The Humble Heard

Psalm 10:17   (KJV)   17 Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:

The humble has their Champion. They’re not alone; God’s aware of whatever they’re going through. Others dread the thought of humility because of the potential of being abused and treated like rugs. But believers are called to this—not rugs but humility, and for us, it psalm-10-17-the-humble-heardisn’t a struggle at all. When this path of humility becomes difficult, our heavenly Father comes running with His arms extended, to embrace us into His comfort.

The temptations to fight back abound; there are so many situations when others could care less if they hurt us or not. They neither have any fear of God nor any regard for us. To them, we’re tools and pawns. Humility is definitely far from their thoughts and consideration. They take the opposite route. Some of them take it to a really dangerous extent. They raise their hearts and hands against the Lord; they affirm, support, and promote evil, serving only their interests, never others.

Our trust is in the Lord. His silence never means cowardice or defeat. The cries of our hearts are heard loudly in the heavens. They go straight into His ears, straight into His heart. God is never clueless about or apathetic to our plight. He pays full attention. Our time of waiting is His time of masterfully orchestrating our strengthening and growth, a time of setting up every “prop”—situation or person—in place, ready for the revelation of our exaltation to greatness. So yes, humility isn’t helplessness; it isn’t a demerit; it’s a great advantage.

Hindsight

Genesis 45:5   (KJV)   Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

In the common scheme of things, there were reasons to grieve and to be angry with themselves; they sold their very own young half-brother Joseph just because of their envy, jealousy, and hatred. They caused much deep and prolonged heartache to their father. genesis-45-5-hindsightNow, that brother is in a position of power to exact vengeance. Joseph literally could have ordered to have all their heads separated from their bodies. Praise God, Joseph, saw from the perspective of the supernatural.

There are many questions in life we won’t know the answers for until many years after, when events have flowed and ran its course—hindsight, that is. We may not know why some people are extra-especially drawn to us, and why to some, we’re their bête noire—people they dislike. We may not know why those who are supposed to love us hurt us, betray us, sell us out. We may not know why people are banished from our presence, why we get into accidents no matter how careful we are, why tragedy happens even to the best of us, and why seemingly good things happen to the worst of us.

But we do appreciate divine surprises; they always outdo our expectations. We see how God turns the worst of situations into the most wonderful of experiences. We’ve heard it repeatedly: God turns our tests into testimonies, our trials into triumphs, and the victim into victors. His divine maneuverings are definitely what makes for adventurous existence. His wisdom is indeed much greater than our wisdom, His thoughts much higher than our thoughts, His ways much better than our ways. We don’t always figure out the reasons for the inexplicable twists and turns that are very challenging to face, accept, and navigate. But we trust Him. He Who has given us life—both temporal and eternal loves us; He preserves us, directs us, and leads us to life’s greatest adventures. We’re not sad; we’re overjoyed; we’re not angry; we’re ecstatic.

Living in Wisdom

Genesis 41:39   (KJV)   39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:

Pharaoh, someone who neither knew nor worshiped Joseph’s God recognized His reality because of the wisdom he saw in Joseph. In fact, He perceived the presence of God’s Spirit in Joseph. Pharaoh figured, a kind of man like Joseph especially endowed with what’s genesis-41-39-living-in-wisdombeyond the natural, definitely has something especial in Him. Pharaoh clearly saw the value of what Joseph possessed that he gave this person who was fresh from prison the 2nd highest rank in the Egyptian kingdom.

Discreetness, intelligence, and wisdom come from God, and He gives them to us very generously. He doesn’t run out of ways in getting them to us. He can do it naturally, and if needed, He can do it supernaturally. Interpreting dreams; the gifts of the Holy Spirit such as word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discernment of spirits, prophecy, interpretation of unknown tongues—all these are directly dropped down to us from Him, with no contribution from our naturally accumulated information.

It’s not that diligence in studying isn’t important; we also grow in knowledge in wisdom through natural process of studying and learning. God’s hands aren’t tied as to what method He uses. We have considerable responsibility in growing His gifts to us. We do our best to be intelligent and wise. But there are numerous situations when God has to directly and supernaturally intervene, otherwise, we won’t have an iota of clue as to what to do. Praise God, He’s still very much involved in our affairs. And that’s totally great. We need Him completely. Whether the wisdom we employ comes from our natural learning or supernatural outpouring, it’s God’s favor that makes them count and multiplies their results.

Intentional “Defeat”

Luke 13:33   (KJV)   33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem

Our Lord Jesus is intentional and purposeful in everything He does. He knew why He came. He came to seek and to save the lost, to give His life as a ransom for us. He kept going from place to place, preaching the Good News, healing the sick, delivering the oppressed. His luke-13-33-intentional-defeatplans are perfect. Even His death came at a perfect time, at a perfect place—Jerusalem. He’s never out of control. What was seemingly a very pitiful experience turned out to be surprisingly powerful.

God knows us; He knows our frame: our strength, our weaknesses; He knows our needs. He adjusts according to what’s necessary. In His plans, in God’s Kingdom, we never underestimate what may appear very small, and weak. Our patriarch Jacob, in wrestling with an interestingly “random” being who appeared out of nowhere got the blessing he demanded: “And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed” (Genesis 32:28).

Many believe the Jacob encounter to be one of our Lord Jesus’ theophanies. God had a purpose; He made the necessary “accommodations” so as to allow Jacob to win. There, the “deceiver, heel-grabber, or supplanter” was turned to one “who prevails with God,” or “God fights,” or “God prevails.” There was something way much bigger than the “small” man Jacob. And the man Jacob wrestled with and beat; don’t be deceived, a simple touch on Jacob’s hips wrenched it out of its socket. Jacob knew this: “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved (Genesis 32:30).

