The Life-Changing Power of God's Word

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Charles Spurgeon declared, "I would rather lay my soul asoak in half a dozen verses all day than rinse my hand in several chapters."

Though even a quick rinse in God’s Word will not return void, God gives us several motivating reasons to abide in His Word.

Why It's Always Best to Wait on the Lord?

I still remember the morning I woke up at 1:30am with a raging migraine. When I am facing a trial, be it a migraine or something else, I just want deliverance. Anything that potentially could delay that deliverance is something I want to avoid. As a result, at times the idea of waiting on the Lord feels contrary to my desire for deliverance because when I’m suffering, discouraged, frustrated, or hurt I just want it to all go away. The last thing I want to do is wait.

Though Satan would love for me to believe waiting on the Lord will cause me to be stuck in my situation longer than if I just took it upon myself to solve my problem on my own, I know these kind of thoughts only drive me to get ahead of God, take matters into my own hands, and inevitably create problems for myself that I otherwise would have never experienced had I simply rested in the promises of God and waited on the Him. God has proven Himself faithful to me time and again, each time confirming that waiting on Him will always be worth the wait, no matter how long I have to wait.

To be clear, waiting on the Lord does not mean doing nothing. It means to wait for and look to the Lord with eager expectation. It is being fully confident that the Lord will provide for our needs and deliver us.

Oswalt describes waiting on the Lord as, "A complete dependence on God and a willingness to allow Him to decide the terms."

When God told Abraham and Sarah that he would bless them with a child (Genesis 15:4), despite them being well passed the age of child bearing, they believed God would give them a child, but their problem was they failed to wait on the Lord. Instead, Sarah got ahead of God and insanely recommended Abraham impregnate her handmaid, Hagar, so to bear Abraham's promised heir. (Genesis 16:1-2) But this was not God's perfect will for them. God would still be faithful to give Abraham an heir through Sarah, as promised, because when we are faithless, He remains faithful. (2 Timothy 2:13)

While God would bless Abraham and Sarah with a son in their old age, Abraham and Sarah would still have to live with the consequences of not waiting on God. Sarah's relationship with her maidservant. Hagar would forever be strained. (Genesis 16:1-5) There would be hostility between Abraham's son Ishmael, born through Hagar, and Abraham and Sarah's promised son, Isaac (Genesis 16:11-12) But the conflict wouldn't end at these half-brothers. This hostility would extend between their lineages for generations to come.

The prophesied hostility still remains between the Jewish and the Arabic people even to this day, and all because Abraham and Sarah did not wait on the Lord.

 David Guzik notes, "Today’s battle between Jew and Arab is nothing new. Both Jews and Arabs are descended from Abram by two half-brothers: Ishmael and the son to come later from Abram and Sarai, to be named Isaac. The entire conflict can be traced back to Abram’s decision to “help God out” in the flesh, both when he agreed to inseminate Hagar, and when he went to Egypt to begin with. The effects of our sin may reach far beyond what we ever imagined."

While our consequences for not waiting on the Lord may not be as far reaching as Abraham and Sarah's, their story shows just how far the consequences can be when we take matters into our own hands, instead of waiting on God, as well as the fact that the consequences of our sin doesn’t always just touch us, but can potentially negatively impact the lives of others.

Our wait for the Lord will never be in vain. God will always reward our obedience when we wait on Him. Isaiah illustrates the blessings reserved for us when we are obedient to wait on the Lord, “But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”(Isaiah 40:31) These blessings are just the tip of the iceberg of blessings God has in store for us when we will trust Him enough to wait on Him for whatever our need might be. God bless you richly as you step out n faith and wait on God to provide exactly what you need. He will be faithful to provide.

Waiting on the Lord will be much easier when we remember the blessings of waiting on the Lord, and the consequences of getting ahead of Him. Spurgeon observes, “We shall not grow weary of waiting upon God if we remember how long and how graciously He once waited for us.”

I want to leave you with one of my favorite songs about waiting on God. It always encourages me, and I pray it encourages you as well. God bless you abundantly!

