A Time to Flee

Matthew 10:23   (NLT)   When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, the Son of Man will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel.

There’s a time to stay, and there’s a time to flee. Protecting our lives, ensuring our safety isn’t wrong. It can be more fruitful, not just in self-protection or family-preservation, but even in fulfilling our mission.

Matthew 10.23 - A Time to FleeWe don’t need unnecessary or avoidable martyrdom—that’s a waste of life. Life is precious—even the physical and temporal. Although it’s far less valuable compared to our eternal spiritual existence, it is important nonetheless. That’s probably one of the reasons why self-preservation and survival is innate in each of us. That doesn’t change for us who have been born again—who have received and are assured of eternal life; we just have a much better and proper perspective of them.

Dear God and heavenly Father, Giver and Sustainer of life, we thank You so much for Your gift of life—both the temporal and the extremely more important eternal life. Please give us wisdom and discernment when a time comes for us to flee. But help us do so not in cowardice, but in obedience to your leading. Lead us to a mission-minded escape when it becomes necessary, and only when it’s necessary and more beneficial to our calling and mission. It’s not always easy to explain such action; there will always be those not open to reason. But we pray that if ever we flee, it’s because the persecution is real—not imagined. And as we go, lead us to better grounds where we can sow the seed of the Gospel, where it will have a greater yield and harvest—in Jesus’ Name, amen.

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Divine Full-Coverage Lifetime Protection

Psalm 27:1   (NLT)

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble?

Psalm 27.1 - Divine Full-Coverage ProtectionDarkness, devastation, destruction, devil, death—these are things that scare many of us. Scary people, objects, and situations come our way. They’re real. We don’t deny them, and we don’t have to; we just deny them control.

The Lord is our light amid darkness; He’s our salvation in perilous situations. He’s inside of us, by our side, before us, and behind us. He surrounds us with an impenetrable shield, and yes, with songs of deliverance. So, when enemies rise before us, we don’t worry; we don’t fear; we rise above them. Our God is God Most High.

The Lord is God. His power transcends any and every threat coming our way. He has never failed, and He will never ever do. He’s loving, righteous, holy, and just. He’s not a malicious or capricious God who occasionally desires to see His children beaten down by their enemies just for the fun of it. There’s no ill-will in Him—no spot of mischief.

Enemies may abound, the mountains and hills may crumble, but our God is on our side; His throne is established. He comes and saves. His presence is protection. There’s nothing the enemy can do to those living in God’s secret place—under the Almighty’s wings.

There are those who wish our downfall; that will remain a wish. We don’t delight in our enemies’ failure, but their devices against us often boomerang to them. We don’t cower; we don’t get intimidated; we don’t get paralyzed into inaction. We live joyfully and victoriously—with our shoulders humbly squared; our heads humbly held high; melody remains in our hearts; confidence is in our every step.

We have a divine, full-coverage, lifetime protection. We’re dauntless. Unto Him be all the glory; unto Him be all the praise.

The Blessedness of the Obedient

Leviticus 26:5   (NLT)   5 Your threshing season will overlap with the grape harvest, and your grape harvest will overlap with the season of planting grain. You will eat your fill and live securely in your own land.

A promise of blessing, of provision, is a very good thing to have, especially if the promise comes from God.  It’s interesting to note: this promise is preceded by a condition to follow God’s decrees and to carefully obey His commands. Clearly, God has blessings not Leviticus 26.5 - Blessedness of the Obedientavailable to all people at all times. It’s good to point out that everyone enjoys innumerable blessings from Him. Some are aware of the fact and acknowledges Him, some aren’t aware and don’t bother to know.

We all have needs and we all want our needs provided for. We may not fully know what kind of blessings and provisions He gives to all, and what kind He gives just to His obedient children, but obviously, His obedience matters and opens to way more blessings. There’s much peace in being sure our businesses bring good profit. It’s great to have blessings overlap, when we haven’t yet used up the past blessings, and a new batch of blessings come.

More important than the material examples are blessings not seen. God is the source of love, joy, peace, salvation, sustenance, strength, security, significance, protection, purpose, guidance, worth, victory… Obedience isn’t legalism, it isn’t a bad deal. The way I see it is: when God gives commands and instructions, it’s because He knows exactly which direction the best way is to go, and which path the best way is to take. He knows where the “straight and narrow” is. He knows if we walk that way or this way, that path is lined with blessings and favor. And when we choose to leave the path; we may think we’re pursuing a shortcut to more blessedness—faster, but reality is: we’re blinded by the immediate and temporal, which eventually leads to dissatisfaction and destruction.

There’s no question about it; God can orchestrate everything for us to be abundantly blessed. He’s the Source of all good and perfect gifts. He’s the One Who opens the floodgates of heaven and uncovers the springs of the earth. He directs our steps like a watercourse and positions people instrumental for His blessings to come to us surely—unhindered. So, His commands aren’t in any way to constrict us but to direct us so that we don’t miss out on the best He’s got for us.

We’re willing Lord. Thank You for Your love. Praise You Lord from Whom all blessings flow. Let them pour Lord; let them pour—in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Help Build Others’ Dreams

Genesis 41:44   (NLT) And Pharaoh said to him, “I am Pharaoh, but no one will lift a hand or foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.”

