Tuesday, April 29, 2014

God's Word gives courage...

 I have been writing a series of posts on the importance of studying God's Word....showing you, through the lens of my life, how His Word provides you with all you need to walk through the circumstances swirling around you. This is #4 in the series....

As I continued to study, I also found COURAGE in God’s word. 

In Exodus 14:14 it says “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” 

The Israelites had just left Egypt.  Pharaoh had released them after his first born son was killed in the plague but had now changed his mind.  And Israel found themselves backed up to the red sea with this army bearing down on them and they were crying out to Moses. We all know how this story ends..with God miraculously parting the red sea for Israel to walk through.  And as God challenged me to step out with Him, these words gave me COURAGE…the Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still!!!   I don’t have to fight the battles around me. HE will fight for me, I just need to stay close to Him, trust Him and do what He asks me to do. 

Psalm 37:5-6 says “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.”

and in the same psalm verses 23-24

“The Lord makes firm the steps of those who delight in him; though they stumble, they will not fall for the Lord upholds them with his hand.” 

Psalm 31:23-24  “Love the Lord, all his faithful people! The Lord preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full.  Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”

Honestly, I could go on and on with verses like this.  When you begin to really believe that God will do what He says He will do, you have all the courage you need to step out with Him, no matter how uncomfortable the situation may be.

You remember that when Peter got out of the boat, he had to let go of the boat to hang on to the words of Jesus calling him out.  He began to sink when he let go of Jesus’ words and grabbed ahold of his fear.  When our circumstances are scary, don’t let go of God’s Word.  Hang on tight to it and He will continue to give you the courage and confidence to stay a float.

Around that time, my husband and I started fasting….focusing our selves on God and what he had for us. Through my prayer time, I felt like God was telling me to Trust Him…..completely.  To focus on the day, not the future, and serve Him 100% where ever I was, to let go of my future and leave it in His hands.  But that was so hard…..to love and serve people, some that were causing me and my husband pain….I couldn’t do it on my own.

 Henry Blackaby says “You cannot forgive others or go the extra mile with others or sacrifice for others unless you have first been filled with the boundless love of God.” 

I couldn’t do it on my own, so I dug deeper in my time with Him.  And what I found was how much He CARES for me. 

That summer my bible study decided to meet, which we never do in the summer, and read/discuss a book called “a shepherd looks at Psalm23”.  It is written by a man who was a shepherd in Africa and he explains the picture David was painting from a shepherds viewpoint.  Most of the time we look at Psalm 23 as something that is read at funerals, but it is such a beautiful picture of God’s love for us.  And as I read it, and underlined just about every sentence, I felt God’s loving arms surround me and him whispering to me how much he loved me, how much he CARED for me and to trust Him.  I thought I WAS trusting Him.... and really, I was trusting him more than I ever had in my life….but not completely

Oswald Chambers says in My Utmost For His Highest...that you are not completely surrendered to God until you refuse yourself the luxury of asking any questions.  I was still asking questions and trying to make things happen on my own.

When addressing the verse “He leads me beside still waters” the book talks about how sheep, though thriving in dry arid country, still require clean, parasite free water. It is the shepherd who knows where the best drinking places are.  It is the shepherd that searches out, finds and digs out a well by hand, most times in deep caverns for his sheep.  Then he leads the sheep to the water he has ALREADY made available.  But the sheep tend to get skittish in those dark caverns, so the shepherd will at those times, bail the water and bring it to the sheep.   It goes on to talk about how many of the places we may be led into will appear to us to be dark, deep and disagreeable caverns. But really it is where the best water is and the shepherd is there with us.  He is very much at work in the situation.  It is His energy, effort and strength expended on my behalf that even in a deep, dark place produces a benefit for me.  This book and scripture provided me with a beautiful picture of the care God has given…before my circumstance started, while I am in it and would continue until it was complete…..He cares for me.

In what I considered a dark place in my life, I found that God provided me with clean, clear water in His Word to satisfy me, refresh me and give me the ability to continue to serve Him 100% where I was each day.

But God was not done with me. 
There were things in my life I needed to deal with that He would show me through His Word....

1 comment:

Rebecca Jo said...

Courage... goes back to how much God & Jesus said, "Do not fear"... :)