“God Calling” reminds me today of the spiritual forces in the unseen and bids me to learn to trust, like Abraham, to the very last minute, or even to the very last second. There was time in my life when it didn’t occur to me to be offended or to get angry especially-over stupid stuff. “Fear” of not being covered by God never occurred to me either. I did know even when I didn’t see it that His hand was always over me. It just never occurred to me to doubt Him. Today’s message reminds me how easily we can lose our grasp on His truths and end up deceiving ourselves; and find that we’ve been operating in fear based on the little that we can see. Hmmm, so I may have to change my name to Simone…I fail Jesus so miserably and so often.
I was griping again last evening about my sleeping bag being stolen. I went to chapel and opened my Bible. “Coincidently”, I opened it right up to Luke 6:30 which says, “Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, don’t demand it back.” That was Jesus putting me in my place. Thank you, Lord. I’m not happy about the thievery and the non-challant attitudes about it, but I did need that attitude check from you.
I was telling someone about it this morning and my thoughts came back to Jesus’ eyes. I was suddenly reminded of a time when I would have given my right arm to have had a sleeping bag to cover myself with. It would have enabled me to escape. There was a time when even my shoes were taken from me so I couldn’t leave my house; and it was winter. For all I know, some poor little girl could have that sleeping bag; and it may have made it possible for her to escape God knows what. If that’s the case, I have to not only ask your forgiveness, Lord, but I need to thank you for making me a blessing to someone. God keep that one like you’ve kept me.
In times of persecution we need to remain faithful and strong to the end. Persecution can come in many forms. It disguises itself as abuse, deprivation; illness can be persecuting. Theft is persecution; we can be ostracized, outcast, and abandoned. All of these are Satan’s way of persecuting us. He uses these things and uses us to persecute one another through them. It’s very hard to trust God when you’re hurting, cold and hungry; and alone and beaten down.
Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his and Sarah’s only son, Isaac. Abraham obeyed even right up to the very last minute. The angel of the LORD stopped him before he slew his son, and God himself provided the ram, just as Abraham had trusted He would.
Today’s message makes me think about a couple of things. First, what am I willing to give up to God? Which of my “precious possessions” would I “sacrifice” for Him? -something like my sleeping bag? These precious things can be people that we need to walk away from. They can be habits, attitudes and beliefs that we need to lay down, let go of, and change by renewing our minds and hearts. Secondly, it’s easy to trust God when you can see “sources” of provision, protection, help, etc. Those really are just resources that God uses; channels through which He provides, protects, and helps us. He is the true source; the only source. God alone is sovereign and He alone chooses the very best paths for us. We choose the paths, but He directs our footsteps…so He ultimately still chooses the best way for us. Thank God He has us covered. I have to ask myself how far I am willing to go for God. -right up to the very end? Stephen did. He lost his life-in the natural; but as he lay dying, He said that he could see heaven open and Jesus standing there. Sometimes we think or act as if we’re dying over the tiniest of sacrifices, or we get a little uncomfortable and run, usually in the wrong direction. We grab hold of a life preserver someone throws us and start swimming for shore, and God’s a hundred yards behind us with a yacht.
Ultimately, the question I need to ask myself in those times is: Why would Jesus come all the way from Heaven, go through everything that He went through, even dying for me so that I could be saved-just to abandon me now? He would never do that!! He said He’ll never leave us or forsake us!
In all of this, I got another revelation about that old rugged cross too. Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” He was literally going through Hell!! He was nailed, hands and feet to that cross, and wouldn’t have been able to, in His human self, escape. I have to pray now…Lord, drive those nails deep through my hands and feet also because I don’t’ want to jump off that cross and mess up your will for me and your will in my life. Amen.