Isaiah 30: 21 says “Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying “This is the way walk in it”. Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left”.
If you are looking for direction in your life and seeking the path that God wants you to take or a new door is opening up to you then take encouragement from the promise in these verses.
God will direct your way.
This could be your season for stepping into the new things of God.
It may be paths that you or no-one else has travelled before, areas which you have never ventured into, things you or nobody else has ever done but take comfort that God will make it clear that you are on the right path.
God will direct you to move forward into new things.
Don’t look back at the old or try to do things in the same way but with boldness step into the new.
This may be a season for God to show you how to do things in a different way. Don’t worry or be anxious that you don’t know what’s up ahead – trust God. If you are walking where God wants you to walk then you are going in the right direction.
You may face discouragement – people may think you are crazy even to attempt something new but God will give you the vision and you will hear His still small voice saying “This is the way walk in it“.
You will know that it is God speaking to you.
I encourage you to be bold in faith today as you hear Him speak to you.
Take hold of the opportunity or opportunities which God is bringing your way.
I sense this may be a season for some that God will completely turn things on their head. God will flip things upside down but you will emerge unscathed. Allow God to be in the driving seat.
I pray God will increase your vision in these days. To stir in you a new vision, a bigger vision and to break new ground for Him.
To see new things and create new opportunities for the gospel to be preached and people to be reached with the good news of Jesus Christ.
I felt prompted to share this post again today. I hope it is a blessing and encouragement to someone reading.
I’m sure that like me you value good advice from trusted people. As a lawyer I’m paid to be a trusted advisor to my clients. Hopefully, I provide good advice which helps them make their decisions.
There was a man in the bible who was renowned for giving good advice. In fact his advice was so good that it was likened to enquiring at the oracle of God. That’s a huge compliment.
The man was called Ahithophel (a name that just trips off your tongue) and he was a trusted advisor to King David.
There is a fascinating story in 2 Samuel 15-17 of the time when the good advice of Ahithophel was thwarted by God. God had different plans.
The background to the story is that Absalom, David’s son, had secretly conspired to rebel against his father and seize the throne. He had gathered together key people to support him, one of whom was Ahithophel. David had fled with his supporters to escape being killed by Absolam who then took up residence in the King’s house.
Now David and his supporters were really concerned when they heard that Ahithophel had sided with Absolam and would be his adviser. They knew that they had to find a way to ensure that Absalom did not follow his good advice as this was a real threat to David.
There were 2 steps to David’s plan. First he rightly gave the situation to God and prayed:
And David said, “O Lord, I pray, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!” 2 Samuel 15:31
I find this prayer quite amazing. Praying to God to turn away the good advice of someone. It made me think of the advisers to those in governments especially with the current situation in Ukraine. Whilst advisers may provide good advice to their leaders, is it Godly advice to bring about God’s purposes and plans. Does their advice lead to peace and goodness.
The other part of David’s plan was that one of David’s other trusted advisers, a man named Hushai, would pretend that he had swapped allegiance to Absolam. He would then provide different advice in the hope of persuading Absolam to ignore the good advice of Ahithophel.
The time came for Absalom to make a key decision. He had usurped the throne but David and his supporters were still alive. What should he do. He asked Ahithophel for his advice. He wisely advised Absalom to let him pursue that night with 12,000 armed men and strike whilst there was this golden opportunity to defeat David when he was tired and vulnerable from fleeing in haste. David was in the wilderness with no protection. He would kill David only and bring back his supporters in peace which would please the men of Israel.
Absalom approved of this advice but asked Hushai what he thought. Hushai was bold. He undermined the good advice by introducing doubt of David’s weakness and reminding Absalom of the mighty men of David who accompanied him and of the mighty and crafty warrior David was. Hushai advised Absalom to rather gather all of Israel to pursue David thus delaying the strike whilst the army was gathered and buying David time. He subtly introduced doubt and fear into Absalom’s mind. The result was that Absalom chose to ignore the good advice of Ahithophel and follow the bad advice of Hushai. Therefore the good advice of Ahithophel was overthrown.
So Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than the advice of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had purposed to defeat the good advice of Ahithophel, to the intent that the Lord might bring disaster on Absalom. 2 Samuel 17:14
Now when Ahithophel heard that Absalom had not followed his advice he took drastic action. We read that he returned to his home, put his affairs in order and then killed himself. Now that is an extreme reaction and it wasn’t done in a fit of pique that the King had not followed his advice. Ahithophel realised that his days were now numbered. He knew that by not following his advice, Absalom was going to be defeated by David and lose his grasp on the throne. This meant that as someone who had betrayed David, he would be killed once David returned.