Pharaoh appointed Joseph as his 2nd in command. He gave Joseph what many may consider too much power to delegate to one person. He did it without any kind of insecurity about his position. He recognized the Lord’s work in the life of Joseph, that Genesis 41.44 - Helping Build Others' Dreamsbecause of God, Joseph was wise and intelligent. Sure enough, his confidence and trust in Joseph was justified. Joseph was diligent; he was loyal; he indeed saved the world from famine, and because of him, pharaoh was personally enriched.

We’re not afraid of promoting people who are deserving of certain positions. We’re not insecure or threatened when others succeed; promotion comes from the Lord. We want to help others succeed; we want to help them fulfill their dreams. We cannot be too careful that it paralyzes us and stunts our growth or the growth of our team. We lift others up, positioning them appropriately where they could function the most. This makes them most productive, growing and helping the team in the process.

God is a trustworthy God. He is in control of all things. Even when others really want to rise up against us after they’re put in a position, God protects us, preserves us, and sustains us. He knows how to take good care of us; He also knows how to effectively handle our enemies: “For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right” (Psalm 84:11). That’s settled.

As for us, we look for people whose dreams we can help fulfill. We recognize their skills, talents, abilities and God’s favor in their lives. We see those who the world is afraid of and insecure about—people who they try to stop from going higher. We don’t get threatened by them; that’s a reason why we grow—much faster and stronger. Our security, our position, our status— it’s the Lord we trust for those. We rest in confidence; we are secure. We help others; we lift them up; more people live their dreams; they grow; the team grows; and it’s a joy being a part of making it happen.

 

Happy People

Psalm 144:15   (KJV)   15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.

Joy characterizes the life of God’s people. There’s a lot of unhappiness going on around us. There’s a lot of unhappy situations people find themselves in. There’s a lot of people who cause pain and sadness. There’s a lot of ways to respond.

Psalm 144.15 - Happy PeopleWe as God’s people act and react to people and situations in our lives in godly ways. Yes, we experience tough times, but our joy is untouched. It’s our choice whether or not we’ll rejoice; and we choose to rejoice—always, no matter how bleak the circumstances and how nasty our surroundings are.

We can’t control what others do and we don’t want to control people either, but we have full control over our own actions and attitudes. We have a beautiful perspective about life. True, we’re treated unfairly and we suffer for being godly, but even that becomes a joy for us.

Danger makes people worried and scared; we have the Lord Who is our impenetrable shield. Wars and rumors of wars frighten others; but the Lord is our victory; He trains our hands and gives us the skills necessary to live victoriously. The mightiest of our attackers are but a mist before God.  He Who hurls lightning bolts from the heavens can scatter our most powerful foes very quickly.

So yes, we live in joy—it’s very reasonable for people like us whose God is the LORD.

Refuge

Joel 3:16   (KJV)   16 The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

The Day of the Lord will be an earth-shaking, heaven-altering event. To some it will be very dreadful. It will be a day of judgment and wars like no other. But to God’s people, there’s nothing to fear. As He always is, He will be His people’s hope, refuge, strength, and stronghold.

Joel 3.16 - RefugeWe live with no fear. We don’t fear any man, any situation, or anything. We only fear Him Who we love most and Who loves us most. Disasters are real—both man-caused and natural. They’re here and they will keep on increasing. This may not sound comforting. When face-to-face with such devastating events, it’s but natural to be shaken. But we know that our God can and will protect us. He can and will deliver us.

It’s not that we won’t share in the hardships. But the beauty of living as His children is that surroundings and situations don’t define us; they don’t dictate our joy or peace. How can wars, famines and plagues scare us when death itself no longer has dominion over us? Our Savior defeated death. Death to us is a transition—a doorway to the presence of our most Beloved—the greatest Being in existence, and to the most beautiful place there is.

We don’t look for trouble; we don’t pursue hardships; we don’t pray for disasters; if it’s at all possible, we’d rather not have any of them. But we don’t live in denial. We face reality and truth head on. And we do it humbly, gratefully, hopefully, peacefully, confidently, joyfully; knowing that the One in control of all things is our Dad Who only wills the best for us and orchestrates everything according to His will.

Spoiling the Enemies’ Counsel

2 Samuel 17:14   (KJV)   14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the Lord had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the Lord might bring evil upon Absalom.

The Lord can easily and literally spoil the wisdom and the plans of the enemy.  If He has to do that in protecting us, He will.  If only our enemies realize how powerful our God is and how much our heavenly Father loves us and cares for us, they will not dare 2 Samuel 17.14 - Spoiling the Enemy's Counselattacking us at all.  It’s their disbelief and/or misunderstanding of our God and us—His people—that makes them continue in a futile exercise of going against us.

We pray for them; we don’t wish them harm.  But they end up hurting themselves when they try to harm us.  They fall on their own trap.  Our God is our strong tower, our mighty fortress; no one and nothing can penetrate His defenses; no weapon formed against Him and against us will prosper. We stand secure under His protective arms.  I humbly admit, I don’t understand how God does everything.  But He can orchestrate everything to His expected end without violating anyone’s free will.  That’s why we fear God (yes, it’s not wrong to fear God; it’s in fact, very biblical.  And yes, we don’t need to always qualify it every time we state that truth), and we don’t fear people.

Simply, we rest in Him and the truth that through the complexities of all situations, all people, all opinions, all His Words, all His ways—we may not understand everything, but through it all, we are well taken care of.  And that’s enough for us.