IS EVERYTHING REALLY WORKING FOR MY GOOD?

GENESIS 45:4-8: “Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please, come near me,” and they came near. “I am Joseph, your brother,” he said, “the one you sold into Egypt. And now don’t be grieved or angry with yourselves for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there will be five more years without plowing or harvesting. God sent me ahead of you to establish you as a remnant within the land and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt.” CSB

OBSERVATION: Is God really working all things together in my life for good? Sometimes life seems to take a downward swing. What we want to happen is not what we experience. In the midst of it all there stands the promise of God’s Word.

  • “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 CSB

Now, can I be completely honest? Sometimes I find this promise hard to believe. It is especially hard to believe when you are trying to follow the Lord with all of your heart and all you seem to face is one wrong turn after another. There is no better example of this than the life of Joseph.

Joseph was betrayed by his brothers. Sold as a slave to Egypt. Falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife. Thrown into prison. Forgotten by the Cup Bearer he assisted in prison. And during all of these left turns and setbacks, Joseph was faithful to the Lord. These things did not happen in his life because Joseph was sinning. These things happened in his life while Joseph was being faithful to the Lord – wherever he found himself.

It was Joseph’s faith that enabled him to persevere. Were there disappointments and setbacks? More than usual. Yet, wherever Joseph found himself, he proved to be faithful to the Lord. It was this faithfulness that was finally rewarded as he became the second in command in all of Egypt under Pharaoh.

When Joseph was reunited with his brothers, when he revealed to them who he was, they were overtaken with fear. Joseph, now a powerful leader in Egypt, had every power and every right to get even with his brothers for selling him into slavery. However, Joseph’s continuing faith in the Lord enabled him to see God’s hand at work in the final outcome. As his brothers stood before him in fear, Joseph said,

  • “And now don’t be grieved or angry with yourselves for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to preserve life.”

Joseph understood the sovereignty of God. When we are surrendered to the will of God in our lives He promises to work all things for good. This does not mean that all things that happen in life are good. Yet, we serve a God who is good. When we place our life in His hands, like a master potter, He molds even the discarded things in life into His purposes. This is what Joseph could say,

  • “Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt.”

What his brothers had intended for evil, God redeemed for good. Betrayal, false accusation, abandonment, prison, none of these could keep God’s good purposes from being fulfilled in Joseph’s life.

Over the years as a pastor I have tried to remind myself, and those who God placed in my care, that life is not a straight line. It is filled with twists and turn, setbacks and disappointments, as well as wonderful victories and celebrations. Yet, for God’s people, the trajectory is always forward. We are always growing, always changing, always moving from glory to glory!

  • “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 CSB

The life of Joseph reminds us that even when everything looks bleak, when we cannot see the road that lies ahead, the Lord is moving us forward. We are moving in His divine pathway for our unique lives. Our path is not like anyone else’s. It is God’s unique purposes, being fulfilled through the Holy Spirit, in our unique lives. The good news is that the story is not over yet. God is still writing the wonderful story of our lives.

Yet, one thing is sure, the ending will always be good!

  • “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 CSB

Lord, this morning, forgive me for the times I question Your faithfulness in my life. Help me, like Joseph, to see Your hand at work in every aspect of my life. You are working all things in my life for good, and for Your good purpose!

In Jesus Name!

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HOW TO FACE THE BATTLES OF LIFE…

Matthew 12:11: “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been suffering violence, and the violent have been seizing it by force.” CSB

OBSERVATION: Am I prepared for the battles of life? If my concept of Christianity is one of peace and serenity, I will soon be disappointed. The call to follow Jesus Christ, the call to enter into the Kingdom of God, is a call to battle.

This battle, like so many things that relate to the Kingdom of God, is marked by a paradox. When I was a child we use to sing the song, “Onward Christian soldiers, going off to war.” As a child I never really understood this song. My concept of going off to war was marching off to engage in a battle. Yet, we don’t march into battle as Christians. We are thrown into battle by our faith.