I find this whole story fascinating and especially how it played out. It has really made me think. If you would like to read more of the story then I recommend reading from 2 Samuel chapters 15-19. This includes the subsequent defeat of Absalom and then the wise advice of Joab to David.
“Moab is My washpot; Over Edom I will cast My shoe; Philistia, shout in triumph because of Me.” Psalm 60:8
I read this Psalm today and it reminded me of a time many years ago when the Holy Spirit prompted me to cast (throw) my shoes over a large wire fence onto some waste ground. I’m sure some of you are reading this and thinking that’s a bit strange but please read on and I will explain.
I had been walking with my friend around a local estate where our church had an outreach work. We helped out with a Sunday School and breakfast for the children once a month. It was a deprived estate with a lot of social problems and we were walking and praying for the families on the estate.
As we walked past a piece of wasteland, which was surrounded by this metal chain link fence, I felt stirred that the Lord wanted us to pray for this spot in particular. As we prayed I saw a picture of this barren piece of land becoming a garden. A barren land being redeemed by the Lord and brought back in to use. I was reminded of the verses from Isaiah:
You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; For the Lord delights in you, And your land shall be married. Isaiah 62:4
We continued to pray into the picture and that is when the Holy Spirit impressed on me to throw my shoes over the fence into the land. Not something I had ever done before, nor has it been something the Lord has prompted me to do since.
I shared this prompting with my friend and it witnessed with her too. The thing was she had just bought some brand new boots. She looked wistfully at her boots, looked at the land and then she said Yes…her new boots were going over.
So we prayed and threw our shoes and boots over that fence.
It meant walking back to our car with no shoes on (which drew some strange looks) but we knew in our hearts that the Lord was about something and our obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit was a key.
Roll forward several years and that barren wilderness became a community garden. A Christian charity had a vision to create a garden where the residents of the estate could go and learn how to grow veg, fruit and also provide a place where people could meet, talk and engage with each other.
Now it wasn’t just our prayers that brought that about. We were just a small piece in God’s plan and there would have been much prayer, planning and vision from others many years later that made that happen. In that moment though, the Lord showed us with eyes of faith the vision that He had for that land and the community. Perhaps our prayers and actions of shoe throwing were the seed that was sown in God’s timing.
God is so wonderful that He gives us these opportunities to serve Him. To partner with Him in His plans for His glory and to show His love, mercy and goodness to others. When the Holy Spirit prompts you and you know (you know in that deep inner place) that it is the Lord, then I encourage you to step out in faith and trust God with the rest.
My dear children – you are all children in my sight, dear and beloved to me.
How my heart aches for you. How my heart longs to take you in my arms and remove the burdens you are carrying.
I am here – just waiting for you.
Waiting to lift you up in my arms and carry you through the night.
Do you hear me calling to you? Do you hear my still small voice crying out to you?
Do not try and block out my voice. Do not fill your hearts and lives with worldly things which would stifle my still small voice.
Make room in your hearts for me. Make room.
Some of you need to clean out the house, to make room so that I can come in and sup with you and talk to you and make you mine.
Some of you have squeezed me into the smallest room of your heart and tried to close the door and keep me in that small space. You will not allow me to have access to the parts which I need to access – the parts which need healing, cleansing and release.
Some of you have opened up a parlour, the best room, where I am invited to sit.
Where everything to outward appearances is swept clean and tidy – all rubbish hidden out of view – a room where a fire burns and which seems welcoming and inviting and where everything appears to be alright – but you are not comfortable with me.
You are not comfortable in my presence and you do not know how to be comfortable with me.
You are not really comfortable with my presence because you are fearful that I will want to go into the other rooms and all the other rooms are barred to me.
You are ashamed of them.
You feel that they are not good enough for me.
You feel that I would not want to really see inside those rooms – rooms which are dirty, unclean, cluttered, and full of things which you are ashamed of –
those are the very rooms I need to go into with you and help you clean. Help you bring warmth and light into those rooms.
Those areas of your life which you are ashamed of – those areas of your life which you try and keep me out of and pretend do not exist.
