2 Cor 5:7-For we walk by Faith and not by sight.

I get a daily devotion from the father, and his friend, of a close friend at work.  Al Green and John Kesting.  Al and John put together a great devotion and, often, the devotion speaks directly to our daily life.  With permission, I am posting their devotion from last Thursday.

How often, throughout life, do we believe only that which we can see and touch?  How often, do we eschew anything that speaks of blind faith?  The world tells us that there is no God, that He does not touch our lives, or that He cannot impact the physical.  However, the bible tells us, AND I will tell you that the world is telling you a lie.  It wants to steal your joy, your peace, your deliverance.

My dear sweet wife suffered for years with an “incurable” paralysis of her stomach. She was on a liquid diet for years.  The doctors told us that her disease was incurable and that we should make plans for a feeding tube.  During our darkest times, as we prepared for her death, Satan would whisper “God doesn’t care” or “God can’t heal”.  It was easy to be distracted and to listen to the voices, to surrender to despair.  However, God is light and He doesn’t give up on us.  In Deuteronomy, we are told that God “will never leave us or forsake us”.  He doesn’t.  By God’s hand, and in answer to prayer, He healed Victoria’s stomach and delivered her from a very slow painful death at the hands of gastroparesis.  Don’t sell yourself, or God short.  Trust in Him and walk forward.

Al and John, Thank you.

Scott

 

Saints

‘For we walk by Faith and not by sight.’ 2 cor 5:7

I am painting at my son’s house. He is on the road with his job and is never at home, so my daughter-in-law and my wife have decided , since I am old and retired and have nothing to do, that I could work around her house, getting odd jobs accomplished. I started painting an iron porch railing a week or so ago (a job that would take a professional a 1/2 day is taking me a week). I scraped off old paint off the rail, and sanded with a wire brush. It turned out so nice that I decided to put on a coat, then 2 coats, of primer ( yea, I know, I didn’t need to do all that). So all that took place all this week. But today, I promised, I would finish the job, and actually paint the thing like I should have done a week ago.

But,alas, rain was predicted, but I went ahead anyway. I was about 1/2 done painting with the finish coat, and lo, here comes the sprinkles!! I said ‘Lord, I need about another 1 hr of dry weather to finish this job( latex paint needs about 10 minutes to dry enough as to not run off when wetted). Can you accommodate?’ He said, in my spirit, I did not hear an audible voice, ‘sure, you got it’. So I took Him ( actually his Spirit witnessing to my spirit), at His word, for He HAS NEVER LET ME DOWN BEFORE, and proceeded to continue to finish the job, ignoring what looked like certain rain any minute. And just as I started to paint again, again more sprinkles, this time a little harder. I said, ‘whoa Lord! The winds is picking up from the south west, it sure looks like rain any minute. I better quit’. He said, ‘walk by faith, not by sight’. I said, ‘your the Boss’. So I pressed on. About that time the sun literally came out for a moment and a fine dry wind picked up, drying to touch the paint I had applied. I finished applying, and every thing worked out just fine. I even had time to hit a few touch up places, clean my brush, and put up all my tools . In fact, it still hasn’t started raining yet.

Thank You Lord!

‘Now, really’, one might say, ‘Do you mean to tell me the the Lord of the universe, with all He has to do, took time out and held up the rain just for you?’

Sure, He love me. And He will do the same for you too. In big things, like sickness, depression, fear, apathy – he doesn’t want His children dealing with those things- or small things, He wants us in Faith, believing His promises, of love, joy, peace, strength, power, and blessing – and all for His glory. Just like Jesus told Catherine Marshall, as He appeared to her in answer to her prayer for a cure for her TB, ‘Relax, there is nothing here I cant handle’.

Now, one might also say ‘how does Him holding off the rain just for you glorify Himself?’ Well, I am able to tell you about it, aka witness – aren’t I ? Look what our Lord has done for me, when I stepped out in Faith. And He will do it for you as well. He loves you just like He loves me. He will honor your faith just the same. Praise to you gracious Lord, for you will never leave nor forsake us. AND ALL WHO TRUST IN YOU SHALL NEVER BE DISAPPOINTED. AMEN!

Yours In Jesus. His Father – Our Father- is a Gooooooooooooood God!

