Taking God at His Word

,Trust

” For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

As I completed a devotional on (2 Chronicles 33: 1-20) concerning King Manasseh, I was struck with the importance of knowing this important “Example” of how God is always ready to forgive and deliver no matter how horrible  our sins. Although I know faith in Christ’s salvation has saved me, there are times the enemy comes in with an accusation wielding a convincing blow, usually, in the worse circumstances. But it is having knowledge and faith in God’s Word that causes the devil to go and my faith to grow.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6

The most important Example given on how to combat the temptations and accusations of the enemy was given by Jesus Christ, Himself. After His baptism He was driven into the desert were the Word tells us He was tempted by the devil. In all that the devil threw at Him, Jesus came “back” with one thing; the knowledge of God’s Word. He didn’t focus at all on Himself, although He had every right to, but with every temptation He matter of factly, without engaging or prolonging the conversation”,  asserted what He Knew, was the Truth.
(Matthew 4:1-11)

“These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.” 1 Corinthians 10:11 (my emphasis)

Recently, I experienced one of the most fiery trials since I have come to faith. I was suffering physically with the Coronavirus, while receiving a convincing curse from the devil along with his legitimate accusations. I say convincing and legitimate because the curse I received from the person’s comments on my blog fell in line with the dates and events while suffering this disease.

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
1 Peter 4:12-19

The accusations were not unjustifiable but were accurate concerning my present and past failures and sins. So all I was experiencing, physically, mentally and emotionally, seemingly,  had the appearance of the accuser’s upper hand. So I got honest with the Lord, admitting I was afraid.

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3

The victory comes by praising Him in the midst of all uncertainty, recalling His past faithfulness while taking Him at His Word. He is merciful, forgiving and understanding, and when we remember to call on His Name, He will do what He alone can do.

It wasn’t a miracle of deliverance, a sudden healing, a word of encouragement or even His presence He wanted me to seek. The Lord left me with one option; and choice; would I recall His faithfulness , His Word , while knowing in confidence what He had done for me in the past, He would do again and again.

And all He wants from us is to take Him at His Word. Will You?

(Romans 8:1, Romans 8: 28, Psalm 46, 1 John 1:9, Ephesians 1:13, Jeremiah 29:11)

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Knowing Jesus Christ

Knowing Jesus Christ
Matthew 7: 21-23, Matthew 25: 11-12

Do you know Him, and does He know you?

 

Probably one of the most alarming things that Jesus pointed out during His visitation was this warning statement concerning “knowing him”.  He wanted to make it perfectly clear that there was to be a “relationship” between the believer and Himself.  So, how do we get to know Jesus, and how does He recognize us as His own?  I believe there is a distinction between “knowing him” and “knowing of him”, and we need to “know” the difference.

 

As soon as I started reflecting on the word “know”, two songs came to memory:  Getting to Know You  by Hammerstein  and  To Know Him is to Love Him  by Phil Spector.  These two songs were popular during the 50’s.  They both speak of an intimate relationship with someone else.

 

In the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25, only half of them were able to meet the Groom, when He arrived.  The other five did not have enough oil to continue their journey and had to go and buy more.  When they returned to where the wedding was taking place, they were not allowed in because the bridegroom did not recognize them as belonging to Himself: They said, “Lord, Lord, ‘open the door for us!’  “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.”

 

When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus in John 3 He went right to the point.  He told Nicodemus that He would have to be “born again” in order to enter into the Kingdom of God.  He then proceeded to tell Him how that is possible.  When we think of being born we have a whole different visualization because of our technology.  We actually have a window on the womb and understand the whole process.  Nicodemus was not privy to that information and so Jesus used an example he could understand.  One thing scientists have discovered and that is that as soon as the male sperm penetrates the female egg there’s an explosion of continuous development and with it the DNA is present that identifies the physical characterization of the developing child. And so it is spiritually, that as soon as we believe In God’s Salvation – Jesus Christ, we begin a brand new life in Christ; sealed by the Holy Spirit; we are identified with Him,  and He knows us as His own. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

 In the “born again” relationship we know Christ by abiding in His Word and by yielding to His Holy Spirit. As we apply the Word to our lives, we take on the characterization of His divine nature (DNA) and become Christ-like. Then, when He comes to take us Home the relationship is complete and we know Him as we are known.

 

“Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully even as I am fully known.”  1 Corinthians 13:12

 

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The Birth Pangs of Faith

 

“Shall I bring to the point of birth and not give delivery?” says the LORD. Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?” says your God.
Isaiah 66:9

The Bible uses the process of childbirth as a metaphor of a trial, whereby, He is the One who delivers.

 “Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said,
“With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.” Genesis 4:1

Notice in the above verse Eve explains how the Lord helped her through the process of giving birth. Even though God made childbirth more difficult for Eve, He did not abandon her but was right there to help deliver her child.  

The trials in a believer’s life or initiated or allowed by God for a specific reason and purpose- to bring forth good fruit or a good result. Sometimes it is even a result of an answer to our prayer.  Since he created the process, he has purposed it and that purpose sometimes test our faith. Do we believe if He is the one who has allowed or initiated the pain in our trial, He is also faithful to deliver?  The wonderful thing about any pain we experience in Christ,  it is accompanied with His Grace. And when we don’t look for ways to escape it, but focus on Him, we enter His rest, by letting go, allowing God to do the rest.
(Psalm 34:4)

And what a blessing it is to have God’s blessing placed directly in our arms gazing back at us, face to face, touching His faithfulness. 

See: Waiting on God’s Intervention

When a woman is expecting she also knows at the end of her pregnancy there will be the time when birth will require suffering. But she has joy because her child will be born, and this momentary suffering will produce the love of her life. But if she tries to escape it, she only postpones it and there is a suffering that will not strengthen but weaken her maternal faith.
(James 1:1-2)

Jesus knew that His sacrifice would require tremendous suffering and He would even be alone, as everyone deserted Him. But there was no greater anguish then when He mourned the separation from God. He, alone, took upon Himself the sins of the world, making it possible for everyone who believes, to be born, again.
(Matthew 27:46, John 3:3)

 “…………….For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

When Eve gave birth to Cain, her first child, she did not suffer alone. She testified that “with the help of the Lord she brought forth her child.” Neither in childbirth nor our trials are we ever alone. All we have to do is call on our Savior Who is faithful to deliver, at the right time and way when in faith we let fear go.

See the Fruit of My Trials


Scripture References:
Isaiah 66:9
Hebrews 12:2
Genesis 4:1
James 1:1-2
Matthew 27:46
John 3:3

 

 

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