I am not fooled.
I want to come into all areas. I want to be able to access all areas of your life and your hearts.
Do not be afraid my children. Do not be afraid.
If you will open the door then I will come in and we will eat together. We will talk together, we will commune together. I made you, created you, I know you better than you know yourselves. I will not be shocked or outraged by anything in your life or in your heart. If you are willing to submit to me completely then I will come in and do a work in you. I will restore you and refresh you.
Some of you ran well once. Who interrupted your race? Who hardened your heart against me? Who deafened your ears and muffled my voice? Who stole away your desire to be with me and the intimacy that we once enjoyed? Who stole your first love?
I am the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I sit at the right hand of my father in heaven. I am not a thief or a trespasser. I do not enter in where I am not invited.
Do not keep me out of my rightful place in your heart and in your life. I want to take up my rightful place in your heart and in your life. Let me take up my rightful place.
Come to me and submit yourself to me. Open the door and let me into my rightful place. Open the door and let me into the closed places.
I am King and Lord of all and there is no other but me. Let me come in. Do not leave it any longer. The time has come to let me be King and Lord in my rightful place.
For the time will come when I will no longer be stood here knocking.
Let me in to that locked and darkened room in your heart so that I may bring my light and my healing touch.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
We’ve been looking at Joseph’s character over the last series of posts, which had so much to encourage and teach us about Godly character as disciples of Jesus, but today’s question is Why Egypt? Why was it necessary for the action to take place in Egypt.
Jacobs’ family lived in Canaan. They were shepherds with livestock who moved their flocks around in search of pasture. Their environment and pastures were suitable for that but not for large scale agriculture. The famine that was coming was going to be devastating on an unprecedented scale and preparation was key.
It was not uncommon to have famines in those times. We read in the bible that there had been several famines already. In Abraham & Isaac’s time they had been forced to travel to foreign lands to buy food. This famine was going to be different though. 7 years was a long period of famine. It was going to affect a large number of people.
Where was a fertile place that could produce enough food to sustain the people and surrounding nations over seven long years with planning and preparation. Egypt was the answer. It was a natural resource.
The river Nile regularly flooded and the delta region around the Nile with its mud flats was rich in minerals and natural fertiliser. It was an extremely fertile region and capable of producing great harvests. A land of abundance.
Joseph was found and placed in the place where the resources were. God put those resources in his hands to be a blessing to many.
Has God given you a vision or mission field but at the moment you just don’t see how it’s going to be possible because you don’t have the resources currently. If God has given you the vision then He will provide. He is Jehovah Jireh. The Lord who provides. God knows where the resources are and can make them available to you for His glory and His purposes. God will provide according to His riches in glory.
God can provide not only the resources to make the vision come to pass but can also direct your paths to the place that is ready to receive. Your mission field. The place of harvest. God can take you to a place which is fertile and ready to receive God’s Word. You might already be right in that fertile place. A place where the soil of men’s hearts, through the work of the Spirit of God, been turned from stone into flesh, softened and ready to receive the Good News of Jesus.
Prepared in prayer with tears of intercession for men’s souls. Brother Alan posted recently the passionate plea of John Knox “ Give me Scotland, or I die”. What passion in prayer for the lost. You can read that post here John Knox
The Nile valley was so fertile that any seed which was sown didn’t need to be ploughed into the ground. The ground was so softened by the regular floods it was ready to receive the seed and the seed could immediately take root and grow.
The Lord will show us those people whose hearts are prepared ready to receive the Gospel of Jesus. They are out there desperate and thirsty for the gospel. Jesus told His followers that the harvest was great. There are people who are open and desperate to hear the Good News of Jesus.
Then He (Jesus) said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Luke 10:2
One of the greatest lies the enemy would have us believe is that people are not interested in what Christians have to say. They are interested. People are hungry for the Truth and are looking for it in all sorts of places. Be encouraged and bold that the Lord will direct your steps to share with those who are open and ready to receive.
If the ground is hard and not ready to receive then the seed is going to wither and die. Have you seen what happens when a heavy rain storm falls on hard ground. The water can’t penetrate the ground quickly enough and there is flash flooding. The ground was not prepared ready to receive the rain let alone the seed. It doesn’t penetrate the soil but runs off.
We don’t want run off.
