera is as a thousand years.  While hEmera has been translated as the word “day” here, it can also be translated as a time.

Permanent Planting

The formation of Israel as a nation and the repatriation of its people is not just some random event, or temporary situation.  God has promised that He would not allow them to NEVER be uprooted from their land again.  Since God keeps all of His promises, any efforts at removing the Israelites from Israel will result in great backlash from God.  Nations who try to do so should soberly consider the consequences of their actions should they try to take from Israel what God has now given to them through His promise and give it to anyone else.

Ask any nation who oppressed God’s people what happened to them after God finished using them as His tool of punishment.  It might be hard to ask; all have fallen.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Do we love Israel, the people AND the nation, the same way that God does?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You are perfect in all of Your ways.  You have shown me in Your word how much You love Israel.  Help me to love Your people as You do.  Give me a desire to show them Your love so that they would desire You in a greater way.  Show me how to pray for Your people that they would be blessed, protected, enriched, and turn their hearts to You.  Open their hearts that they may see Your Son for who He really is.  Restore Your people to Yourself, and help me to be prepared for what is next to come.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Promise of God – Psalm 1:1-3

God Delights in Those Who Delight in Him

1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

Powerful Prose

The author of this Psalm uses poetry to indicate that there a three-fold process to spiritual failure when we begin to engage in sin.  These steps will eventually derail any Christian from their walk with God.  But the Psalmist also gives us hope with a promise.

Walking the Walk

The first step in spiritual decline in walking with God is to begin to walk in step with the wicked.  When sin begins to creep into our lives, we veer off the path of righteousness.  The enemy is crafty – they know that if it is a sudden move, people will recognize it and turn from it.  Most people don’t wake up in the morning in agreement with the thought, “You know, I think I’ll just go out and rob a bank and kill everyone there.  It’ll be a load of laughs!”  But when it is slow and gradual, most people won’t even realize it is happening.  We begin to walk in step with the wicked.  Rather than fighting the flow of the world, we begin to turn and walk with it.

This is not to say that we don’t engage with unrepentant sinners – Jesus came to seek and save the lost!  However, we must be sure that when we do so, we don’t start doing the things that they do that we know are contrary to the Word of God.  We engage in humble, compassionate righteousness.  We don’t do what they do to be accepted by them.  We show them God’s way – a better way.

Stop Standing

After we walk with the world, it invites us to stop for a moment to smell the roses.  This second, and even more dangerous step, gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect and enjoy the momentary pleasure (or false relief) that sin provides.  We are no longer walking but stationary in what we are doing.  We aren’t growing anymore, but rather have halted ourselves or have been halted by our circumstances.  And that’s when it becomes even more dangerous.

Sabotaged Sitting

After we have stood and participated, we are now in a sitting position.  We have fully embraced sin, and no longer even desire to move.  Sin has grabbed us and we have fallen for it hook, line, and sinker.  We don’t desire to stand up anymore; we are firmly rooted in our position, and may not even care.  The world, the flesh, and the devil have effectively ensnared us into despair or enslavement to desire, and we do not even think we can get up (or perhaps even want to get up).

Divine Delight

The Psalmist tells us that to avoid all of this, we need to delight in the Word of the Living God.  Delighting in the Word of God is:

  1. Reading the Word
  2. Praying over the Word
  3. Meditating over the Word (filling our mind with the Word of God, and thinking carefully about it with the deliberate intention of understanding its meaning and application in all aspects of our lives)
  4. Living the Word.

When we desire the Word of God more than life itself, the desire to walk, stand, or even sit with the ways of wickedness is overshadowed by the peace that transcends all understanding, and that guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus as we strive towards God.

Rooted Righteousness

When we delight in the Word of God, we become rooted like a tree.  The roots grow deep into the Earth, and being so close to the source of Living Water, the tree flourishes regardless of the conditions around it.  And as we flourish, we will bear fruit for God in Gods timing (in season).  We are also called “oaks of righteousness.”  The connotation here is that it is a sturdy, substantial tree that will not be easily moved or swayed from its convictions.  And if God declares it to be so, it must be so; for God cannot lie.

Provident Prosperity

As we become firmly rooted in the Word of God, the Psalmist indicates that we will prosper.  The Word of God is not a prosperity gospel – God is not a cosmic vending machine where you put in a prayer and out pops a blessing.  Rather, the prosperity is spiritual prosperity – experientially knowing the character of God.  We participate in His holy, perfect character, and in doing so, God is able to use us and draw even closer to us.  He will provide for our every need.  We need not worry, for God is sovereign over everything that He has created.   And that is promise that you can take to the bank :).

