It is good that I am not God. Now, after the shouts of, “Hallelujah!” and “Amen!” cease from being heard around the world, I will continue. And why do I say that it’s not good for me to be God? Bypassing the obvious, take a look at the following scripture.
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1John 4:16-18.
My love is not perfect. My love would say and do what I could to end someone’s suffering for the moment, because I would not want to see that one hurting. This mindset comes from being able to see only this moment in time.
I’m writing this as I watch my Mom suffer the effects of dementia. Her mind rages in a storm of confusion and anxiety most days. She cries out to go home; for the Lord to take her home. Yet, she remains. In thinking on these things, the Lord’s Holy Spirit whispered into my heart, “because my love for her is perfect, and…
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.
I can’t often see the good the Lord is working in her but because I know my God is faithful and true, I know He is working for her good. Above and beyond that He is working for my good. This goodness will turn to glory for Him and for us. There is a purpose.
God’s love is perfect. His love allowed, ordained, and sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer the pains of humiliation, crucifixion, and separation for the good He would do in His Son. It brought forth the Son’s resurrection and glory, as well as, insuring our own resurrection and glory.
God’s love did not keep His Son from suffering when He called out to His Father,
“Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me:
nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:42.
The Son took His cup of suffering and finished it.
“It is finished.” John 19:30.
As the Son’s suffering came to its end, so, the Father will bring our suffering to its end…but only when suffering’s work is completed in us.
At this moment in time the suffering continues, the hurt we feel for the suffering continues, and the sure hope of deliverance continues, because as the Son was delivered so shall we be.
Because God’s love is perfect, He allows and has ordained our suffering to work a completed work in us and through us; a work that brings good for more than just the sufferer. There is glory being worked in us now, and a future glory that follows.
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 2Cor. 4:17.
I saw a bit of that glory this morning in my Mom as she spoke of her assurance of eternal glory and her desire to go home. One day she will know the complete glory of the Lord as she sees His face for the first time. Until then…
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence. I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him. God is a refuge for us. Selah.” Psalm 62:5-8.
And let us continue…
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame,
and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb. 12:2.
One day, all who believe will see Him there, face to face. How small our trials will seem then. Thank you, Jesus for your perfect love.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” 1Peter. 3-7.
Have you ever had a true vision of God? Paul says in first Corinthians 13:12,
“For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face, now I know in part: but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
The apostle John echoes Paul’s thoughts in 1John 3:2.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
I’m using a devotional book, “God’s Word for God’s Workers,” by Sam Doherty. Its contents surprised me. The author reveals some fresh insight into some familiar and not so familiar scriptures concerning the character, work, and person of God. One of those surprises came in week 5 as he delved into God’s call on Ezekiel’s life.
“Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.” Ezek. 1:1.
Ezekiel received visions “of God”. These visions revealed the God who called and would be all Ezekiel needed as he obeyed God’s call to a prophetic ministry to the Hebrew captives of Babylon.
Vision 1: A great cloud and fire infolding itself (1:2)
My thoughts went straight to Moses as God went before him in a cloud by day and a fire by night. God’s presence faithfully guided their steps as Moses lead the children of Israel for forty years.
“And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light: to go by day and night.” Ex. 13:21.
As with Moses, so God would be with Ezekiel and He is with us, leading us the way by night and day.
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matt. 28:19,20.
Vision 2: “likeness of four living creatures.”
“…And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. “
I’m told the number 4 relates to things of the earth.
Could these be a picture of the Son of man, God the Son? His ministry here was to glorify the Father and bring salvation to men, reconciling him to God. The description of the feet being as a calf’s made me think of the Lord’s atoning sacrifice. And the burnished brass is mentioned in His description in Revelation 1:5, depicting holy judgment.
Then the creatures’ faces are described. The one problem I have with my own theory lies in the word creature. That speaks of a created being. Yet, Ezekiel did say likeness of four living creatures. Jesus did come in the likeness of man. Now, back to the faces.
“As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.” .
The face of a man:
Jesus Christ, the truth of God’s glory and grace revealed in flesh; the High Priest who identifies with our weakness and gives access to the throne.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb. 4:14-16.
