Blinding Heart Wounds in the Face of A Mighty Deliverer!

Deliverer

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh…

I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.

“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you* with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.’”

Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.
Exodus 6:1, 5-9


 

Heartbroken. Destitute. Hopeless…

 

Just some of the words that come to mind when I read this passage. Except, those aren’t the words that should’ve ever entered into our hearts while reading these amazing covenantal promises from God.Here is our great and loving God bestowing in His mercy and grace everything that a person could ask for by way of a blessing from Him:

1. I have remembered
2. I will bring you out
3. I will free you
4. I will redeem you
5. I will take you
6. I will be
7. I will bring you to
8. I will give it to you

I mean, what more could someone in bondage to slavery ever ask for?

But these are not the words the Israelites heard. Nor are they the words that we actually hear either when the promises of our great and awesome God reach their fulfillment and begin to unfold in our lives.

But why are we prone to such unbelief?

Well the last verse gives us some indication:

they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.
Exodus 6:9

Some translations say:

but on account of their broken spirit and cruel bondage, they did not listen to him.
Exodus 6:9

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Oh, how God’s perfect and holy heart must have broken through His great love for His people to know that their experiences of life while waiting for His redemption to come had cause their unprotected hearts to grow callous and hopeless in light of their painful affliction and despairing circumstances.

But God – the Great All-knowing Pursuer that He is – already knew what despair so easily abounds in our hearts and would never let that keep Him from His beloved that He loved so deeply.

No, while many of us in our humanity would simply give up, or call it useless and pointless to continue on, God the great lover of our souls saw this as an opportunity for the world to know the depths of His ever-faithful and relentless love for His Beloved – US – and by doing so, He would also bring glory to His Name!

So with great wisdom and patience He sets out to work immediately to begin to demonstrate the immeasurable depths of His unwavering devotion for a people so prone to wander.

He rolls up His sleeves and declares:

“Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to LET THE ISRAELITES GO out of his country.”
Exodus 6:11

And even as Moses and Aaron stumble around to see past the current circumstances themselves, the Lord’s powerful deliverance would not be delayed!

When the Lord spoke to Moses in Egypt, he said to him, “I am the Lord. TELL PHARAOH KING OF EGYPT EVERYTHING I TELL YOU.”
Exodus 6:28-29

————–Are you beginning to sense the intensity of passion with which the Great Pursuer here advances His plan of salvation? So confident is He even in the midst of using a Shepherd who fumbles for words, and the Shepherd’s brother who for the most part Scripture is completely silent about up until this particular point in history.

But the salvation of the Most High God shall not be delayed! For the Scriptures declare:

The foolish plans of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength!
1 Corinthians 1:25

And I’m sure I don’t have to remind  you of how foolish it seems indeed!A 80 year old man with a staff and his brother are going to go up against the largest superpower in history at the time.

But we all know how it all goes down…

The miracle of the staff…

The ten mighty plagues…
The first Passover…
The Exodus…
The plundering of the Egyptians…
The pillar of cloud by day…
The pillar of fire by night…
The parting of the Reed Sea…

The destruction of Pharaoh and his army…

God always delivers on His promises!!!

Today, I sensed in my heart that it was necessary to remind you of God’s unfailing promises, because we are often no different than the Israelites were back then.

“well the last five interviews didn’t work out so I guess I’m never going to find work…”

Or

“well my last three relationships were a disaster so I’m just gonna give up and stop expecting…”

Or

“I always get overlooked for promotion so why even put in the effort anymore…”

Or

“I never get healed so I’m just going to stop asking for it anymore…”

————-

Every day of our lives God is inviting us to go against the odds and live victoriously in the very places where we’ve allowed our failures, heartbreaks, and losses to develop within us the very same hopelessness that Satan would love for those very difficult seasons to do in us – steal our joy, peace, love freedom, and especially our faith in the promises of our Victorious King who reigns forevermore!