We don’t want our words to run off like that water but we want them to penetrate and water the soil of men’s hearts. Ploughed soil is ready to receive. Ground that is broken up is ready to receive the rain. Little raindrops from heaven. Little words sent in due season.
If the soil is not ready to receive then it needs to be prepared. If those around you currently are hard hearted to the gospel message then we can intercede in prayer for them before God’s throne for the Holy Spirit to minister to their minds and hearts. For those hearts of stone to be turned to hearts of flesh. We can cry out for them to God. May our cries reach the ears of our Father in Heaven who sent His son to seek and save that which was lost.
If you are like me then I’m sure you have experienced rejection by people who were just not ready to receive you. It can be discouraging and cause us to hold back in future. I am learning that I need to recognise the conditions and discern when to sow and when to reap. To be led by the Holy Spirit and move on if the conditions are not ready yet.
Jesus told those that He sent out to minister that if there was no Peace in the house i.e the place was not ready to receive them – then their peace would return to them. If the disciples were not received then they were to shake the dust from their feet and move on.
And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Matthew 10:14
Even though those disciples must have encountered some of the rejection that Jesus warned them about, they still returned with joy to tell Jesus the things they had accomplished in His name.
We will do likewise. We will rejoice over those who receive Christ and come into the Kingdom of God.
Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him. Psalm 126:5-6
I woke up this morning thinking of the words of this wonderful old hymn. Hymns are beautiful and declare precious truths about God. I hope these words from How Great Thou Art bless you this morning. I hadn’t realised but according to information I have read, the words were originally a poem by Swedish Carl Boberg. The title was translated as “O Mighty God”.
It was years later that a missionary in Ukraine heard locals singing the song who translated it into the English version we know today.
I pray today that with all this terrible situation in Ukraine that this song and it’s words will be once again be a mighty declaration over that country of How Great God Is. May these words be heard ringing in Heaven’s courts today,
Oh Lord, my God When I, in awesome wonder Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder Thy power throughout the universe displayed
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee How great Thou art, how great Thou art Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee How great Thou art, how great Thou art
And when I think that God, His Son not sparing Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing He bled and died to take away my sin
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee How great Thou art, how great Thou art Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee How great Thou art, how great Thou art
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart Then I shall bow, in humble adoration And then proclaim, my God, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee How great Thou art, how great Thou art Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee How great Thou art, how great Thou art How great Thou art, how great Thou art
I want to re-share this post today which is from a word that the Lord gave me in August 2020. I believe that it is still a warning the Lord wants us to hear especially in these days and in times ahead. Please read, pray, weigh and test.
You will hear a rumour or a word that “The Lord is there ” – Jehovah Shammah” but the Lord says do not be fooled.
This morning the Lord impressed this word to me:
The Lord says that in the past many have run after the manifestations of who they believed was the Holy Spirit, because of a deep hunger to meet the Lord and encounter His presence, but these have often been false manifestations and have led people into the wrong things and opened up a door in their lives to the enemy by accepting a false anointing or a false spirit to oppress them.
The Lord says that you don’t have to run after manifestations of His glory. The glory of the Lord is coming to you.
Wait patiently for the Lord he says – He will come. He will not disappoint you.
The Lord says that He has already warned us in His Word not to run after such manifestations or people that claim to be Him. He says not to do it -for if you do then you will be deceived.
As the lightning streaked across the sky as it did in the storms that roared across this nation in the night and which all could see clearly in the sky, then so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.
Do not be deceived. Do not go running after false manifestations of the Holy Spirit and the Lord’s glory.
You will know the awesome presence of the Lord for He is Holy and where He is – is Holy.
You will not be able to stand in His presence. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. He is Lord and there is no other.
The Lord does things according to His Word (the Bible). He does not act outside of His Word.
Keep the Word of God close to your heart. Feed on the Word of God. Be guided by the Word and do not be deceived for many false prophecies and false words are circulating at the moment.
Many false prophets and leaders are rising up in this hour to lead His people astray. Do not be deceived says the Lord. Say true to His Word – Put your trust in God and do not be deceived. God is faithful and He is true. He will sustain you and protect you at these times.
Watchmen – Take your place on the city walls. Arise and look out at the horizons.
What do you see? Warn the body of Christ. Sound the alarm. You need to watch in these days ahead says the Lord.
There is an acceleration now occurring and things will happen fast. There is a suddenly approaching – Look & Wait.
Sound the alarm when the time comes and warn the body of Christ.
