Do you know that there is no place, where we can be hidden from the loving and compassionate eyes of God? Our circumstances have a way of convincing us; that God has either walked away from us or doesn’t seem to care. We can even be convinced that God will never find us, in the midst of what we see, as the darkest circumstance ever; but in Psalm 139:7-12, we read… “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. 12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”
Nothing can hide us from the presence, of a God who is much more powerful, than any circumstance we may face. No matter where we are in life…God is there...no matter what we may be struggling with at the time.
In my life, there were many times, when I felt as if God couldn’t find me, in all the foggy moments of circumstance. It seemed as though my problems had convinced me; that I was buried within a deep fog…where God’s light would never be able to penetrate these moments, and help me.
It was during one specific moment in my life, when I was truly experiencing these foggy moments; that God began to show me that I was too caught up in the fog…to even know that the light of His presence was there with me. Finally, I learned that I needed to look above the fog, rather than into the denseness of the fog…to find Him…and as I looked up…it was as though the light of His presence began to shine through.
We must remember that what seems to be dark and dreary to us; is not to God…for what we perceive, as a dark circumstance; isn’t darkness to Him at all. We must also remember that wherever we are…or no matter what we are facing at the time; God’s presence will always be able to find us.
Today, we need to quit listening to the voice of our circumstance and start believing these truths that we find in God’s word. When we come to accept God, for who He truly is; then we will also come to accept that He is there…always watching over every little thing that concerns us!
One thing I have truly taken hold of, while walking down some dark and lonely paths of pain and heartache…is how much I truly need the power of God in my life…for without His power, we will never survive the blows that Satan throws our way.
When I was younger, I used to go to a Baptist church and even though I enjoyed the pastor’s sermons…something was missing and later I came to see that it was the power of God in my life. I had become so caught up in the religion, of the Baptist faith; that I never really focused on the power of God.
In II Timothy 3:5, we read… “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” Don’t we realize how much we need the power of God in our lives? Can religion counteract the fiery darts that come our way? Can religion be the cure, for whatever is ailing us? I have come to see; that when the power of God becomes the missing ingredient within our lives; then that makes us more vulnerable to the power of evil.
There is one thing that I have truly come to see, in this verse above…and that is where it says…“Having a form of godliness.” In other words…religion becomes that form of godliness and before we know it; we begin to worship and follow after the rules of religion, rather than God.
The thing we need to take hold of today; is that religion won’t save us…only the power that is contained, within Jesus…God’s only Son…the One who died for our sins…and when we choose to follow after a form of godliness…above a true and living God; then we find that we have denied the only form of power that can free us from the difficulties of this life.
No matter what we face...let’s face it…we need a power that is much high and greater, than the so-called power that comes from evil…and the only way we are going to obtain that power; is not through religion…but directly through Jesus Christ. When we truly learn to draw from a power that can supersede all things; that is when we will begin to see our circumstances fall powerless to the ground!
Isn’t it amazing…the thoughts that can come into our minds, while walking through some very trying times in our lives? These thoughts have a way of convincing us that we are alone and will never come through the moments that are still awaiting us; but in Deuteronomy 31:6, we read…“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
You know…I think that all we need to do, while facing these negative thoughts; is to get our thoughts buried in God’s word. When the problem is saying that we are too weak to make it through; God is encouraging us to be strong and of good courage. When the problem is leading us down a path of fear and doubt; God is letting us know that we don’t have to fear or be afraid of what is happening…and why…because He is not only with us; but He’s the One that goes before us; as a shield, to protect us and keep us safe, from the fiery darts that come our way.
I think that one of the most difficult battles to walk through…is the battle of the mind. It seems as though we are always striving to keep our thoughts going in God’s direction…but isn’t it amazing how Satan can trip us up and make our problems seem much more out of control; then what they really are.
Instead of focusing on where the problem may be leading us; we need to get into God’s word and let His truth not only free us; but lead us away from these deceptive thoughts. When we can read and take in God’s truth, rather than allowing a deceptive lie, to take us by the hand and walk us away from the peace and joy we once experienced; then we will soon find that God can truly give us the strength to overcome anything that is attempting to overcome us.
Have you ever wondered why we lean on our own understanding? Here, we admit to God that we can’t figure out a problem or make it through a tough time in our life; but yet we continue to lean on our own weak self, rather than a strong God.
In Proverbs 3:5-6, we read…“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
One thing I have come to learn in my life; is to not lean on myself or a weak circumstance…because that will only lead me to a fall. During the difficult times of trial, we need two strong arms to hold us up and we need them to represent something strong…something that will keep us standing and above the weaknesses; that Satan is attempting to use against us, as a means of bringing us low.