But GOD has taken these very same circumstances and purposes them to instead sculpt in you and I the character of an impenetrable warrior!

Not one to whom love, hope and faith can no longer penetrate, but instead, one whose love, faith, and eternal hope can never be stolen from ever again!

It’s this mighty combination in Christ that we all need to not only have victory day to day in this life, but to also get us home safely to our eternal dwelling place.

————–

And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

 

Faith ~ Hope ~ Love

————–

So whatever your harsh treatments or discouragements may look like for you in this particular season of your life, I write this to encourage your hearts today. There is victory and a victorious King who is actively in battle behind the scenes working things together to deliver and triumph you over every adversity that He has allowed to come your way.

His name will be glorified even through the worst of it all, if you welcome Him in and trust that He has remembered you, will bring you out, will free you, redeem you, take you as His own, will be your God, will bring you to a better place, and will give it all to you as your inheritance!

And together we shall reign forevermore!

————

Jesus said:

I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

Because of the same resurrection power that lives in us who believe, I implore you:

Trust ♔ Jesus!

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The Power Of God’s Abiding Presence Through Us

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When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country.

People brought all their sick to him and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
Matthew 14:34-36

————

Imagine the scene.

Jesus was so well known at this particular point of his ministry; his feeding of thousands with five loaves and two fish; his uncontested teaching; his manifest healing power; not to mention that he just arrived from a brisk walk across the water! – so much so – that in general, people no longer desired to even come talk with him or to ask him any questions to confirm his identity.

They had learned that if you simply ‘touched’ the ‘edge‘ of His garments, you could experience the fullness of His healing power from sickness.

So they lined up in droves to do just that! And sure enough, person after person after person after person after person after person who came to touch the hem of his garment received healing from sickness!

Can you really imagine this scene?

He wasnt even doing anything!

No ‘authoritative deliverance’ (like he did with demons)

No ‘rebuking the wind’ (like he did to the storm)

No ‘giving thanks to the Father’ (like he did before breaking bread)

No ‘powerful exhortation’ (like he did in the company of many – many times)

He just stood there. Present. With the people – who needed him.

And they were healed of their sickness.

And no doubt the needs of the people were never the same…

One probably had physical pain…

The other, emotional…

Another, mental…

One might’ve been in his feet…

Another, her head…

Another, mental anguish…

Another, maybe, mental illness…

And yet another, and another and another…

And as they came – Healed

The next one – Healed

The one after that – Healed

The tenth one – Healed

The forty seventh one – Healed

All that day… as long as he stood there… As long as they came… As long as they reached out and touched him… Healed

And now the most important part of today’s Devotional…

THAT SAME HOLY SPIRIT THAT LIVES IN JESUS NOW LIVES IN US WHO BELIEVE!!!!!

What does that mean? What does that look like? What then is possible?

Well, one thing that it _should_ mean is that just our mere presence in the places where God directs and has placed us should be filled with the testimonies of people around us getting healed!

Not by our powerful prayers. Not by our well worded teaching. Not by our authoritative rebuke.

Simply by our Spirit-filled presence!

But now for the qualifier…

The word used for ‘sick’ and ‘healed’ are: kakōs and diasózó (in Greek) which mean:

————–

Kakōs – sore-misery related to experiencing grievous harm (affliction)

This word is translated throughout Scripture to mean: cruelly, evil, ill, badly (physically or morally) sick, very wretched, wrong motives, wrongly.

————–

Diasózó – to bring safely through (a danger), to save thoroughly.

Properly, save all the way through, i.e. completely deliver from danger and into safety. Literally, “to save all the way across” which brings someone through danger and into a safe condition (“thoroughly rescued”.)

————–

By this definition, this should mean:

Our presence should reconcile hearts of those with wrong motives.

Our presence should comfort those treated cruelly.

Our presence should stand up for people who suffer evil.

Our presence should be a healing balm to the ill.