The battle of darkness and light has been waging since the moment that Satan and his angels rebelled against God in heaven. Since that time, the kingdom of darkness has been opposed to the Kingdom of God. Everything the enemy of our souls can do to dissuade us from entering into God’s Kingdom, he will do. We must be prepared for battle.

Jesus told His disciples that He did not come to bring peace on the earth, but a sword. The truth is a sword that divides. All we need to do is stand up for the truth of God’s Word and we will find ourselves in the battle. And we will find that our enemies in this battle are not just those who openly oppose the truth, they can also be the religious, and even our closest friends and members of our own family.

I have seen this many times as I have posted something on Facebook. Many times it has just been a call to prayer. Even a call to prayer ignites the battle. Especially if you are encouraging prayer for those others disagree with. Yet, the Scriptures call us to pray for all men, especially those who are in authority over us. The battle is not just over the sensitive moral issues of our day. The battle rages whenever the smallest light of God’s truth is raised.

This can become discouraging. Sometimes we get so tired of the battle. Yet, we must persevere. Our battle is not against individuals, it is against the kingdom of darkness. To walk in the light requires the fullness of the Grace of God in our lives at all times. We need to put on all the pieces of our spiritual armor so that we will be able to stand strong against the enemy of our souls. We must embrace the struggle, acknowledge the battle, and use the same effort and tenacity we experience against us to enter into the Kingdom of God.

The phrase, “…and the violent take it by force…”, can have two meanings. It can mean that those opposed to the Gospel will continually oppose it by force. It can also mean, as in Luke’s account of this verse (Luke 16:16), that those who enter into the Kingdom of God must enter it with a struggle. They must press into it. They must hunger and thirst for righteousness. They must not become weary in well doing, for in the end they will reap a harvest, if they don’t lose heart.

So, what happens when I become battle weary? And I do become battle weary. Have you ever felt like you have hit the wall? You have had more than you can endure. The question arises – “When will this ever end?” Jesus addresses this in the end of this chapter. Jesus also became tired and weary in His humanity. He knew how important it was to get alone with the Father and to allow His soul to be restored. This is why Jesus exhorts us all,

  • “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 CSB

When we are weary and burdened, Jesus is waiting for us to give us rest. He will restore us. He will teach us. He will comfort us. He will strengthen us. He will renew us. It is when we take time to be with the Lord that we are prepared for the ongoing battles of life. We cannot stay on the battle field 24/7. If we do, we all will faint. We must come apart and spend time with the Father as Jesus did.

This is not an escape from the battle of life. However, it is an oasis where we are restored and renewed. Our faith is strengthened. We receive His all sufficient grace. The Holy Spirit renews our mind and heart through His Word. We are restored in the presence of God as we spend time in prayer. And we gain new strategy for the challenges of life that lie ahead. We have this wonderful invitation, this wonderful provision, always before us. We are never in the battles of life alone!

Lord, help me to stand strong in the battles of life. I acknowledge that my strength is not in my effort, but in my faith in Christ alone. As I face the battles and challenges of life, remind me to come to You before, in, and after the battle. Renew, restore, and strengthen me in Your presence. Help me to enter into your Kingdom of light today.

In Jesus Name!

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DO I HAVE ENOUGH FAITH?

MATTHEW 9:20-22: “Just then, a woman who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years approached from behind and touched the end of his robe, for she said to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I’ll be made well.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Have courage, daughter,” he said. “Your faith has saved you.” And the woman was made well from that moment.” CSB

OBSERVATION: What did Jesus mean when He said – “Your faith has saved you.”? Was it the woman’s effort to push through the crowd to touch the tassel on Jesus’ garment? Was it her confession when she said, “If I can just touch his robe, I’ll be made well.”? Or, was it her ability to believe?