That’s how it is in the Kingdom, it’s not always as it appears. Jesus likened it to a mustard seed that becomes a huge tree; a yeast that permeates every part of the dough; a seed that continues to grow even while the farmer sleeps. Jesus resolutely faithfully ministered, and resolutely walked towards His destiny, a seeming defeat that we now know was a public display of His triumph over His enemies.

Nothing to Fear

Luke 12:32   (KJV)   32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Our precious Lord Jesus commands His flock—His children, not to fear anyone but God. One of the most important assurances He gives us is our heavenly Dad’s desire to give us His kingdom—whatever that may exactly mean. But that says a lot. Simply though, He’s luke-12-32-nothing-to-fearsaying we don’t have to fear anything because there’s no reason to. The cause may be material; it may be ideological; it may be social; His assurance is, He’s got us completely and safely covered.

Sure, there are things we don’t know about. We’re not sure how all details of our lives are going to play out, but God definitely guides us in areas where the choice is non-negotiable. There are expert schemers, and deceivers; some people in power may take advantage of us, but God is our vindicator; He’s in control of everything. Some people may succeed in hiding their insidious intents, but God has a way of eventually having their pernicious secrets whispered only behind the closed doors of their hearts to be shouted from the mountaintops for all to hear.

Some of us are threatened with death, but even the worst murderer can only touch our bodies; our God can do worse, and even throw the wicked to hell. Some of us may be threatened with lack, but we’ve never seen the righteous forsaken nor their seed begging for bread. He loves us so much that He makes the resources—even the power and authority of His Kingdom, available to us. We will be persecuted; we suffer the rise and fall of earthly kingdoms, but through it all, we worry not; we fear not; we live in the eternal, inexhaustible sphere. That’s where we wisely invest our treasures in; there’s where our hearts truly are. Our Dad is pleased for now to give us a foretaste of its reality; and even just this glimpse, its power and riches already blow our minds. We can only wonder about its wonders when it comes in the fullness of its power and glory.

Life of Light

Luke 11:36   (KJV)   36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

A life described to be full of light sounds very beautiful. The good news is: this isn’t just a pipe dream; this can be true. Our entire being can be totally bright. Our bodies can be offered as pure living sacrifice to God; we can make a covenant with our eyes never to look luke-11-36-life-of-lightat anything with lust; we can renew our minds so that our beliefs are correct and our thoughts are completely surrendered to the authority of God’s Word. We’re not part darkness part light; we’re children of light—through and through.

Life surrounded and saturated with light is incomparable. It’s very easy to associate it with wonder and peace. In the middle of a very dark world, we’re under a direct heavenly beam, shining down on us, affecting our entire being. There’s no space for or trace of hypocrisy in our conduct. We live in the light; we don’t engage in works of darkness; we don’t have to hide anything; we don’t have sinful and shameful hidden secrets weighing us down. This may sound very lofty, and yes it does when bragging about self. But we glory in Jesus alone. He’s the One making all these things possible.

Lord, we understand that left to ourselves, we’ll continue to find ourselves as victims of our own weaknesses, imperfections, and sinfulness. You’re the Light of the World illuminating our own world. We lay ourselves restfully under a flowing heavenly fountain of light continually falling on us. Our world’s bright—in and out—because of You. You drive away darkness from us. Now, we project this light brilliantly; our desire is to get the world to clearly see the good in and about us, and by doing so, lead their sight and focus to Your glory—the Father of lights in Whom there’s no variableness neither shadow of turning.

Lambs Among Wolves

 Luke 10:3   (KJV)   3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

We are to go share and spread the Good News of salvation to the lost, and to make disciples of all those who believe. Each has a calling; each has a race to run; each has responsibility. But we all are sent to the same hostile world. We are sent out as lambs luke-10-3-lambs-among-wolvesamong wolves. There’s no mandate to change our nature; we’re not called to be like wolves. Our difference will be obvious; it’s natural for wolves to try to hunt, attack, and devour us, but we are to stay our course.

Hostility is real; persecution is real, but God’s presence is more real. He promises to deliver us all the time. He may deliver us from them; He may deliver us through them, but He will deliver us. Others may question this. Martyrs abound. Where is God’s deliverance in this? These are legitimate questions, especially when asked from a perspective void of the eternal. Praise God for His light that shines in our understanding. We see better; we see clearer; we see more.

We’re aware of the supernatural and the eternal. This helps navigate through the world of the wolves better. We reach out to them without becoming like them. Many times they mistreat us. I remember a Middle Eastern sister in the Lord who was asked by some fanatical religious zealots to vacate their house at 12 midnight that same day, or they will be killed. They left everything they worked so hard for. That in itself was difficult, but even their journey of leaving their home became a dangerous escape attempt. They had to take unfamiliar paths because death also waited along the main thoroughfares. She shook as she shared the experience.

Some of us aren’t spared. That doesn’t spell failure on the part of God. He never fails. Death for us in the grand scheme of things isn’t tragic; it isn’t the end; it’s a passageway ushering us into an indescribable, incomparable, most blissful experience ever—right in the presence of our Father—He Who loves us most, He who we love most. That’s why although we fully appreciate God’s earthly blessings; we’re not attached to them; we understand that our real citizenship is dual: temporal and eternal, and our eternal home far outweighs what we now have.

So we go—lambs among wolves, lovingly, carefully, fearlessly, faithfully, empowered by God, changing this world, while longingly waiting for the next.