Genesis 18:14 “Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”
Whatever limitations you’ve placed on yourself and others because of your current circumstances and life experiences, they are powerless to deny the truth of God’s nature and power. Abraham was 100 years old and his wife Sarah was 90 years old when they conceived God’s promised child, Isaac. This event is an historical fact that was the byproduct of faith in God’s promise. Faith calls those things that are not as if they already were and moves boldly towards God’s promise with assurance and conviction. God’s character is perpetually oriented towards goodness and his power to break natural law knows no boundary. Stop putting a full stop on God’s conversation with you and your situation. It’s not over till God says it’s over. God loves you, is with you and wants the very best for you. By faith, come into agreement with God’s promises over your life and prepare yourself to soon share another testimony of God’s faithfulness to you. Nothing is too hard for God. Selah!
Joshua 1:13 “..The Lord your God is providing you a place of rest and will give you this land.”
Modern life is becoming increasingly complex and in part, it’s our own fault. We are besotted with the notion that ‘more is better’ and so we lead frantically busy lives accumulating more than we need and searching for the next experience or achievement that will satisfy the void in our hearts. There must be a better way to live. There is, it’s found in the person and presence of Jesus. For Israel, thousands of years ago, their place of rest was found in God’s promised land of Canaan. God had promised the land to His people and in it they would find rest from their slavery in Egypt and nomadic wandering in the wilderness. For us, while holidays in Noosa and the Caribbean are wonderful but temporary places of rest and recreation, true rest is found when we cast our burdens on the Lord and spend time being still in his presence. The powerful reality about God’s presence is that you don’t have to jump on a plane to experience it, you can dive into his rivers of living water wherever you are, at any time of the day. While practically stopping and resting is an important and necessary part of the weekly rhythm of our lives, Jesus has made every provision for our hearts to find its rest in his lavish grace poured out for us on the cross. Instead of running to accumulate more, walk into God’s promised land of rest for your life by faith in Jesus Christ. Selah!
Numbers 24:12-13 And Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you sent to me, ‘If Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the Lord, to do either good or bad of my own will. What the Lord speaks, that will I speak’?
In Israel’s journey through the wilderness, Balaam the prophet was asked to prophesy a curse against Israel by Balak, the king of Moab because the king feared God’s people. The king believed that Balaam’s prophetic declarations had power to change natural circumstances and if Balaam would prophesy destruction against Israel, it would come to pass. The king offered riches to Balaam to prophesy a curse and the context of the story suggests Balaam wrestled with the request in his heart. However, for Balaam, silver and gold wasn’t as important as obeying and honouring God’s will both for his own life and for Israel. Everyone of us will face moments in our lives where we will have to decide between following our will or God’s will. Temptations will come to compromise on the conviction of God’s will in our own hearts. There is something greater than silver and gold and more important than satisfying the desires of our own will and that is living in the centre of God’s will for our lives. I want to encourage you, no matter what the temptation, the next time you wrestle between obeying God’s will or following your own will, stay true to what God is calling you to do and let God take care of your rewards. Selah!
Joshua 21:45 “Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.”
Everyone of us knows the feeling of wanting to give up on a delayed word God has spoken over our lives and into our hearts. We don’t see the reality of it in our expected time line and we conclude its not going to come to pass. Israel must have felt like this for hundreds of years. Centuries before Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land, God spoke to Abraham about the land of Canaan being given as a possession to the nation that God would raise up from Abraham’s seed. Several generations had passed since that word, including 400 years of slavery in Egypt, and yet towards the end of the book of Joshua we read of God’s faithfulness to his promises to Israel. Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to Israel failed. They all came to pass. God is true to his word. Heaven and earth may pass away but his word remains forever. Whatever promise God has given to you and however long ago you received it, it will not fall to the ground empty but will accomplish what God has sent it to you to perform. Stand your ground, hold onto God’s promise and trust in God’s faithfulness. Every word will come to pass. Explosive Insights!
Genesis 16:1-2 “Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, ‘The Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.’ And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.”