We all struggle with faith. Why? It is because it is defined so differently by so many. There are those who define faith as a passive belief that does not require any action on our part. And then, there are those who define faith as our action that effects the desired result. Personally, I think that both of these approaches to faith are wrong. Both viewpoints will lead to disappointment and frustration. The first lacks any validation of one’s belief. The other puts all the validation on one’s efforts to prove one’s faith.

Faith is not a work or an action. Faith is a heart centered trust that brings us to the God who can change us, and propels us to action based on that trust. Faith begins at the point of absolute surrender. True faith is found in the heart of one who is bankrupt of all human effort and self sufficiency. True faith begins when the only one we have to turn to is God Almighty!

This is where the woman with the issue of blood found herself. She had spent her life’s savings on doctors and remedies, with no avail. She had witnessed the healing power of Jesus. She had no where else to go, no other resources to rely on, and no human hope left. When she realized that her only hope was Jesus, she placed her faith in His provision. This faith ignited her actions to press through and touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. It was not supernatural power in Jesus’ robe that healed this woman. It was her complete trust and surrender in Christ alone.

Consider the difference in her actions to the one who tries to manipulate the hand of God through their actions or positive confession. Or, consider the difference in the woman’s faith to the one who simply sits idly by and says – “Well, if it is God’s will.” The first is a pathway back to works righteousness. The second results in a faith that is devoid of action. When the writer of Hebrews says it is impossible to please God without faith, he tells us why.

  • “Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 CSB

Faith draws us to God. Note, the writer of Hebrews says – “…since that one that draws near to him must believe that he exists…”. The woman with the issue of blood drew near to Jesus. She believed that He was the Messiah. She placed her full trust and hope in Him. Then the writer of Hebrews says – “…and that he rewards those who seek him.”. The woman knew that only Jesus could heal her, save her, and deliver her. God alone is our source of salvation, healing, deliverance, and redemption. He will always meet us at the point of our faith when we come to Him in full surrender and dependence.

The question is not – “Do I have enough faith.” Rather, the question is – “Does my faith really see God for who He is?” Do I see Him as my Savior, Healer, Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, and Soon Coming King? Is He my all in all? Is He the first one I run to and the last one I thank? Is my life fully surrendered to His will? Have I laid all of my works at the foot of the Cross? Am I experiencing the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings? Am I standing in His righteousness alone?

  • “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 CSB
  • “Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:21 CSB

Lord, this morning, help me not to put my faith in faith, or in the works of my hands. Help me to put my faith and hope in You alone. Help me to believe that You alone are my sufficiency, and that You will reward me as I draw near to You.

In Jesus Name?

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WHO IS IN CONTROL?

MATTHEW 8:23-27: “As he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. Suddenly, a violent storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves — but Jesus kept sleeping. So the disciples came and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to die!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the sea obey him!” CSB

OBSERVATION: Who is in control? So much of the struggles we face in life revolve around this simple question. This is the heart of the account of Jesus and His disciples in the boat as they faced a great storm.

There was a marked difference in the way the disciples faced the storm, and in the way Jesus faced it. The disciples were frightened, they felt powerless, and they began to panic. Jesus, on the other hand, was sound asleep in the boat. What was the difference between Jesus’ attitude and his disciples? How could someone sleep in the midst of impending doom?

I have had many a sleepless night as I have tossed and turned worrying about what lies ahead. I was not facing a physical storm. The storm that raged was in my heart and my mind. I have read this story many times. However, when you are in the boat (so to speak), it seems a little unrealistic to say – “Just have faith!” In fact, it can seem downright insensitive and cruel. Yet, this is exactly what Jesus asked His disciples. He said, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?”

I love what happens next. Jesus did not wait for His disciples to muster up their faith. Jesus answered their cry for mercy. He spoke to the winds and the sea and immediately there was a great calm. Was this just a miracle, or was is something much more? I believe it was a lesson to His disciples about the sovereignty and power of God. Jesus, fully man, and fully God, knew His Father intimately. He knew His Father’s call, and He rested in His Father’s promises.