The face of a lion:
Jesus Christ , the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the King of kings; who has all power and authority.
“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof….
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Rev. 5:5; 19;16.
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and thing in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil.2: 9-11.
The face of an ox:
Jesus Christ, the burden bearer of our sin; who gives us rest from our work.
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:
yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.” Isa. 53:4,5.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30.
The face of an eagle:
Jesus Christ, the One who is above all ; who is our power, our all in all.
“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.
Far above all principality, and power and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of that filleth all in all.” Eph. 1:19-23.
Or maybe it’s as simple as the revelation of God as the creator of all? What are your thoughts on these visions? One other thought-could these represent God’s ministering spirits? Feel free to leave your thoughts.
There are more visions to come in my next post. Join me tomorrow.
“All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.
They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;
To make known to the sons of men thy mighty acts,
and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.
Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.” Psalm 145:10-13
The kingdom of God:
Glorious in majesty>abundant wealth in greatness
The kingdom of God reflects the character of God who is abundant in greatness. There is none like Him.
“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” Ex. 15:11.
“And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.
And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.
As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, saw as the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD, And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.” Ezek. 1:26-28.
Everlasting>perpetual , without end, always
As is His kingdom so is our God.
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Psalm 90:2.
“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1Tim. 1:17.
Many view the kingdom of God as some distant future home. This is only one piece of His kingdom, the final glorious majesty of His kingdom. The essence of the kingdom of God is among us, for the King dwells within us.
“From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand…Matt. 4:17; And as ye go preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt. 10:7.
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” John 3:5-7.
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord God shall call.” Acts 2:38-39.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Gal. 2:20.
As followers of Christ, we are children of the King. We are no longer of this world. It is time for us to join the saints.
“All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.
They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;
To make known to the sons of men thy mighty acts,
and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.”
“Giving thanks to the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” Col. 1:12,13.
What have you been talking about today? Let’s begin to speak like we are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,
”for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Rom. 1:16.
We are children of the King. There is none like Him. We have something to talk about. Let us make known by word and deed His glorious majesty. Let’s do it now.
Before leaving the work the Lord has done this summer and getting back to the bible series started in the Spring, there are a couple of things the Lord has worked on in my heart about my own walk, I want to share with you. Know this, if you have spiritual heartburn, there is no antacid that can cure it. In fact, I hope mine becomes a chronic condition.
“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;” Rev. 2:1.
Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords, our Good Shepherd, stands among His church, who are to be the light of His life shining forth His glory to a lost world, and holds those ministering His word in His right hand.
“…These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand…The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches…Rev. 1:20. Two possibilities exist. These angels are literal angels or they are the ministers of each of the seven churches in Asia this letter was sent to. For the sake of my point, with no positive conviction of which I believe, I’m going to address the angels as ministers of the church.
“…the seven stars…For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake…2 Cor. 4:5; And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding…Jer. 3:15; Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28.
Ministers of the gospel, yours is a great responsibility. But you are not on your own. Your are held,
“…in his right hand…Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation; and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great…Ps. 18:35; Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isa. 41:10.
Not only is Jesus Christ with you to lead, strengthen, and speak through you but He is among His church, His people.
“…who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks…the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches…Rev. 2:20; For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them…Matt. 18:20; And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them…luke 244:15; And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?’’ Luke24:32.
As a pastor’s wife, I know the weight laid on a minister’s shoulders and in his heart. To the ministers the Lord says, “…let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Gal. 6:9. God’s grace is sufficient for all your need. What He has called you to, He equips you for.
And to the body, how long has it been since you sat under teaching that left your heart burning for more? If you sit under the teaching of faithful pastors, pray, “…always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Eph. 6:18-20.
Next time we will visit why many no longer have a heart burning for the scriptures, why the light of life is in danger of being extinguished.
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 5:14-16.
“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:39.
“Father, may the children know you are with us, here in this place.”