I am reminded of these scriptures from Matthew 24:
24 3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives,( the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming( and of the end of the age?
4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.(5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.( You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted( and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 0 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,11 and many false prophets( will appear and deceive many people.
12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom( will be preached in the whole world(as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
15 “So when you see standing in the holy place(‘the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.17 Let no one on the housetop( go down to take anything out of the house.18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 0 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.21 For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equalled again.
22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders( to deceive, if possible, even the elect.25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.27 For as lightning( that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
29 “Immediately after the distress of those days
“‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[
30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven,with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[ is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
The Day and Hour Unknown
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,but only the Father.(37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,(up to the day Noah entered the ark;39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.( 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.(43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant,(whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
My Granddad, David was a Christian and man of faith. I never met him as unfortunately, he died before I was born but I still have his little anointing bottle which has been passed on to me and which I still use today. It came from the Smith Wigglesworth ministries.
David had a stroke in 1943 and wrote out the testimony of his healing. I have it today written in his own hand. It always encourages me when I read it and it reminds me that Jesus is the same today, yesterday and forever and He still heals. I thought it would be encouraging to share David’s testimony with you today. The language is old fashioned but the meaning is the same. I hope you find it uplifting as I do.
“I was a strong healthy man all my days having experienced little trouble up to sixty years of age. One morning on the 15th September 1943, I rose to go to my work as usual. Arriving there, I fell very sick. I tried to work on but the sickness made me give up and start for home. I arrived home, my wife meeting me at the door. I was telling her of my feeling when I fell into her arms and the power immediately left the whole of my left side.
After I was taken in bed my first thoughts were of Jesus and of His healing power and I remembered that verse in the 11th Chapter of Mark’s gospel. “Therefore I say until you, whatever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them”. Instead of a sadness and depression following, a perfect peace and calm came to my heart, a peace that could only come from Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour.
The next day the Doctor called and said I had taken a shock (Hemiplegia), paralysis of one side of the body and blood pressure. I was to be kept very quiet as it would be a long time before I would be able to go around again. In fact, I would not be able to work again. Many friends were praying that God in His great mercy and loving kindness would lay His healing hand upon me.
On November 30th, having been 11 weeks in bed and still praying for God’s healing touch; I continually kept repeating to myself these words -” God help me. Thou has said Lord in thy precious word 11th Chapter of Mark. All things whatsoever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye received them and ye shall have them”.
On this day the Pastor of the Pentecostal Assembly, Hope Street, Leith, with his wife called to see me. He had been asked by a friend of mine to call. After a little talk on the deep things of Christ and if I believed that Christ could heal today as when He was upon earth, I said yes, he laid his hands on me and prayed earnestly for my deliverance, calling on me in the Name of the Lord to rise and walk. This I did for about 6 yards into the kitchen and sat down on a chair. I felt that the Lord had touched me, for from that moment, I began to mend, praising God with a joy unspeakable.
I sat on the chair for over an hour and a half. As I rose to go back to bed it seemed as if the evil one was determined to crush me down on the floor, as I felt so weak and helpless, but I called on God to deliver me and take me back to bed the way He took me out and this He did.
Ever since then, I have went on gaining strength every day, the power coming gradually back to me. I have had no special treatment any further than up in the morning at nine o’clock attempting to improve my walking.
A month later the Doctor called. With astonishment he looked at me and said “you are up”. “Yes”, I said, “this is the work of the Lord”. “Well, I will tell you” said the Doctor “you are a marvel, really it is wonderful, your prayers have been heard and answered. I was delighted to hear Doctor say that my prayers had been answered. I do thank God for His wonderful touch to my body and enabling me to walk when the power was completely out of my leg, no life also in my arm and fingers. To God be all the glory.
Dear friends, people of faith are not moved by anything they see or hear, not puffed up, they live in meekness and grow in grace. The people of faith, said a great preacher, do not live in time, they are begun in eternity, they do not count on the things that are but rely on the things that are not. Faith is a restful realisation of the gracious and almighty presence of an eternal God. Divine power is laid hold of through believing prayers and by its means men are fundamentally changed, circumstances modified and miracles of grace wrought to the glory of God. May we ever follow the spiritual way, for spiritual results can only be obtained by spiritual methods.
