See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way
in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
I recently read about the Monuments Men, a group of approximately 345 men and women from fourteen nations who, during World War II, took it upon themselves to save precious cultural works of art in danger of being destroyed by the war or stolen by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. These were museum directors, curators, architects, educators whose common goal was to locate and return said pieces.
One such member stood in front of a chateau listed as a protected monument. It had been set on fire and three of its walls knocked down. It was barely standing. It didn't seem worth fighting for. But Second Lieutenant Rorimer stood in front of that ravaged structure and refused to move even as a bulldozer approached to destroy the remaining structure. Although ordered to move by a commanding officer, he did not back down and succeeded in saving the building.
Sometimes we may be "ravaged by war", broken and ruined. There doesn't seem much left of us worth saving. Yet, Jesus, just like the Monument Man who stood in front of a bulldozer ready to demolish what was left of a precious monument, Jesus will defend us, fight for us, love us. He is not moved by how broken we are. In fact, He knows that our brokenness is a most powerful testimony to reach many. If we are perfect we cannot relate to those who are broken and ruined. We have no story to share, we have no testimony to tell. But our imperfections, our brokenness, speak louder than any perfection can and ironically, they bring healing and hope to a lost and dying world.
After spending a few years away from God during my late teens, I returned to Him. My heart had been broken too many times by my own foolish choices and decisions. I needed serious healing and encouragement. I couldn't and didn't even see myself as useful. I was broken and needed a very loving and understanding and merciful Heavenly Daddy to soothe and heal all the pain. God did not let me down. He comforted, He healed, He restored me. And when I surrendered myself completely to Him, He filled me with His Holy Spirit and began using me in ways that I would never have imagined. I became heavily involved in church life and found myself in the very loving care of a God who was and is bigger than any mistake I could have made, way bigger than any hurt I could have endured. In fact, God did what neither I nor any one else could have done - He made me into a precious vessel fit for His use. Imagine, a big, wonderful God using broken, bruised and used me! Only God!
That's what God does with our hurt and pain and brokenness when we give it to Him and trust Him to do something wonderful with it. He turns it into something beautiful, priceless, worth fighting for. It's what our God does. It's His specialty!
"Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord..." (Ephesians 14:13)
The Israelites had finally been released from the Egyptians and were on their way to receive the promise that God had for them. Unfortunately, on the way, they met not one but two problems. As they marched along they were met by a vast body of water, the Red Sea, which prevented them from getting to the other side. They couldn't turn around because they had just found out that their enemies the Egyptians had changed their minds and were now pursuing after them to recapture them. There was no way out! How many times on our way to receive what God has promised us we meet overbearing challenges. Fear steps in and threatens to cripple us. Like the Israelites we don't know which way to turn. We can't move forward towards the promise and we can't go back because then we would be moving away from what God has for us.
It is interesting that God never told the Israelites to turn around and fight their enemies. He had the power to help them fight and win the battle but that was not the solution. He wanted them to stand still while in front of them He was making a way of escape ... through the Red Sea. Sometimes we have to keep looking ahead to our victory instead of keep looking back and fighting the enemies of our past. God has already determined how He is going to deliver us. We may not be able to see it but if we just stand still, keep looking forward, trust Him and put our hope in Him we will make it victoriously through.
Additionally, sometimes the only one who needs to move is God NOT us. We always like to "do". The hardest thing is for us to stand still. We feel like we need to be doing something. That's what we've been taught - God helps those who help themselves. This is what we know. But what if sometimes all we have to do is pray, praise and trust. Prayer usually seems insufficient. We don't feel like we're doing anything. But what if prayer is the most powerful thing we can do? What if we pray using the power God has given us to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy? (Luke 10:19) What if the battle is won on our knees? It's a perspective we don't like to consider. Just like the Israelites facing the Red Sea in front while their enemies were behind they had a powerful weapon - God.
If it is God's desire to prosper and not harm you to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11), then your victory is sure. God already knows it but you need to know it. A challenge facing you in front and enemies right on your tail behind, you feel boxed in, surrounded, but those are the kinds of unfair situations that God shows up most powerfully in - when you are surrounded by adversity with no way out. It is then that God shows up and shows Himself BIG!!!
Imagine God has made a perpetual covenant of peace with you. " 'For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall my covenant of peace be removed,' says the Lord, who has mercy on you." (Isaiah 54:10)
This is a promise from God. "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:17). So Jesus did not come to condemn you but to save you. That's pretty powerful. We live in a day when sin is all around us, even sometimes consuming us. It's oppressive and feels like there's no way out, no hope. But Jesus came to offer us hope. Think about it: there's nothing you can do to cause God to hate you. Jesus came with a mission, even a mandate to save you, to give you a chance, NOT to judge, condemn and destroy you.
It seems like God is determined to establish His covenant of peace with you. He doesn't want to destroy you or harm you, even though that's what you deserve. His Word says that the wages of sin is death - that's what you deserve - but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23). Imagine, God wants to give you a gift when you deserve death. That's pretty contradictory but God isn't moved by your sin, He is moved by His love for you. He wants to be at peace with you. He says: "Come and let us reason together" (Isaiah 1:18). That sounds like He wants to sit down with you and work things out. It's like a relationship and in fact it is just that - a relationship. He desires relationship with you, He desires to be at peace with you NOT war. He desires for you to get along with Him. His whole aim is reconciliation, bringing you back to Himself. He is actually making the first step towards peace. He is actually humbling Himself and extending peace to you first even though you have done nothing to deserve it.
Yet, He calls it "a covenant of peace." He is not just desiring to be at peace with you, He wants to establish a covenant of peace with you. And He is a covenant-keeping God so you can rest assured that He will NEVER break His promise, He will ALWAYS keep His end of the bargain even when you don't. That's pretty big coming from a big God. But God just sometimes does things BIG!!!
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.