Jesus knew who was in control.

The reason Jesus slept in the midst of the storm is He knew that nothing could hinder Him from fulfilling His calling from the Father. The Father was in control. Jesus knew that He could fully trust the Father in all situations, even in a raging storm at sea. When Jesus rebuked the winds and waves, it was at the Father’s command. It was a living lesson to His disciples. Jesus, through his example, was saying – “Remember Who is in control!”

Paul echoes this in his epistle to the Romans. Paul says, “If God is for us, who can be against us.” And then, one of the most well known verses from this book states,

  • “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30 CSB

Paul was reminding the church in Rome – “Remember Who is in control!” We don’t have to panic at the storms of life. Why? We have a calling, we have a mission, and we have a destiny. There is nothing in life that is outside of the Father’s sovereign control. He will not let our ship sink. We will reach our final destination as we place our faith and trust in Him. God is in control! When I realize this, when I place everything in His care, I am able to walk in victory and peace. This works in the big things of life. It also works in the small things.

God cares about them all!

We just completed a huge moving sale. We had many large items that we needed to sell, and that we did not want to move to our new home in Florida. The first day we had most of the big items left. I have to admit, like the disciples, I cried out to God. It was not a big storm, but I started to panic, much like the disciples. When we started at 8AM, no one showed up. As the morning went on, just a trickle of people. Then, one by one, just the right people arrived and we sold all of the key big items that we did not want to move. And we sold them to families and friends who really needed them. We shared the love of Jesus with many of them, and were blessed in the process.

You would think that after a lifetime of walking with Jesus I would have this down pat. However, too often I find myself in the boat with the other disciples crying, “Lord save us, we are going to die!” I trust the Lord with all my heart, but many times I forget who is in control. I begin to think I am in control. However, He lovingly reminds me that He is the one who holds all the concerns of my life in His hands. If he can help me sell some furniture, isn’t He able to help me with the real storms of life?

Lord, forgive me for the times when I find myself bailing water, when all I need to do is rest in Your promises and presence. Help me to direct my faith toward You. You are in control of my life. You love me and are concerned about every detail. Help me rest in the wonderful assurance of Your sovereignty. Give me Your peace as I place my entire life in Your hands!

In Jesus Name!

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WHEN THE MUNDANE BECOMES HOLY…

MATTHEW 6:31-34: “So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat? ’ or ‘What will we drink? ’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” CSB

OBSERVATION: What does it mean to “…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…?”

Does it mean that I should start each day out in God’s Word and prayer? While this is a very important thing to do, I do not think this is the essence of the meaning. If it were, my seeking would end there and I would simply be on my way. I think Jesus had much more in mind.

I am nearsighted. I need my glasses for general navigation, reading, and driving. In fact, I can’t even shave well without them. Everything I do is out of focus when I don’t have my glasses. When I go to bed at night I lay them on the nightstand next to me. When I wake up, the first thing I do is reach for my glasses. I put them on so that everything I do from that moment on is in proper focus.

This is what I think seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness means. It is not a daily or weekly activity, it is how I live each moment of my life. It is how I view everything and everyone. I am to look at all of life through the lens of the kingdom of God. I am to live all of life with the goal of emulating and being transformed by His righteousness.

This principle applies to the spiritual and temporal things of life. As we are packing up our house it does not seem like we are doing anything that is kingdom minded, or that is truly righteous. Yet, as I remember that the reason we are packing is to answer God’s call in our lives, then I can see it. Even the mundane things in life take on a kingdom perspective as we realize that all of life is to be a pursuit of His will.

So many times we compartmentalize our life. There is the spiritual and there is the natural. Yet, God is calling us to live our entire life seeking first the kingdom, and living for His righteousness. All of life that is lived for Jesus Christ is sacred. It is set apart for His will. It is set apart for His glory. The mundane becomes holy as we pursue Him in everything we do. We don’t need to stay on the mountaintop, we know that His presence and provision follow us wherever we go!