Many times in my own life, I have visualized God’s strong arms, as crutches of peace and strength to lean on…peace to sustain me during the hard times…and strength to keep me standing strong in Him.
One thing I know for sure…and that is this; we will never make it through the struggles and challenges of this life, when we choose to lean on our own way of doing things. We must come to the realization that we just don’t have the wisdom on our own, to know how to handle these weaknesses that enter our lives; so we need to turn to the One who can show us the way…and that One is Jesus Christ!
No matter what you are walking through today, just know that you don’t have to try and figure it out on your own. Remember…there is a God, who is greater in power, than any so-called power that stems from a weakness…and the power that is contained within this strong and mighty God; is greater than any stack of weaknesses that may attempt to control and take over our lives. Today…let’s turn to the One…whose understanding and wisdom can lead us away from these difficult moments of despair!
I wonder why we choose to turn back to weakness and allow it to beat us up, rather than turning to the One, who has freed us through the cross. Why would we ever desire to live in a dark pit of despair, when we can live in the light of God’s presence? In Galatians 4:8-9, we read…“Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. (9) But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?”
Before we came to know Christ, we lived a life of slavery, to the problems that we faced at that time. There was no means of stepping out of our despair, to discover the kind of freedom that can only exist because of what Christ did for us on the cross…but now that we know Christ or are known by Him, why do we still choose to walk a step backwards into despair, rather than pressing on towards a place of freedom; that can only be found, by walking in the footsteps of Christ?
We need to remember that we allow needless suffering to enter our lives, when we choose to listen to the thoughts that are being dictated by the problem. Do we realize that when we do this, then we are allowing the problem to put us in a prison cell, where the problem can constantly have control over us? Even when we make a mistake and turn back into this form of bondage; the hope we now live with; is that Christ has the key to our prison cell…a key that can unlock the door, to our prison cell of despair and free us. No matter if we make a wrong turn and end up down a detour road; Christ will always be there to direct us back to Him. All we need to do is to be willing to take our focus away from the place of bondage, rather than accepting it…and when we do this, then we will be able to focus on the One who can free us and give us a fresh new start.
We can save ourselves a lot of heartache, when we allow our lives to remain closely connected with Christ. When there is a strong connection between His heart and ours; then nothing will be able to sever the connection or have control over our lives. When we choose to talk with Jesus, on a daily basis, rather than listening to the voice of our problems; then we will have a clear view of what’s ahead and we will once more be able to press on and experience the fullness of a great and mighty God!
You know…it’s so easy to get wrapped up in a problem; that before we know it; we have allowed that problem to dictate our thoughts and even more…our hearts. After listening to this problem for a while, we become convinced that we cannot make it through the problem…so we give up and give into the problem.
Today, as I was thumbing through some Bible verses, I came across one of my favorite Bible verses, in Psalm 18:29, which reads… “For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.”
Have you ever felt as if you were on a running start…to get over the obstacles in your path; but then as you approached the obstacles; they began to grow in size, which only caused you to stop right before them, while allowing them to convince you that you couldn’t make it over them? This is what you call focusing on the problem, rather than God.
If we are ever going to get through the struggles and challenges of this life; then first, we must take God with us…and never go it alone. I have come to see numerous times; that with God’s help…we can run through anything and leap over obstacles that may seem impossible to the human eye.
Now isn’t the time, to get caught up in our problems; because we will soon see that our thoughts and our hearts will become controlled by them. Instead, we need to take hold of a strong and powerful God…One who can give us the power to move onward and straight ahead, while allowing His strength to lift us up and over each problem. One thing I have truly come to see is this…sitting in the path of a problem will never allow us to go anywhere…but standing tall, with a powerful God will take us everywhere!
Do we realize how much we truly need God every day in our lives? In my own life, I have come to see God as my mighty warrior…the One, who stands before me and protects me, from the fiery darts that attempt to come in my direction…and I can’t even begin to think on what it would be like, to not have God by my side.
In Psalm 16:8, we read… “I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” As we live in these end times, it seems as if the struggles and challenges of this life are increasing…almost to the place, where life can seem much more unbearable; then what it used to be…and this is why we truly need God by our side.
As I was thinking on this Bible verse today…I was also thinking on what it would be like to walk into unknown territory alone…without God. I would think that we would find ourselves to be an open target to Satan for sure.
We need to realize today that we are not strong enough, to fight these battles alone. Every day, we need a shield before us…one that can keep these fiery darts from penetrating the soul…and the only One strong enough, to do all of that and more is Jesus Christ!