Question for you: What blessings have you discovered as a result of waiting on God? 

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Faith: It's a Game Changer!

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In pastor Chuck Smith’s book, Faith, he shares that his dad’s faith “was always bigger than his circumstances. On his dad’s desk was a framed two-word motto, “All things” Whenever disappointments came along, his dad would look at those two words and he’d remember the rest of the verse, and the promise God gave within it:
All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. “ (Roman’s 8:28) 

Pastor Chuck declares, “Faith means believing in God ‘s sovereignty. It means trusting He is on the throne, in command of all things, and working through every circumstance that comes our way. When we have that kind of faith, we have peace in the midst of trials. But when we forget God’s sovereignty, troubling circumstances cause us to despair. We survey the landscape with our eyes instead of with our faith.

How Fear Robs Us of God's Best

When Joshua and the other spies returned from spying the Promised Land God was giving them, Joshua and Caleb returned to the Israelite community with an encouraging, yet realistic report. (Numbers 13:26-30) The land was as wonderful as promised, but, it was currently inhabited.

However, the account from other eight spies to the Israelites was a discouraging and frightening report (Numbers 13:31-33), emphasizing that the inhabitants were much stronger and bigger than they were. 

Unfortunately, between the two reports, the people believed the frightening report and they now dreaded taking the land God promised them. They were so terrified they were planning to return to Egypt, where they had spent years as slaves in harsh bondage. (Numbers 14:1-4)

Joshua and Caleb tried to encourage the now fear-filled community. (Numbers 14:6-9) They reminded the people how exceedingly good the land was, how God was giving them that land, and how they’d swallow up their enemies because God was with them. This was totally contrary to the bad report the Israelites had heard from the other eight spies. Though they all were on the same reconnaissance mission, from the two reports you would have thought that these reports were from two, completely different territories. It’s amazing what a powerful influence our words have on people.

Truth was, despite what the eight discouraging spies reported, it wasn’t the inhabitants that were stronger than Israelites. Weren’t they physically bigger and stronger looking? Yes, but because God was with the Israelites, it was really the inhabitants of the land that should have been afraid of the Israelites. However, the bad report blinded the Israelites from recognizing this truth that Joshua and Caleb had been telling them.

Regardless of how big the inhabitants were, God’s people would not be the ones swallowed up, they’d be the ones swallowing up anyone who stood in their way of taking the land He promised. The Israelites had absolutely no reason to fear, and every reason to take the land with the utmost confidence. However, because of the bad report the eight spies had given the people, the Israelites minds remained overwhelmed with anxious thoughts and “What if….?” scenarios.

Only one thing was holding the Israelite community from receiving all that God wanted to give them—and it wasn’t the inhabitants of the land. 

As long as the people believed taking the land would be a dreadful experience, not trusting in the promise, power, and provision of God, their fears would continue to hold them back from entering into all that God wanted to give them. Likewise, our fears keep us from taking the ground God has for us.

When the Lord is with us—empowering us to boldly receive that which He wants to bless us with, any reservations on our part will always be totally unwarranted. However, as long as we see our obstacles as something we must overcome in our limited abilities, we will miss out on all that God wants to give us. 

Whatever obstacles we may be facing today, we can place our full confidence in the Lord to equip and empower us to overtake any obstacle that is standing in our way from embracing God’s perfect will for our life. As we resolve to walk by faith, there’s no telling the incredible blessings God has in store for us!

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God Will Give You Justice!

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Though many Bible promises are for those who put their hope and faith in Jesus Christ, Psalm 103 switches gears at verse six and gives a Bible promise for everyone across the board--regardless of a person's acceptance or rejection of Christ. David declares this fabulous verse saying:

The Lord executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. (Psalm 103:6) 

This verse really shows God's great love for people. I mean for Him to execute righteousness and justice for every person who is oppressed:
  • whether they believe in Him or not
  • whether they acknowledge this truth or not
  • whether anyone thanks Him or this or not
  • whether anyone credits Him for the justice they've been blessed with, or not, is evidence of His amazing love for every one of us!