  • “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.” Psalms 23:5-6 CSB

Right now, right here, I am living in the presence (house) of the Lord. His goodness and faithful love are always pursuing me. He is with me in both the battles and the victories of life. He is with me on the mountaintops and in the valleys. When I live a life that is kingdom minded, I find myself pursuing Him and His righteousness in everything I do. It is not just in my times of worship and prayer. It is also in my times of daily work and routine.

Lord, help me to realize that I am always living in Your kingdom. Open up my spiritual eyes to seek You first in all that I do. Grant me the grace to consider Your will, Your way, and Your righteousness in everything. Let me live fully in Your presence and provision today.

In Jesus Name!

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AM I AFRAID TO LET GO?

MATTHEW 5:29-30: “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” CSB

OBSERVATION: Am I holding on to old patterns, habits, attitudes, or sins as I enter this New Year?

Am I afraid to let go?

These two verses in Matthew 5 are probably one of the most shocking and controversial in all of Scripture. Jesus said them in the context of addressing both the attitude and act of adultery. His words must have shocked His disciples. And to be honest, they shock me. What was Jesus trying to convey?

Jesus taught in both parables and hyperbole. This was a common style of Jewish teachers in His day. This portion of the Sermon on the Mount was an example of hyperbole. A hyperbole is an extreme exaggeration to grab one’s attention and make an important point. It is like someone saying they are so hungry that they could eat a horse. Jesus was not advocating any type of self mutilation. He was talking about removing harmful things from our life that will lead us into the wrong direction.

Removing things from our life is difficult. As I reflect upon these verses I am involved in a major relocation after living in the same house for 15 years. These past 15 years were the years my daughter grew up from grade school to college. They were the years of accumulation. And now, my wife and I are moving from a larger home into a much smaller home. We are finding out that stuff multiplies when you are not aware of it. And trying to choose what goes and what stays is no easy task.

When you come across a piece of junk, it is a no brainer. Into the trash! However, what do you do with all those things that are on the borderline? Trash or box? Donation or sale? Doing a yearly evaluation of our personal and spiritual lives is just as difficult. When it comes to sin it should be clear to all of us, we need to repent and let it go. However, what about good things that might be keeping us from moving forward in the Lord. How do we know what to do about these?

This is why a daily regiment in God’s Word is so important. Day by day, moment by moment, our lives are changing. What was good for us yesterday may not be right for us today. How do we discern this? How do we know what to let go of and what to hold onto? God’s Word is the only key to this ongoing process of evaluation and revelation.

  • “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. No creature is hidden from him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.” Hebrews 4:12-13 CSB

Is my focus on the wrong thing? God’s Word discerns between the soul (mind, will, emotions), and the spirit (heart). Are my motives right before the Lord? God’s Word discerns between the thoughts and the intents of the heart. As I live in the Word of God the Holy Spirit has the ability to work in my life through the gift of revelation. Revelation is when He shines His light upon my life through the Word. It is when I receive this revelation that I know when it is time to change something in my life.

As I continue to grow in the Lord my life continues to change. My attitudes are being transformed by His Word. When my mind is renewed, so are my actions. Repentance does not become a cataclysmic event. Repentance becomes a regular way of life. It is the constant recharging of my life through the daily revelation of the Spirit through the Word. To discard the old things of life that hold me back becomes a joy. It ushers me into a new level of freedom in the Lord.

Lord, as I pack up my home, and separate the good items from the items to be discarded, let me also pack up any old attitudes and actions that may be weighing me down in this New Year. Grant me the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Your will.

Illuminate my life through the Holy Spirit working daily through Your Word.

In Jesus Name!

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AM I POSITIONED FOR THE MIRACULOUS?

