Saturday, February 18, 2017

WORD OF LIFE, PART 4: THE REST AND RESCUE OF GOD

We have all had these seasons in life, when nothing goes right - the bills are piling in. If there are young or teenage children, just keeping them focused on the important things in life and not the culture which demands their souls and attention can be overwhelming. If you are a single parent trying to deal with work, children, child care, food on the table, homework done and a car muffler going out, sometimes life is just too much. If you're a middle-aged dad, the college bills are coming in, and no job prospects for little junior lie ahead. If you're a senior, the end of life is on the horizon ahead, and somehow life feels unfulfilled, or even empty.

So what do we do when feeling crushed, under the gun and there is no end in sight. You hear the preacher in church tell you on Sunday morning, if you can even make it to church, that "you must give it to God".....or "let God have it".....or "make Jesus the Lord of your life".... or "read the Word of God, it has the answers". As a Christian, you may know all of this is true, or could be true and you consider Jesus as Savior. You even prayed "the prayer" and accepted Christ into your life. But with all you're going through, none of it seems real. There is a disconnect. In fact, there seems to be a huge gap of reality.

Here is where the preacher is right! The Word of God DOES have all the answers. In fact the words themselves contain answers, therein. But there is a caveat and it requires something not human within us to bring deliverance and breakthrough. Do not get this wrong. It has nothing to do with "sowing a seed" or chanting a verse as you see on those TV shows on prosperity, word faith or contemplative prayer programs. These are outside the realm of the Spirit. What we are talking about here is letting loose the Spirit of Christ within us, to remove the human element of wanting to control outcomes and answers, and then allowing Him to guide us into the areas of all Truth.

This is basically what surrendering or committing your life and mine to Christ really means. The examples cited above (bills, teenage rebellion, stress, car problems, work etc.) can, do and will continue to overwhelm us. These are what daily living is all about. But it can also be about REST. This is the Rest emanating from the penumbras of the not-so-hidden Oracles of God, which is the Bible.

This Rest is saying as verse 25 below says "My soul clings to the dust"....Lord I can't take this anymore. Help me!!!" But then, we acknowledge in verse 26 that we have been doing it our way for so long, that it "ain't workin, hoss"! But Verse 26 also has something else...and it is that caveat we mentioned earlier. We realize that our way is not working and the cry for "RESCUE" is being heard!  This is surrendering to Jesus as Lord! It simply means - our ways are useless, He is Lord so now, "Jesus, God, You are MY LORD - please RESCUE ME!"

Psalm 119:25-32
Daleth
25 My soul clings to the dust;
Revive me according to Your word.
26 I have declared my ways, and You answered me;
Teach me Your statutes.
27 Make me understand the way of Your precepts;
So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works.
28 My soul melts from heaviness;
Strengthen me according to Your word.

29 Remove from me the way of lying,
And grant me Your law graciously.
30 I have chosen the way of truth;
Your judgments I have laid before me.
31 I cling to Your testimonies;
O Lord, do not put me to shame!
32 I will run the course of Your commandments,
For You shall enlarge my heart.

And He does - every time! The problems never go away, but now, they seem bearable if we keep our Focus on Him. They are manageable if we read a portion of Psalms every day or the Gospels or 1 John. They are His because we rest in His Word and His promises. That is what Psalm 119 is all about - the Word As Life, the Word to Life and the Word OF Life, the Life of the Believer!

Resting on the Word, when we are in sackcloth and ashes like Job, in the dung heap of life, brings meditation (verse 27) and thinking about that Scripture and the Goodness of Yahweh, as you drive the long commute to work, or to drop your teenage kid to the soccer game or swim meet....or as widow going to the senior home to volunteer to help with social activities.

Resting on the Word means that even your heart is melting with sadness, sorrow and loneliness (verse 28), He will send you back to the Bible and you will find that ONE word, phrase or passage which He wrote just for you, and you realize, "God, You really do have my back!"

Resting on the Word means no more cutting corners to shade that truth to avoid embarrassment or this corner to "save time or a buck" but now, you see and FEEL His Grace lighting up the next half mile ahead for you to travel (Verses 29- 30). Because you have chosen to accept this Rest, you are now committed to this road, and thus, MORE Grace lies around the bend.

Resting on the Word means rejecting yourself as the author of your own breakthrough and answers and accepting His guidance now. Why shouldn't you? He knows the end from the beginning. He has laid out the road map to peace, joy and contentment - even in times of trouble, so let us saturate our minds DAILY with His Truth. Then watch the oil of joy flow to bring rescue and healing, so much so, that the Testimonies of your growing love and heart for God just want to burst out of our chest! These testimonies are so rich, they will lead others to this Rest and Knowledge - if we just tell them!

Jesus said in John 16:33 "in this world, you will have tribulation (troubles, all kinds of bad things happen) but BEHOLD (be of good cheer, even in horrible times), I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD!!" (My emphasis and explanations in brackets are not from scripture, but interpretation). 

Therefore, go rest high - on the mountain and Word of God. Amen.
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