Our presence should restore people through sickness.

Which unfortunately, is not always what people have in mind when they think about ‘healing ministry.’

But can you imagine the immeasurable power of the presence of someone who walks beside you who loves you with every fibre of their being?

Our God, who _is_ love, felt compassion for his people. (verse 14) He cared about their temporal needs, their emotional needs, their mental needs, _and_ their spiritual needs.

And as we walk in this same all encompassing love for others in the world around us – starting with the very places where we currently are standing, are working, and are living – our communities should never look the same again!

As we learn to navigate the highs and lows of our new life in Christ, may we never lose sight of the powerful effects of a

– simple,
– abiding,
loving,

presence!

————–

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16

Trust ♔ Jesus!

The Faces of The Kingdom of God

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After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
Matthew 11:1-6

 


 

You’ve probably heard at least one sermon before that addresses the context above.

Here is John the Baptist, cousin of Jesus, the one who declared that the people ought to repent and be baptised in preparation of the coming Messiah, who then affirms and baptises Jesus as the one who was to come.

Now, some time – at least a year, maybe closer to two – has passed and although the kingdom has been steadily advancing towards the climax of the cross, John, imprisoned, begins to doubt that Jesus could in fact be who he thought him at first to be.

So while confined in his prison cell, John begins to undergo the greatest battle that each believer must learn to confront in order to claim a complete victory in this lifetime… The battle against self!

At first, I imagine that his mind began to turn on itself, wondering whether his sufferings are even worth it, or if his labours for righteousness that landed him in prison were in vain. He considers if these convictions that led his steps all these years have truly accomplished anything of meaning at all.

Then, no doubt he hears the local news reports. Jesus is doing some seemingly odd things that both an ascetic and a Jew would not be caught dead doing. He’s hanging out with sinners. He’s eating and drinking freely in the homes of tax collectors. He’s touched those society deems unclean. Jesus even spoke to a Samaritan!

No doubt that John’s expectations of what the Messiah should look like are not met in the way that he thought they maybe should’ve been, and so the Baptist begins to doubt.

But the testimony of Jesus workings is going forth to the ends of the then-known world already.

The blind are receiving sight. The lame are walking again. The deaf are hearing, and the lepers have been cleansed.

But this man who is doing these things, this Jesus, is very different than I imagined him to be; very different than *we* imagine Him to be.

Wasn’t he supposed to be: ________________

And wasn’t he supposed to do: ________________

John is incredulous. And most of the time, so are we.

But this doesn’t even slightly take away from the unchanging truth that Jesus was, is, and will always be – exactly who He declared Himself to be:

—————

The high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

“I AM,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Mark 14:61-62

————–

There will come a moment in every believers faith journey when God’s advancing kingdom will take shape in ways that do not always conform to our ideas of ministry; our expectations of His saving grace; our vision or view of a blessing, and in these moments, the Holy Spirit, gentleman that He is, will gently remind you of the truth; will be your friend and comfort your heart as you work through it; and will readily receive you with opened arms should you decide to take that leap. He knows you and I better than we know ourselves. He also better knows the things we truly need despite them not always being the priority of what we maybe want.

And in His great love for us, as it usually turns out, He has never given us less than the absolute best!

So our job is to take the time to consider it. To not allow the offence of first sight of how something looks to cause us to stumble past it, but to recognize that God has sometimes placed it in our paths with great design like a city planner who places a speed bump in a residential area to get your attention off speedily rushing to your destination to mindfully be present and acknowledge your surroundings.

This reminds us that not all bumps in the road are intended to cause us to stumble. Some are placed with great purpose.

So how do we know which are from Him and which are not?

A good place to start would be by simply asking the question in prayer. Seeking godly counsel is also important. And to think and rethink everything will help to bring about deeper revelation, so invest in the time necessary to do so.

I pray God’s blessing over whatever you may be working through, as I continue to implore you:

Trust ♔ Jesus!