Monday, January 30, 2012

Another Reminder!

Exodus 11:6-7 - Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again. But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the LORD does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.

Once again I pondered things in my heart. One day last week I wondered how, in the real day of trouble, God would protect His children. How would I know if I have enough knowledge and strength? Would I be found doubting?

As usual, I know the Lord was hearing my thoughts. He led me to think on some promises: He will never leave us or forsake us; He protects those who call Him their God; He is our provider. Oh, I know those promises...but HOW would I know when or how He would provide?

So the question came to mind, why do we doubt? The answer: because we are human. Another possible answer for some: because some of us have never undergone some of the difficulties others have. 

In the above scripture you can substitute Egypt with the world and Israel with God’s children. These events in Exodus were experienced and expressed that we might have an example of God’s faithfulness.

Well, since the time of my wondering, I have received three teachings to confirm that God will protect His children, those who call Him their LORD. Not that I didn't already know some of this! 

The first one came the morning after my questions. I was reading in Exodus (Chapters 11-15) about the departure of Israel out of Egypt, all done by the mighty hand of God. I won’t go into detail about the symbolism of how they escaped God’s wrath on Egypt. Read those  chapters if you want specifics. Just know this: It was by God’s command, and His Word, and the shed blood of an unblemished lamb that Israel, His people, His children, escaped the burden of slavery in Egypt and went on their way to their Promised Land, the land promised to His people by God. 

Jesus is our Word, the Word of God, He was the spotless Lamb of God who shed His blood that we would be taken out of the world and satan’s slavery, into our Promised Land in Heaven. The land promised to us if we choose to follow the Way that God has provided through Jesus Christ.

All that to say that God protected them. They saw miracle after miracle by His hand against Pharaoh and Egypt, but they were not affected by any of them! And amazingly, three days later they forgot and complained about not having water! What’s that all about?? They actually saw His miracles and were saved from their enemy’s hands! How could they? But this is where my doubts come in. I, we, have not experienced in our lives times, such things as recession, depression, hunger or need. We, for the most part, have had anything we ever wanted.

I’ve said this before and I’ll continue to say it...we are living in troubling times. Some may believe that we will bounce back from any calamity, but I believe we are experiencing what the Bible tells us is the “beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8). We are seeing natural disasters more frequently, governments and nations teetering, morality at it’s low point only to get worse, if that’s possible. God is unhappy...

But God...has promised that He will watch over those He calls His children. We may not ever have an answer to the how He will provide, but we can know He will. This is where faith and trust come in. I believe we have not yet seen disaster like Israel experienced in Egypt. We’ve had our freedom in this nation. If that’s taken away...disaster might arise. 

Then in Sunday school we talked about being victorious in this world if we proclaim the name of Jesus, are sealed by His blood, know His Word and know what His promises are for us. As we were in prayer the words came to me: remember, your name means victorious! Yes, my name--Laurie--a derivative of laurel, means victory. And He first chose us to be victorious. We need to remember He first chooses us; what a privilege. God tells us we are victorious, triumphant, if we have chosen Christ, and become overcomers because of Him.

Then our sermon! More on provision and protection. God’s plans are to prosper us, take care of us even though the winds of change blow into our lives, Pastor Rory Grooters told us. Sometimes we don’t make the right choice and we walk out of the provision and protection, but sometimes it’s because someone else chooses to make the wrong choice and we are affected by it. But God...still provides in spite of anything that may happen in our lives to bring upset...if we call ourselves children of God.

God is always in control. If we truly believe that and we truly know that we are called His children, that is His promise to us. We need not be afraid, nor do we need doubt. If Jesus could walk on water, He can calm the storm in our lives--till the end of the age. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. There are reminders all throughout the Bible of His provision.

Pastor Rory also told us, in addition to God being in control, that we need to see things from a different perspective (God’s). He might be making the winds to blow in our lives to bring about a necessary change in order to bless someone else or to become blessed. And we should work and be busy despite what winds are blowing; use what we’ve got. These blowing winds should not be thought of as an obstacle but a detour before our destination. We should let God lift us up over the storms of life, let us soar on eagles’  wings (Exodus 19:4, Isaiah 40:31).

The Lord has shown me in no uncertain terms, a gentle reminder, that He is in control and because I am His child He will provide, protect and prosper me. It may not always be in ways I would like or even fully understand, but He will be there for me. 

Should the days ahead become ominous, I hope you take this to heart, perhaps remember it. He will protect if you first choose the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and determine to trust in Him, let Him be your strength. He will deliver us. 

Psalm 37:3-4, 39-40 - Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. ...He is [your] strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help [us] and deliver [us]; He shall deliver [us] from the wicked, and save [us], because [we] trust in Him.

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