For several years the Lord kept any sign of a rain cloud away from us during the week of Day Camp. Being our afternoons are spent outside, good weather kept the children from disappointment. All anticipated swimming in the lake. But the last few years a change has taken place. More days than not storm clouds threaten our game time and swim time. We’ve learned to praise God for the clouds.
“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still…God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God…Ps. 62:11; He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still…Ps. 107:29;
“…And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm…I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety…Ps. 4:8; The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace…Ps. 29:11; Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee.” Isa. 26:3.
Our Father in heaven heard my prayer and the prayer of the children. They saw God among us each day the clouds threatened to steal their joy, aka-fun in the lake! Without the storms raging around us, they would not have seen the Lord’s power worked on their behalf. The storms around us opened our eyes to God’s goodness among us as the clouds passed around in the distance.
Don’t get me wrong. We prayed each morning with the children for the Lord to take the clouds, but determined whether He did or didn’t we would still praise Him. The Lord showed Himself strong on our behalf to encourage our growing faith. This is why we can praise Him in the storm. He will show himself strong either way.
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…” 2Chr. 16:9.
So often in times of peace we forget how precious is the gift. Even as in our strength we forget how sufficient is His grace.
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus… My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (Phil. 4:7; 2Cor. 12:9.)
The next few weeks I will be sharing some previous posts, because I will not always have access to my computer while working in our camps and serving on a mission trip. I hope you enjoy them, and I look forward to visiting with you all when I can return to my normal schedule of blogging. Until then, I pray you are blessed.
“Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Rev. 1:3.
“And I saw heaven opened…”
This time of year, in my neck of the woods, God’s creation explodes with a kaleidoscope of colors. As beautiful as is the picture our heavenly Father paints for us showing His beauty and faithfulness, it cannot compare to the day the heavens are opened.
“And I saw heaven opened…” The apostle John stands in good company with Isaiah, Ezekiel and Stephen. What did they see?
Isaiah: “…I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” Isa.6:1.
Ezekiel: “…the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.” Ezek.1:1.
Stephen: “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.”
John’s sightings exceed the others: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns…he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God…and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS…
And I saw the beast taken, with him the false prophet…These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone…
And I saw…the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, bound…a thousand years, And cast…into the bottomless pit…
And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them…and they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years…
And I saw a great white throne…And I saw the dead, small and great stand before God; and the book was opened which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books…And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire…
And I saw a new heaven and new earth…And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven…And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” (Taken from Rev. 19-21).
One day the heavens will open again and we will see, “…the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory…” “…this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go…” “…Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” “…we shall see him as he is.” (Luke 21:27; Acts 1:11; Matt. 26:64; 1John 3:2)
We don’t know when we will see Christ face to face, but we do know, “…yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” Until then ours is to, “Be…patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” “Therefore be ye also ready for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Heb. 10:37; James 5:8; Matt. 24:44).
Have you seen Jesus? I have through the written word. You can too. If not now, know this: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” Rev. 1:7.
Heavenly Father, your word is true. May all who read know the return of Jesus Christ draws near, see Him in the pages of your written word and be made ready for that day.
“I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.” Psalm 16:7.
Monday’s post: Blessed: Walking in the Presence of the Lord, encouraged readers to seek counsel from the One who is omniscient, who is holy and who guides in truth. As He freely gives us counsel in His word and through godly men and women instructed in His word, may we take time to return a blessing to Him.
“I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel…And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD…For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor… Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings…Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory…This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.” (Isa. 11:1,2; Isa.9:6; Jer. 32:19;Ps. 73:24; Isa. 28:29).
How do we bless the Lord?
Using the brain He has given us: “…my reins also instruct me in the night…But He said, Yea, rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and obey it.” Luke 11:28.
Keeping our mind set on the eternal. “I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved…Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth… Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” (Ps.16:8; Col. 3:2;Heb.12:2,3).
When you bless God, He returns a blessing to you: Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” Psalm 16:9.
This week I have learned again how much I depend on the Lord’s counsel, as my Mom and I walk through the darkness that seeks to capture her mind. But the light of Christ gives her knowledge of His love and speaks words of truth to her spirit. She is His child and He will never leave her or forsake her. Even when she forgets, He remembers her. She is His beloved and He is hers.