A Qualifying Question

So let’s ask ourselves a question:  Are we walking, standing, sitting, or delighting?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, I thank You for Your Word.  Thank You for revealing Yourself through it to me.  Father, guide my heart and my mind as I read Your Word that it would transform my mind to be more in alignment with Yours.  Help me to better understand and apply what You teach me in the Word so that I will be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer of it.  Forgive me of all my sin, Lord God.  Help me to turn from those things that so easily entangle me.  Father, I do not want to walk, stand, or sit in wickedness; help me to turn from any wickedness that I cherish in my heart and help me to walk in Your ways.  Guard my heart with Your peace as I suffer the consequences of sin so that I may continue to walk steadfast in righteousness, even and especially when it causes me great pain and loss.  Change is always painful, but discipline will produce a harvest of righteousness.  Help me to see the light at the end of the tunnel so that I will not faint along the way.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

A Promise of God – Deuteronomy 6:8

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 trialseven 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.

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A Promise of God – Psalm 145:15-16

15 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
    and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

God provides for our every need.  He tells us that whatever we ask in the name, the character, of His Son, Jesus Christ, we will receive.  Here, we see something even better – God satisfies the desires of every living thing.  In Psalm 37:4, we see that God is encouraging us to desire Him in our hearts:

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

David, in a prayer to God in 1 Chronicles 29:17-19, asks God to keep the hearts of the people in wholehearted devotion to Him:

I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. 18 Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you. 19 And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, statutes and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.”

But there is a caveat.  When our hearts are corrupted, and we refuse to come back to God, He will give us the desires of our heart even then (Romans 1:24):

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

It is important that we keep our eyes on the Giver of Good Gifts so that our desires would be in line with that of Jesus Christ.  This will ensure that when our Father in Heaven gives us the desires of our hearts, we will be satisfied in them.  If God hasn’t given you the desire of your heart, it may be for a number of reasons:

  •  The timing isn’t right
    • You aren’t ready to receive the gift (you don’t give the keys to the $1,000,000 Ferrari to your 14-year-old son who doesn’t know how to drive yet)
    • God’s not ready for it to be given (you wouldn’t give Christmas gifts to your children in July).
  • The desire might be harmful to you or your family. 
    • Not every good desire in our heart will end well.  God is perfect and sees the end from the beginning, and may withhold the blessing because it might cause you difficulty.
      • One man greatly desired to apply for a position in his company in another state.  Everything went well until the very end, and the transfer fell through.  The man did not understand why God would not allow the transfer.  After a year, the division of that company was closed.  Had he taken the job, it would have left him in a difficult place.
  • There is sin your life that needs to be addressed.
    • There are times when we have a sinful attitude that needs adjusted.  God may use the withholding of a desire of our heart to draw us closer to Him so that He can reveal it to us to be addressed.
      • You may withhold access to the car for your teenager that refuses to do his/her homework and has bad grades.
  • God may want to give you a better gift
    • When you were young, did you ever ask for something, like a bicycle, and your parents instead got you a car?  God may be trying to do the same thing.
  • God wants to bring greater glory to Himself

Our Father in Heaven (as do all good fathers) greatly desires to see His children prosper and provide for them.  He does not intentionally withhold giving us the desires of our heart without good and just cause.  And just because something may bless someone else doesn’t necessarily mean that it would be a blessing to us:

  • For someone who is used to managing large amounts of money, the windfall of a large inheritance would not be a burden.  But for someone who has been poor all of their life, it might be a great burden, for they don’t know how to manage it properly, and will most likely squander it rather quickly, perhaps even going deeply into debt, thus making the blessing a curse for them (look at the outcome of many of the lottery winners…).

So, let’s ask the question:  Are the desires of our heart of such a nature that God would joyfully give us what we want?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, Your mercies renew every morning, and we thank You that You know what is better for us more than we do.  Guide me this day, Lord, and remove the dross from my heart that as You purify it, it would be as pure silver.  Purge my heart of any wrongdoing and sinful desires, Father, that I would greatly desire You, and may my heart be tuned to Yours.  Grant me peace, mercy, and grace as I patiently await for the desires of my heart to come to fruition.  This I ask and pray in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

A Promise of God – Psalm 34:17-19

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;

Not one, but three promises of God!

When we cry out, God hears our prayers and delivers us from (through) our troubles.  And look how many troubles we have today!  Cast your burdens upon the Lord; He is able to bear up under them.

Oh, toD know that God is close to us when our heart breaks!  A perfect picture of our kind, gentle, compassionate Father gathering his child into His arms comes to mind.  Only He can help us when we are crushed in spirit.

God is our rock, our refuge, our strength, our fortress.  He can move Heaven and Earth for us.  God’s promise to deliver us from ALL of our troubles should bolster our faith and solidify our hope – our sure belief – that God is not only able to do these things, but that He WILL do them.  God’s character is perfect, and He does not renege on His promises (conditional, unconditional, and implied).  Therefore, pray to God and ask Him to fulfill His promises.

A Short Prayer of Preparation

Father in Heaven, You are perfect in all your ways.  You love your children and give them good gifts.  And unlike us, You fulfill Your every promise.  Father, meet me where I am today.  Deliver me through my trials and troubles.  Stay near to me when my heart breaks.  Provide for all of my needs.  Help me through these most difficult times.  Strengthen me this day and give me confidence in what I am about to face.  You, O Lord, have seen all that is to come and know perfectly how to navigate through it.  Transform my pain into trust, and lead me in the way everlasting.  This I ask and pray in the precious name of your most beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?