John and Al

PS. Great Daily! Beware of the Amalekites – (http://www.blackaby.net/ Search April 22nd) ‘The Amalekites continually sought to hinder the progress of God’s people and to rob them of God’s blessing’, aka, just like those things that deter us from believing God’s promises and acting in faith on them. They will always try to dissuade you away from faith to thinking and acting ‘practically’!

Psalm 34

1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.2 My life makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble and afflicted hear and be glad.3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.4 I sought (inquired of) the Lord and required Him [of necessity and on the authority of His Word], and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.5 They looked to Him and were radiant; their faces shall never blush for shame or be confused.6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.7 The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe] and each of them He delivers. 8 O taste ( jwk – for yourself…) and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him. 9 O fear the Lord, you His saints [revere and worship Him]! For there is no want to those who truly revere and worship Him with godly fear.

Fear at the unknown

Fear. Terror. Failure. Pain. Vulnerability.  These words, these emotions, resonate within us and around us whenever we start to try something new.  We see it when we start new jobs, move to new towns, start going to new churches, move into new social circles.  Sometimes the fear is palatable.  Sometimes, it is barely there.  This happens to every one of us.  Every single one of us.  No one, ever, has been immune.  Every way, and in each situation, the root is always the same.  The root is doubt and it is as true today as it was thousands of years ago.

Have you ever wondered at the audacity of the ancient Israelites to reject God’s goodness as He urged them into the Promised Land and their absolute terror at what they found?  As a reminder, they had just seen God had perform all sorts of miracles, feed them in the desert from Heaven, deliver them from bondage in Egypt, part the Red Sea, and descend upon Mount Sinai.  They saw wonders imaginable.  Yet, they still shied away from following God.

Let’s set the stage here…the Israelites had just left Egypt in the most spectacular fashion possible. God had delivered them from bondage and the Egyptians had essentially thrown wealth at them when they left.  The Israelites, after a few false starts and bumps (some bumps where kind of big), arrived at the Promised Land.  God told them to send 10 spies in to check the place out.  He had told them that it was theirs and that He would be giving it to them to prosper them.  So, they sent the spies in and when the spies came back, they were carrying grapes so huge they had to sling them on poles carried between 2 men.   The initial report was very promising.  They said the place overflowed with milk and honey.  It was paradise.  Then they dropped the bad news. It was infested with giants.  In their words, “…The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people there are of great size…we seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes and we looked the same to them.” [Numbers 13:32,33]

Numbers tells us that 8 of the spies spread such a bad report that the Israelites were afraid and refused to enter into paradise.  They were so afraid that they didn’t want to enter the Promised Land and God had to send the people into the desert for 40 years so that they would learn to lean on Him.

Every person, but 2, died in the desert without entering the Promised Land because they gave in to their fear and doubted God’s goodness and holiness.

So, what separated the 2 from the rest?  Numbers tells us that Joshua and Caleb stood strong in the Lord and defended His cause.  They TRUSTED God.  Let me re-ask my question.  What happened to these 2 men to make them trust God when their fellows couldn’t?

I think the answer lies in Exodus 33:7-11.  Moses had an aid; Joshua, son of Nun.  Joshua would accompany Moses to the Tent of Meeting, where God would descend into the tent and converse with Moses “as a man speaks with a friend”.  This passage also tells us that Joshua was with Moses during these meetings while the rest of the Israelites stood at the entrance of their tents and worshipped God from afar.

Moses didn’t enter the Promised Land because he failed to uphold Gods holiness before the people.  However, the people didn’t enter the Promised Land because they didn’t trust God.  Except…Joshua.  He entered the Promised Land BECAUSE he trusted God.  I propose that he trusted God because he had firsthand experience with Him. As an aid, he would have talked with Moses and God. He would have observed, and learned, and learned to trust God.  He would have had a personal relationship with God.

So, how do you combat fear?  How do you combat doubt?  With trust. With a relationship with God, with Jesus.  Jesus says that He is the way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no one comes to the Father but through Him.  Jesus is also the Light of the world.  He drives out the darkness of doubt and fear before Him.  Why? Because He loves us.  He wants a personal relationship with each of us.  It is in that personal relationship where we discover that God and Jesus can be trusted and that fear and doubt have no hold over us.

Is there still fear?  YES.  Is God there? YES. Will our doubts and fears win?  If you trust in Jesus, then NO!  He was victorious on the cross and is victorious today.  All you have to do is trust Him.  Will you be like Joshua or the rest of the Israelites?