I love the story of Abraham and Sarah’s journey of faith because it mirrors what many of us go through in our own lives. When we face the delay of Gods promises being fulfilled, most of us take matters into our own hands. This is exactly what Sarai and Abram did after 10years of not seeing the fulfilment of God’s promises. When Abram should’ve kept listening to the voice of God, he listened to the voice of doubt and retreated from the life of faith. When we can’t see in the natural what we are expecting from God in our timeline, we often look for other options to bring the promise to pass. Unfortunately, our efforts to secure what God wants to secure for us indicates our lack of trust for Gods timing and purposes. 2 Corinthians 5:7 calls us to “walk by faith, not by sight.” Faith hears the rhema inspired word of God and stays focused on it regardless of what the natural circumstances might be indicating. When Abram took matters into his own hands, he only delayed what God always intended to bless him with, the promised son Isaac. Whatever your Isaac is, God wants you to trust him with the timing of the promise. Guard your heart from doubt and run back to the rhema word of God. Your Isaac is coming your way. Explosive Insights!
Judges 6:12 ‘The Lord is with you, O, mighty man of valour.’
There will come a day in everyone of our lives when we will face what seems like an insurmountable situation that requires a supernatural breakthrough to get through it. In that day your breakthrough won’t come about because of a clever strategy or how pretty you are or who your friends are but because of one simple truth, God is with YOU!
All throughout the bible, God came to individuals and reassured them of his abiding presence with them. God said of Joseph, “The Lord is with him and had success everywhere he went.” God said to Moses, “I will be with you and help you deliver my people.” God said to Joshua, “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I’ll never leave you, nor forsake you, be strong and courageous.” God said to Gideon, “The Lord is with you, O, mighty man of valour.” There come’s a time when it’s more than what you know or what you have but who is with you.
Fear makes us act like God isn’t with us. Gideon was found in a winepress beating out wheat in fear for his life from the marauding Midianites. Last time I checked a winepress was for treading on the grapes and extracting juice from them. God has hard-wired you up to be fruitful and multiply but the stain and poison of sin has marked us with the twin towers of immaturity and insecurity. This causes us to live by our fears, rather than by faith in God’s promises for our lives. Fear is a fruit of the sinful nature but faith is a fruit of living by the Spirit. The Spirit works into us the maturity and security God longs for us so we can live by faith and not by fear.
God sees you through the filter of his presence. When the angel of the Lord proclaimed to Gideon, ‘The Lord is with you, O, mighty man of valour’, Gideon was anything but a mighty warrior, he was hiding away in a wine press, fearing for his life. God never looks at you through your weaknesses, he looks at you through the filter of his presence at work in your life. God says, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.’ We are so quick to look at what we haven’t got that we forget what we have got. When God is with you, you and God are a majority.
Your relationship with God will determine your revelation of God. I used to think it was the other way round but walking with God is a journey of progressive revelation. I know more about God today than I did last year and if I prioritize my relationship with him, I will know more about him next year than I do today.
The greater your revelation of God’s nature and character, the greater your level of trust in him. One of the reasons why we struggle at times to live by what he says is because we don’t really trust in who he is. Our hearts, by default, are distrusting of anyone, let alone God. What God does is take us on a journey through life to teach us his character can be trusted.
Proverbs 3:5-6 ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.’
I love this verse but I also despise it and if you were honest, you do to. Why? Because not one person on the planet I know really wants to not lean on their own understanding. We humans are curious creatures. We want to understand, we want to control the outcome, we want to have our minds wrapped around everything so that we can get a handle on it. But following Jesus is sometimes a paradoxical mystery and the reality is we must be willing to embrace faith in God without fully understanding why it doesn’t always add up on paper.
I’ve found trusting God easier, the more I abide in his presence. God’s presence brings trust because God is trustworthy. Before I make a significant decision in life, I spend a lot of time in his presence. Trust isn’t something I cultivate, It’s already built into God’s nature. God is faith personified, it’s already in his nature to believe. God’s a believer. God never wakes up one morning and says, ‘I’m not sure I created the world as I should have. maybe I should have created it in 9 days with an extra day of rest, then 6 days with the 7th…’ God never second guesses himself or gets anxious. He is pure confidence, faith, trust and belief all wrapped into one because he is God.
The more I abide in him, the more trust becomes my nature and ultimately my lifestyle. What are you feeling anxious about? Don’t be anxious any longer, throw yourself at God and wait on him. As you worship him, pray through your anxieties and wait on him, faith will rise in you and trusting him will become more and more your primary response to what life throws your way.