Be Still and Know that I am God…

800px-Peace-River_Nelson-BCAs I was lying on the couch contemplating about how much God had done this week in my life I was brought to a peaceful place where I no longer needed to think or do anything. I was brought to a place where I could just be with God. It reminded me of Psalm 46, specifically verse 10, but the whole Psalm is powerful. In it we are reminded that God is trustworthy, He is powerful, He provides refuge, and He is our fortress. Being in the moment I felt completely safe and at peace. There was no worry about the things of the week that would happen, there was no worry that something might happen to me or my family, and there was no fear of loss. In the moment I knew that I was a part of God’s plan and that as small as I am in God’s great universe He cares for me deeply and He orders everything that happens around me.

During this time I was given a vision of a mighty angel overseeing a city. On the back side of the angel was darkness and fury and on the front side was light and peace. She was holding back the forces of darkness and protecting me on the other side. This reminded me of how grateful I need to be everyday in remembering that even though things are allowed to happen to me that there is so much more that is not being allowed to enter into the sphere of my being. We are told that God is faithful and He will protect us from the evil one (2 Thes. 3:3).

Daryl Evans, in his blog, talks about his son and how he wants to protect him from the dangers in the world and he reflects those same qualities onto God as his Father and Protector. In such he put together a collection of verses in the Bible that show us that God is our Protector and that He is looking out for us. Just as children do as they grow up we learn to trust in our Father as a protector who knows what we need and wants to see us succeed. Even though our earthly fathers can fail at times God never fails. God has a plan for our life, but He is gentle and will not push it onto us. He will ensure that we learn appropriate lessons along the way, but He will never leave us nor forsake us and we can say with confidence that because the Lord is our helper that we need not be afraid because there is nothing that man can do to pull us out of the safety of God’s hands (Heb. 13:5-6). Our job is simply to follow His commands and to trust in Him.

Have you put your trust in the Lord? Do you rest in Him often and get filled up to overflowing so that you can bless those around you or do you rely on your own strength and power? When we rely upon our own strength and power we are following the way of Satan who feeds us lies in saying that we can do what we want and that in our own power we can accomplish anything. Satan is the Father of Lies and tries to keep us working in our own power so that we are too busy to stop and just observe and know that God is in control. Who will you be obedient to? We all have a master, either God or Satan. Paul in his letter to the Romans states…

Romans 6:17-23

Thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We all have a choice to make. Who do you give your allegiance to? Some say that their is no God, and to them I simply say be still. God is all around us and is in control, we just need to stop and slow down to recognize Him.

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Father God I thank you that you are Mighty to Save. I thank you that I can know that you are God when I stop and be still. There are so many things in my life that draw my attention from you, but you are the only one that I want to follow. Help me to follow you fully and to see you in every aspect of my life. I do not want to follow the patterns of this world that lead to destruction. I want to usher in your light and to bless those around me. I acknowledge that there is nothing that I can do of my own power, but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Use me this week to share the light that you have given me. Thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ, who gave His life freely on the cross so that I can have eternal life without fear from Satan. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

Don’t be a hurdle to others knowing Christ

Recently I posted about what life is like for the unsaved and the burdens in their life that they carry to include the burden of trying to enter into the church. Last night at group this discussion was brought up again, specifically about the hurdles that Satan places in the paths of people when they are trying to reach the Lord. We, as Christians, must never forget that Satan wants nothing more than to have people follow him and worship him. As a result of this desire he does everything that he can to keep people from God whether it is by keeping them busy, scared, indifferent, or otherwise. I posed the question last night in which I wondered if there was ever a point where people are so far that they no longer hear the voice of God telling them to turn around. Reflecting back we were able to conclude, at least in our own lives, that we were always at least mildly aware of God speaking to us whether we recognized the voice of our Father at that time or not.

Another point of interest was the thought of fear or rejection that seemed to be a common feeling. Fear and rejection can come in many different forms. They can come in the form of thoughts and disillusionment and unfortunately some are actually done by the church body while others yet come from the world who is telling us that we are not enough. As human beings we have a funny way of trying to justify ourselves by comparing ourselves to other people either by condemning others or by condemning ourselves. Often times we look at the sin in our own lives and then compare it to someone who has more sin and we are happy that we are where we are at. This can be and is often times used as an excuse not to change. Other times we look to others and the lack of apparent sin in their lives and we become envious or we have feelings that we will never be good enough because there is no way that we could ever be as good as that person. Luckily for us “good enough” has never been a requirement, for we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and as Christians we have been justified by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ who shed His blood to pay for our sins (Romans 3:24-25).

Sin is sin no matter how big. Certain sins seem to be greater than others such as murder, but sin separates us from God no matter how great of sin we view it as. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death.” It does not specify death as being confined to those who murder, commit adultery, steal, or even curse. Paul simply says that the wages of sin is death and it includes all sin from the smallest to the largest. So the next time that you start comparing yourself to someone else remember that we all fall short, the only difference is whether or not we repent of our sins and ask for forgiveness from our Father.

Father we thank you for the redemptive work of Christ who paid for our sins even though we did not and do not deserve it. Forgive us for our sins. Forgive us for the apparent sins that we commit as well as the sins that are hidden away that only you know about. Lord we give you our lives and submit to you fully. Teach us to be fully obedient and teach us to love all those around us rather than judge them and condemn them. Teach us to see others just as you do. Thank you for your love and compassion towards us even though we still fall short. In Jesus’ name. Amen.