“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all” – Isaiah 7:9
External actions come from internal decisions and faith is the invisible motivator inwardly that brings about visible actions outwardly.
Our ability to remain constant and committed to a course of action depends not on our willpower or physical strength, it is the natural byproduct of having ‘SEEN’ something by faith that we just can’t let go.
When you have truly perceived something by faith, you end up standing firm not to prove a point or win an argument, but because it’s the only logical response. Others may be surprised or wonder at the level of confidence but to the person of authentic faith, there is literally no other choice!
Joel 3:16 – Yahweh will roar from Zion, and thunder from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth will shake; but Yahweh will be a refuge to his people, and a stronghold to the children of Israel.
There are days coming on this earth before the return of Christ that will be tumultuous and difficult. This verse gives us great encouragement in the midst of this.
The Lord will roar and thunder from Jerusalem – his power and vengeance will be displayed on the earth. As well as this, the heavens and earth themselves will shake. There will be signs in the heavens and upon the earth – famine, pestilence, wars, bloodshed.
YET – in the midst of it God will be a refuge to His people. Just as the nation of Israel was divinely protected during the days of Moses and the plagues on Israel – we also will find divine protection as we shelter in Him and remain faithful to that which He has called us to.
Psalms 84:7 – They go from strength to strength. Everyone of them appears before God in Zion.
In this Psalm, we read of how those who set their heart on pilgrimage have to go through times of pain and suffering, but how they will eventually appear before God in Zion!
The promise is that they will go from strength to strength. They WILL leave the valley of weeping, and continue to press on.
Everyone of them appears before God in Zion. All of those who ‘dwell’ or ‘belong’ in the house of the Lord, who have ‘set their hearts on pilgrimage’ will appear before the Lord in Zion. What a promise!
How much of our crossing the finish line is in the realm of God’s sovereignty and how much is in the realm of our responsibility can be argued ad infinitum. Yet we won’t reach the destination if we give up in the race – nor will we cross the finish line without a huge awareness that God got us there!
Pick yourself up today and keep on the path – you’re going to make it!
Psalms 31:20 – In the shelter of your presence you will hide them from the plotting of man. You will keep them secretly in a dwelling away from the strife of tongues.
There are times in life when we will certainly face opposition from people. If we have resolved to live a life that pleases God, it’s something we can bank on!
Yet in the midst of this, God makes a great promise to us – that in the shelter of his presence he will hide us from two things – the plotting of man, and the strife of tongues.
The presence of God is our refuge. When we make the decision in crisis to run first to Him, he brings the plotting of others to nothing and hides us from the curses and words that are spoken in these kinds of situations.
Jesus told us – when you pray, go into your room and close the door (Matthew 6). It’s here that we’ll discover the secret of His presence, and find the strength to continue our battle on!
Genesis 14:19 – He blessed him, and said, "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth:
Abram was a possessor of both heaven and earth. The Lord had promised Abram the earth – the land of Canaan. But Melchizedek goes further and declares that he is also the possessor of heaven.
The one who walks in the spirit of Abram – the one who walks by faith – will possess both the heavens and the earth. The children of God are heirs of all that belongs to God (Romans 8:17).
That which is unseen is greater than that which is seen! The riches of heaven are greater than all the riches of earth. They are everlasting and do not rust or fade!
When we put our faith in God, we get ‘grafted in’ to the promises that God gave Abram. This means that we are BLESSED, and not only blessed but POSSESSORS of both heaven and earth!
Luke 12:35 – Let your loins be girded about, and your lamps burning.
No one knows when our King will return, but there are numerous times that He calls us to ‘stay awake’ and ‘be ready’!
This verse shows us how we are to stay awake – with our ‘loins girded’ and our ‘lamps burning’.
In Exodus 12:11, the Passover meal was required to be eaten with ‘loins girded’ – ready for travel, ready for battle. They knew that they were going to be leaving Egypt that night, and so although they ate and drank, they were doing so prepared to leave at any second.
We are also to keep our lamps burning. The lamp speaks of revelation – and was kept burning continually. They would not just burn by themselves, but required daily tending.
The world we live in encourages us to go off to sleep! To eat, drink, rest up and take it easy. But we must fight to stay awake – for there is a great blessing promised to the servant who is ready and waiting for His master when He comes!
Psalms 61:2 – From the end of the earth, I will call to you, when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
In Deuteronomy 28:64, the Lord warned Israel that if they persisted in evil, that they would be ‘scattered among all peoples, from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth’.
In our lives, when we turn away from God’s ways and persist in evil, we can find ourselves very distant from God. Yet in that place, ‘from the end of the earth’ – when we call out again to God, He will lead us back to Him.
But this verse is also prophetic – of the nation of Israel. David is saying ‘In the day when our hearts are overwhelmed, and we have been scattered to the end of the earth – we will call to you’. From the place of our judgment, we will not harden our hearts against you God, rather, we will call out to you.
No matter how far away from God you may feel, coming back to Him is simply a matter of getting humble and calling on His Name once again. Don’t delay – do it today!