How many prayers have you prayed and experienced the mercy and grace of God delivering miracles, provision and protection? How often have you witnessed the mercy and grace of God moving in the lives of loved ones, friends and strangers? How many testimonies have you heard about how awesome and faithful God is? I'm sure there are many! Yet, we still fear the world, complain, accuse God of not being there for us and blame people and the world for whatever unpleasant circumstance we are in.
Why is it so easy for people to blame others and project fear onto one another and invite fear into our lives? Because we don't really and truly trust God. There is always a "but." "I trust God to take care of this and that, but....." "I have faith in Jesus Christ to answer my prayer, but....." How many times have you added a "but" after saying you have faith and trust in the Lord? How many times have you gone into fear, worry and anxiety over a situation knowing full well that God is the God of miracles? This means God's word is head knowledge and not a deep heartfelt BELIEF.
Human nature tends to favour fear rather than favour faith in God. This is largely due to not truly understanding and believing God's word, and/or due to the repetitive patterns of failure and pain many have experienced in their lives. Instead of adding a "but Michelle, you don't understand what I've been/am going through..." or, "but, Michelle, you don't get how hard it is. I do believe in God, but I...." drop the negative "but" and replace it with positive "but." For example, "I don't know how I'm going to deal with this situation, but God does, and He is helping me even though I might not see how." "I've been through a lot in my life and been hurt and betrayed, but God is not like people and will heal me and be faithful to His promises of healing, provision and protection."
Sincere trust and belief in God to do what He says and be faithful to His word is what fills us with His peace in the midst of chaos and not knowing what the future will bring. God knows the beginning from the end and knows exactly what is going to happen before it happens, thus He is prepared for everything that we experience way in advance. He is almighty and all-knowing - omniscient. Thus, it is important we stop, truly think about it and accept that we stand a better chance by trusting in the all-knowing Creator of the heavens and the earth than trusting our fear and severely limited human perception of life.
In the book of Exodus the Israelites witnessed God doing incredible things that no human is capable of, yet they complained and blamed Moses for their lack of food and water forgetting how God had parted the Red Sea and destroyed the enemy before their eyes when there was no way out of being killed by the Egyptians. Although they had witnessed many miracles performed by the Lord they fell into fear, blame and accusation and didn't for a moment give any thought to the FACT that God would provide for them! Instead, they took their fear and lack of trust in God out on Moses. Sounds a lot like the behaviour of people still to this day.
In this week's free Bible Study lesson, lesson 22, (listed number 23 on my website) we study this part of scripture and learn more about God's incredible mercy. Even though we don't deserve His mercy, He keeps on giving, however, we also learn that there comes a time when He stops. His boundaries are firm, and as patient as He is with us, there is an expiry date on His patience, mercy and grace. We saw this in the account of the flood - he waited 120 years for people to come to repentance before He destroyed the earth by water. This is just one example, there are loads more. In fact, we are currently in the end time season and He is calling people to return to Him. There comes a time when because of arrogance, ignorance, denial and rebelling against God, He draws a line in the sand and it's game over. When we're dead it's too late for salvation. Thus, the blessing of life is rich when we seize this opportunity to know Him and grow in Him NOW whilst we are still alive and able to, and benefiting from His mercy and grace by truly surrendering to His promises.
In the verses in the picture above we see the first thing Moses says to the Israelites is "DO NOT BE AFRAID!" The second thing is "STAND FIRM!." The third thing he says is "WE WILL SEE THE DELIVERANCE OF THE LORD!" He then says "THE LORD WILL FIGHT FOR YOU!" He finally ends his message with "ALL YOU NEED DO IS BE STILL." Wow! This is exactly what the Lord is telling us to do! Therefore, if we follow these steps we will have peace knowing that everything will be okay. Simple instruction most humans have an incredibly hard time applying.
Thus when we have turned to the Lord and prayed, we are to trust and believe in His almighty power, mercy, grace and faithfulness. How do we do this?
1) DO NOT BE AFRAID - Trust Him!
2) STAND FIRM - Believe He is doing what is best for you even if you can't see it now!
3) EXPECT TO SEE THE DELIVERANCE OF THE LORD - Don't expect God to show up on your terms. He is almighty, all-knowing and far more powerful and capable than any one of us could even begin to fathom! He will deliver according to His will! Be it delivering us from evil, or delivering the enemy into our hands in the form of victory over a situation by exposing lies and slander about us, for example. God takes everything that the enemy meant for evil and turns it around for good. Only God does this and knows how to do this.
4) BELIEVE THE LORD WILL FIGHT/IS FIGHTING FOR YOU - God WANTS to fight our battles for us. He WANTS us to be completely and utterly dependent on Him because He knows how to handle and deal with EVERY situation that we will EVER face!
5) BE STILL - No frantic, fear-full reactions, blaming others, and losing the plot. BE STILL. Let the Lord fill you with His peace because you are applying the first four steps and sincerely trusting and believing Him to bring the solution you need.
When you apply these steps you will naturally experience the Lord's peace filling you. You will naturally feel calm and confident that the situation will be resolved, or that you will be protected and provided for. The road isn't easy, but God ALWAYS goes ahead of us and prepares the way. Jesus made it clear that we would experience trials and tribulations in this world AND that He would be with us through it all and give us peace. We just need to lean on Him, and let Him do what He's best at. He's overcome and defeated the world/enemy already!
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 (NIV)
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