Divine Guidance

Matthew 2:22   (KJV)   22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:

There are fearful things going on around us—things, events, situations affecting us. It’s natural to feel afraid; emotions are God-given—that’s a part of our make-up—His design. Matthew 2.22 - Divine GuidanceTo think evil of our emotions is to fault God for His creation. One of the great things about being His child is receiving His clear guidance—especially in life-threatening situations. Another good thing about being His child is we’re serious about His leading. He leads; we follow; it all works well.

The presence of problems is undeniable. They’re a part of life—even to the saintliest of saints. Some aren’t that bad; some are life-altering; some are life-threatening. Some of them are consequences of our own actions; some of them come from indirect or direct actions of others. Some of us have powerful enemies. We don’t wrong them; they just don’t like who we are and what we stand for.

God in His wisdom knows we can’t survive without Him. And we’re grateful for the non-stop availability of our Great Shepherd, great God, and Heavenly Father. He graciously and longingly invites us into His presence where we find grace, mercy, help in times of our need. He speaks to people, works in and through people to bring us our much needed protection. We have a purpose; we have a destiny; the enemy knows that too. He will use others to destroy us, but our God protects and preserves us. It’s His delight seeing us through all hindrances, trials and challenges. He grows us, deepens us, and strengthens us through them. It’s His delight seeing us live in victory and miracle. We’re blessed.

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Even to Death

Mark 10:33-34  (KJV)   33 Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: 34 And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.

Death isn’t enough reason to abandon some missions. Jesus was faithful; He knew the horrors He was to experience  in Jerusalem, but He was undeterred. He could have easily chosen not to go; He would have tried His best to avoid any route that would have even the slightest possibility of having Him end up there. But instead of telling His disciples to stay away from the destined place of death, He unflinchingly told them, “Let’s go.”

Not all aims and goals and life are worth dying for. Not all God-given tasks are of a life and death magnitude. But there definitely those that we ought to be willing to lay down our lives for. Following Him faithfully means never cowering from life-threatening situations we need to face. Simply, we ought to be who we ought to be; we ought to do what we ought to do; we ought to go where we ought to go. Persecutions, dangers, and even death ought to never serve as effective deterrence to believers whose hearts are set on heaven’s high callings. We understand that the most feared enemy of many – death – is a defeated enemy to a believer.

Our Dear God, our Life and Resurrection, to Whom death has no claim, You are definitely way worth dying for. Your callings in our lives are so great; we have no other wise option but to relentlessly and fearlessly pursue them. Please help us to find courage and strength in the middle of the most dangerous of situations, – in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Surviving Leadership Threats

Exodus 17:4  (KJV)    And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.

Moses was a clear-cut God-picked leader. God backed him up with super-sized miracles – a lot of them. He received a divine leadership validation extraordinaire. Despite all that, because of a new problem, the Israelites wanted to kill Him. I mean, forget all the nation-liberating, empire-humbling miracles; forget about the Nile turning to blood, hails, death of the firstborn of the “enemies,” parting of the Sea of Reeds and the complete annihilation of the charging Egyptian armies – all through the power of God. They didn’t have water to drink. Understandable. Without it, they’ll all eventually die. It was a real problem. But the greater real problem was that they forgot that God had been solving their way bigger than “we don’t have water to drink” problems. But that comes within the territory of God-called leaders or ministers. Moses had forgetful, ungrateful, hateful EGR (extra-grace required) few or many in the flock. The God-called, God-backed, God-empowered, God-validated leader had many of them – approximately 2 million men, plus women and children.

We need to accept it; we have to expect it; we will have people the Lord has placed under our care who will be pains in the neck, and head, and stomach – thorns in our flesh – if you may. The presence of complains, and criticisms, and even death-threats neither nullifies nor disproves God’s call in our lives as His laborers or leaders. We ought to be prepared for them. If there’s none like them, praise God; if there are, praise God. Instead of acting like them – forgetting God and all His wonderful works in and through our journey with Him, instead of retaliating to them – criticizing them and threatening to kill them as well, we ought to keep our eyes on God. He has always came through for us before; He will always come through for us.

Our Miracle-Working, Problem-Solving God, may we always find it a joy to serve you, never wavering that no matter what challenges we face – from situations and from people, You will enable us; You will equip us, because You have called us, in Jesus’ Name, amen.