No matter how tough the battles seem to be…and no matter what is flying in our direction…we don’t have to allow it to take us down, when there is a God, who can stand before us and protect us, from the evil blows that come our way. When we can stop being tough on our own and accept the help that only God can offer us; that is when we will truly be able to walk through any battle…knowing that we shall not be moved!
Have you ever had a moment in your life, when you knew without a doubt; that you would have never made it through a situation, without God being there? It seems like we become so tightly focused on everything that goes wrong in our lives; that we completely bypass the moments, when God was there, to keep us suspended above a pit of total destruction.
In Psalms 94:17-18, we read… “Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.18 When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.”
As I look back on my life, I see many instances, where God was truly there for me; but a few have stood out more than others…and one of them was a time, when I was barely hanging onto life. As I sat alone, with tears flowing down my cheeks…there just were no more words to say.
As I continued to sit quietly, in the stillness of that room…songs began to come to my thoughts…and as I started to sing them, I began to realize that I had never heard these songs before. For some reason, I began to feel as if God was using these unknown songs for a reason.
As I continued to sit there and sing the songs…I began to feel as if God was relaying a message to me through each word…and as I continued on…I never had felt so close to anyone, as I did with God that day…and to this day, I can’t even begin to tell you the words that were in those songs…for these songs were God’s way of helping me through the moments, when all I felt the need to do, was give up.
No matter what you’re facing; just know that when we become humble…before a loving and compassionate God; that He will be there to keep us from slipping and falling, into what appears to be a total pit of destruction.
A while back, I was talking with someone, who had been facing some difficult times and I was encouraging them to turn their worry into prayer. Just think…if we were to personally talk with God, every time that worry was to enter our thoughts; can you imagine the connection we would have with God?
I remember a time, when I would allow worry to take control of my thoughts, until I felt all alone, with a problem that definitely had full control of my thinking…but over time, I came to see that worry was never going to take me anywhere or make the problem any better; so I began to get alone with God and talk with Him, in a personal way…just as though He was standing right before me. Now, I’m learning to lean more and more on God and I just love the time, when I sit and pour myself out before Him.
Why do we allow worry to take control, while leading us down a road that only adds anxiety and frustration to the problems that we’re already experiencing? Can worry cure our problem and can it bring peace to our troubled minds? I don’t know about you but I have found that worry only leads me further away from God, while drawing me closer to the problem.
Through time, I have come to see that Satan allows worry to become his trap…a trap where he can catch us in a moment of weakness and keep our moments of affliction alive, while controlling our every thought. I don’t know about you but one problem is hard enough to handle; let alone adding to it, with a mind that only gets out of control with worry, doubt and fear. Today, we need to realize that Satan isn’t only out to afflict us but he’s also trying to keep that affliction alive, in any way he can think of and when he sees that worry is a weak point in our lives; then this becomes the moment, when he lures us in its direction and once he has us connected, with thoughts of worry, doubt and fear; then he begins to remind us constantly, of where this trial can lead us, until we begin to believe his words.
In Philippians 4:6-7, we read… “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Right now, we need to let go of the hand of worry and begin to reach out to God, through a heart of prayer. When we can turn our worry into quiet moments with God; then we will begin to see…that as we let God have every need; then there will be no reason for Satan to step in and have control.
We say that we have faith in God but has our faith only become a word that we speak? What are the two key words that can help us to see faith, as God longs for us to view it? In Hebrews 11:1, we read…“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” In this verse, we see that the two keys words to faith are “sure” and “certain.” Our surety comes, when we know without a doubt; that God is who He is and when we view God in this way, then we automatically become certain that God will work, even though we cannot see what is about to be.
A good example of this; is in the seasons of the year. Every year we experience spring, summer, fall, and winter and even though snow begins to fall, just before the spring season arrives; we know that the season of spring will come because of what we have experienced in previous years. Well…in a similar way, we may have trials come, which can dictate our thinking and cause us to feel no hope but when we reflect on the times that God has been there for us and see the distance He’s brought us, then we will have a settled feeling within us, that He will once more help us through another trying time in our life. These are the moments that help us to have faith in a God that we cannot see and a circumstance that we cannot seem to understand.
The daily situations we face, can try to convince us that the light will never shine through the darkness of our day again but when we can reflect on the past moments of God’s faithfulness; then we will once more be able to stand up…shake the circumstance from us and have faith.
One thing I would like to add, as I finish my visit with you; is that it’s so easy to speak the word “faith” but what actions are we sending with our words? When our actions don’t coincide with our words, then our words become empty and fall powerless to the ground but when we can allow our words of faith to be filled with a response that will reveal to God that we do believe, in what He can do once more; then our words will begin to take flight and will take us to a place that we never thought could ever be.