Monday, April 20, 2009

Words of Encouragement

The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground. – Joshua 3: 17

Walking over on dry ground. God is in the deep, part 1. The priests walked into the deepest end of the Jordan, right in the middle and stood firm. As they stood firm, the people walked completely across the Jordan on dry ground to the other side. Let us look at this for a moment, before all the people crossed over, the priest with the ark were already in the middle waiting for them to reach them. This is a reminder for us that before we even reach the deepest end of our situations, the darkest hour, or the most difficult place, God is already their waiting to see us safely through.

When you're in the deep end, God is there. And as the priest stood firm, you can stand firm in the depth of your situations. God will continue to be in our situations until we have made it to the other side. And you don't have to be even slightly touched by the waters. They walked on dry ground. We can walk on dry ground. We don't have to be heavy from the waters taking us over. Have you ever tried to walk in wet clothes? It takes a long time for them to get dry and they can be quite uncomfortable. We'll they didn't have to reach the other side and be held down by the load. They reached the other side, free. So can we. We can be free as we go through to the other side of our situations.

Remember that when the floods of this life would seem to be over taking you, you can still be "dry" and get to the other side, to the finish of the problem. I am praying for us this week that we hear the steps God has for us to find the victory he has for us. We must listen to him. That means we must come away from the distractions and come and here him alone. We must be willing to follow even those instructions we find strange. Then we must move to carry them out. We then have to move by faith and trust that God is already in the midst preparing our safe journey to our victory.

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Isaiah 43:2-3

Walking over on dry ground. God is in the deep, part 2. This week, I gave the steps for walking through on "dry ground". Today’s scripture reinforces that message. I love how God's word will say something over and over again. Why? God’s word will reinforce itself so that we get the message. This scripture is reminding us of whom we can trust in. It's a scripture of comfort. It let's us know that yes, we will have to go through some things, but God is in control. He is able to handle everything we face.

When we pass through the water, He's with us. So when the "floods" of life come, we can get through it, because He is with us. Have you ever seen a raging river? When the waters are flowing, people have been sweep away, because they underestimated the force of the water. Sometimes that's what happens to us in this life, we underestimate the force of the raging rivers in our lives. But even in those situations, God says he will keep us from getting sweep away. He's able to pick you up out of the raging rivers and place you on a safe, dry ground.

When life turns up the heat on you, you don't have to get burned! Why? God is in control. Not only can He keep you from getting burned, he can keep back the smell of the fire off you. Think about the Hebrew boys in the furnace. They were in the midst of the fire, but they were not burned, and they were not loss, why? Because God was in the midst. Not only did they come out of the furnace, but also the Lord kept the flame from kindling them (or scorching their clothes). So we can go through life’s "fires" but we can come out FREE. Why? God is in control.

I don't have to walk around with anger, hurts, or anything that holds me in bondage, because I can come out of those fires, without even the scent of every having been in it.

WHY? Because the Holy One, the Savior, the LORD, GOD is in control. Praise His Holy Name! When you go to worship this week, know that victory is ahead of you. No matter what your situation is, God is already in the midst of it, waiting for you so he can see you through. God praising him for what he is already doing in you and what he will continue to do.