GENESIS 7:1-5: “Then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation. You are to take with you seven pairs, a male and its female, of all the clean animals, and two of the animals that are not clean, a male and its female, and seven pairs, male and female, of the birds of the sky — in order to keep offspring alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will make it rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing I have made I will wipe off the face of the earth.” And Noah did everything that the Lord commanded him.” CSB

OBSERVATION: Am I positioned for the miraculous? As I enter the New Year am I trusting the Lord to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all I am able to ask or think? What is the key to walking in the miraculous provision of the Lord?

There is a great difference between the Biblical record and many books written by men when it comes to the miraculous. If I was to rely on the many books that have been written, I would end up adopting some system to receive my miracle. Yet, the Bible never teaches a system. It proclaims the wonders of a miraculous God who worked in miraculous ways for very ordinary people.

Miracles were never the works of man. They were always the gift of God. Paul, rebuking the Galatian church said,

  • “You foolish Galatians! Who has cast a spell on you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by the Spirit, are you now finishing by the flesh? Did you experience so much for nothing — if in fact it was for nothing? So then, does God give you the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law? Or is it by believing what you heard — just like Abraham who believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness?” Galatians 3:1-6 CSB

The story of Noah is a wonderful example of the miraculous provision of God given to an ordinary man of faith. God called Noah to build an ark, gave him the instructions, and Noah built it. Some have estimated from the Biblical record that it took Noah between 55-75 years to complete this project. In modern day terms that would be an entire lifetime. For a man to build an ark, for a proposed flood, on dry ground, requires faith. And the Biblical record states,

  • “And Noah did everything that the Lord commanded him.”

There is a unique participation between man and God in the working of the miraculous. God calls man by faith. Faith is evidenced in action. And God’s miraculous provision meets man at the intersection of these two. God called Noah to build an ark. Noah believed God (faith), and he built the ark (action, obedience). But how was Noah to round up all the animals and lead them into the ark? And who was going to close the huge door of the ark once they were securely in? This is where the miraculous provision of God meets the faith and obedience of Noah.

We have three cats in our house. I love cats. They are really my favorite four legged animal. Yet, have you ever tried to herd up three cats and put them into a single room? Needless to say – it is a challenge. Now put yourself in Noah’s position. How in the world, apart from the miraculous intervention of God, could he ever lead two of every living creature into the ark? And how could he guarantee that every species would remain healthy and alive as the floods came and they waited for the waters to subside? It was all the miraculous provision of God!

Someone wisely said, our job is to do the natural, it is God’s job to do the supernatural. It is when faith is evidenced in obedience that we are positioned for the intersection of the miraculous to touch our lives. What we are not able to do, He is able to do. All we can give Him is our obedience, the fruit of our faith. The rest is up to Him. If Noah had given up and not built the ark, none of us would be here today. His obedience opened up the wellspring of miraculous provision through the promised seed, Jesus Christ our Lord.

This is not works righteousness. We never earn the miraculous provision of God. We simply meet it on the road of faith and obedience. Faith trusts God so much that it causes us to act. When we are faithful in the small ordinary things, no matter how long it takes, the Lord shows up with His miraculous provision. It is not always overnight. Abraham had to wait 25 years for his son of promise. Yet, God touched a barren womb and a man past the age of siring a child, and Isaac, the child of miraculous provision was born!

When you read the pages of Scripture this is the pattern you will find. God calls a man. The man believes in the call (faith). The man acts on this faith (obedience). God meets the man with His miraculous provision. It is really quite simple. Yet, we complicate it so that we can make it into a formula that will sell books or seminars. This New Year we all have a choice. If we want to meet the miraculous provision of the Lord in our lives we only need to trust and obey. The old hymn puts it very eloquently,

“Trust and obey, for there’s no other way

To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

Lord, as I welcome in the New Year, help me be positioned for Your miraculous provision. Help me to trust and obey!

In Jesus Name!

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