Yes friends, the life of faith here below is a life of trial from first to last and that is no more or less with every believer. The promise had been given to Abraham that he would have a son, and it was many years before that promise was fulfilled, and yet it is said of him that against hope he believed in hope that he might become the father of many nations, and staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith giving glory to God. Now this faith was afterwards crowned, the promise was fulfilled and Isaac was born. He waited long, but he learned in a peculiar manner, the faithfulness of God to His promises.
Perhaps we may have to live some years to wait on the Lord, for some good which he intends to confer upon us. It does not matter how long we may have to wait, don’t grow weary in well doing, for you can rest assured that when it does come it was worth waiting for. God never lets you down, no matter how long you may be tried. If we could only remember that, at these burning moments of test and seek the face of Christ, we would hear Him say “Fear not, for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou are mine.”
The severe trials which God sometimes sends are seldom of long duration, they are not only sent in wisdom and love but held in the same grip of love and wisdom. Life itself is short, and when on some emergency the Lord calls his child to suffer, we see with what tenderness the Lord comes to his relief. He never asks his child to stand more then he is able. Whatever portion of suffering may be allotted to us here, may we be enabled to say continually, not my will but thine be done O’ Lord, thus glorifying Him forever.” The end.
It inspires me that these words of testimony were written in 1943. Praise God for those who have travelled before us and encourage us to be strong in our faith and to glorify our Father in heaven.
Lord God Most High, from your throne in heaven you see and know the truth of everything that is happening in our world today especially in Ukraine and Russia. We pray as Hannah prayed that you will thunder from heaven and break the strength of those who are wicked, strengthen your children in this hour of need, silence the boasting and arrogance of the evil one, deliver your children from evil today we pray, in Jesus’ mighty name Amen.
Then Hannah prayed and said:
“My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.
There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the Lord is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.
The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength. Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry are hungry no more. She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away.
The Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.
For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s; on them he has set the world. He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.
It is not by strength that one prevails; those who oppose the Lord will be broken. The Most High will thunder from heaven; the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.” 1 Samuel 2:1-10
Today we consider Joseph’s character and what it was about Joseph which made him different from his brothers and a man after God’s heart.
Joseph was an example of long suffering and patience. It was 20/22 long years until the fulfillment of the prophetic dreams which God gave to Joseph. What must Joseph have been thinking throughout that time, especially when everything happening to him was the complete opposite of his dreams. He was a slave and imprisoned. The lowest of the low in status. Joseph showed incredible long suffering and patience throughout his ordeal. How did he keep going.
Joseph didn’t have the benefit at the start of seeing the big picture and how the story panned out. God chose to give Joseph two dreams when he was a young man – the sheaves of wheat bowing to his sheave of wheat and the 11 stars, sun and moon bowing down to him so Joseph knew only in part that he was destined for greatness from the interpretation of the dreams.
There are no examples in Joseph’s story of the Lord speaking directly to Joseph, giving him direct revelation, no burning bush experience or records of any angelic visitations to Joseph.
However, there are two verses (Genesis 39:2 & 21) which speak volumes and where it specifically says that “God was with Joseph”.
Those verses can be life changing when we take hold of them. The assurance of knowing God is with you.
That is what enabled Joseph to keep going and endure. Joseph knew and had confidence that God was with him. If God is for us who can be against us. Oh the confidence that must have inspired in Joseph to know that God was with him. That God had not forgotten or forsaken him even though his circumstances would suggest it. We must be careful not to harden our hearts towards God when we are going through difficult times, when can’t see the whole plan and we see only in part. Keeping our faith and trusting that God will never leave us or forsake us.
God still speaks today through dreams, visions, prophecies and we can make the mistake of thinking they are “now” words for this present time or the immediate future. We have to learn to submit the timing to God. The fulfilment may actually be for years in the future. We need to practice patience while we wait.
“For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.“ Habakkuk 2:3
Don’t give up on your vision – is it time to revive something God gave you years ago? Have you given up on it? Don’t get discouraged – wait for it – if God has promised it – it will happen.
Joseph learnt patience from the things he endured. The Spirit of God was in him as the Egyptians recognised.
Patience and long suffering are not popular concepts in this current worldly culture of instant gratification. Dare I say it – They are not popular in the church either. They are Godly characteristics though which we are to pursue as the fruit of the Holy Spirit which the Lord wants us to bear.
Let this be our prayer today:
“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:9-14
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4