What need do you have that you desire the Lord’s light to give you counsel?
Precious Heavenly Father,
how great are your mighty works.
You are our faithful Counselor who guides us each day until, one day, You take us to glory to forever live with you where there is no darkness.
Until then may we bless you with thanksgiving and obedience to your word.
May we hold the eternal in our hearts and look always to our Lord Jesus Christ.
May we walk each day in the joy of Christ in us, our strength, our peace and our rest. With Him we will not faint in the way.
Blessed be the name of our Lord. You do all things well.
Where do you turn when you don’t know where to turn?
“Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” 1Chron. 16:29.
“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho,
that he lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, there stood a man … I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth… Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared…Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you… ” (Josh. 5:13a; Ps. 121:1;Ex. 23:20; John 14:1,2).
“…with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him…
Art thou for us, or for our adversaries…But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries… Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour…Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world…and the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone…”(Josh. 5:13b; Ex. 23:22; 1Peter 5:8; 1John 4:4;Rev. 20:10).
“And he said, Nay;
but as the captain of the hosts of the LORD am I now come…For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canannites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off… And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho… And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel… And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour… For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” ( Josh. 5:14;Ex. 23:23; Josh. 6:2;10:42; 24:13; Eph. 2:8,9).
“And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him,
What saith my lord unto his servant…Only be thou strong and very courageous that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersover thou goest… Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Josh. 1:7; Eph. 6;10,11).
“And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua,
Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so…And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him…Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel… Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us… But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.. …” Josh. 24:22,23; Heb. 12:1; John 4:2).
Holy Father, May we come before you in the beauty of holiness and worship as one in spirit and in truth, for You who have defeated all our enemies.
What enemy needs defeated in your life? You have a Captain that will fight for you.
Is there an emptiness in your search to be filled with more than mere existence? Do you want to know your life is making a difference? Have you tried a myriad of ventures, yet, are left disappointed, discouraged and possibly despairing, as you wait to hear from God, if there is a God, to tell you why you’re here? What’s your purpose?
Moses, in Deuteronomy 18:15,18, reveals One who answers all the above questions.
“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken…I will…put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.”
A prophet is more than a seer of the future. He reveals God to the hearers through the word of God given to him to speak, even as he relates God’s message to the people. He speaks for God. And God has raised up this Prophet…
“a Prophet…of thy brethren…Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world… The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him… God…Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son….made like unto his brethren…”( John 6:14; John1:14,17-18;Heb. 1:2,17b).
Who do you seek out for answers? If you turn to others, your own wisdom, or the popular views of our time because you think God has not spoken to you, look again…look and listen. Look to the Word. He speaks grace and truth declaring God through the life He lived and the words He spoke.
“…he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him…Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him… For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” (John 8:28-29;12:49-50).
The above verses make it clear the Prophet, Jesus Christ, is speaking. The problem with not knowing our purpose arises from a hearing issue. Are you hearing, not the sound of words, but the words of the Prophet? If you truly hear, the next step is heeding.
Not only does the Prophet speak to the hearing but He shows by example: “…he gave me a commandment…so I speak…I do always those things that please him.” Exodus through Deuteronomy shows us what God requires in having a relationship with Him that provides for a healthy relationship with others. These are the basics in living out a life of purpose. Why would God reveal more if we despise the word He has already given?
The prophet, Moses, declared the word of the LORD saying, “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?” Deut. 10:12.
The Prophet, Jesus Christ, declared, “THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matt. 22:37-40.
Do you know what you are to do to have a fulfilled abundant life? Listen to the Prophet when he says,
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matt. 16:24.
Your purpose is not found in the total of what you do, but the how and why you do it.
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the LORD Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him… Whether then ye eat or drink or whatever you do… do all to the glory of God.” (Col. 3:17.1Cor. 10:31).
Take the first step. Begin where you are, being who the Father made you to be, His chosen child. Do what you know to do because of the love of God in you. Do it for His glory. Take one step at a time and follow the Prophet as He reveals His way to the abundant life. He will bring you to completion. He is truth.