ISAIAH 52:12 But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you, for the GOD OF ISRAEL will be YOUR REAR GUARD.
According to Collins dictionary… a REARGUARD is a detachment detailed to protect the rear of a military formation, esp. in retreat.
It is one thing to trust in the Lord at the beginning of a journey… it’s another to see Him when you arrive at your destination. Think about Job. Then again…think about me…and yes…think about yourself. When God spoke to me those words from Isaiah 52:12 on that cold February day of 2010…I had imagined that the journey ahead could be nothing but smooth sailing. But…how wrong things had proven to be. No…the fact is God had sent us packing. And Yes, for the record…He had kept part of HIS DEAL.
But there was a problem…for months on end…I didn’t seem to see where He was. I didn’t understand the silence. The battle ranged and like Job…I challenged Him as if He was my equal. The battle became evermore fierce…and my will to fight slowly began to slip away. GOD, WHERE ARE YOU? My soul cried out to Him. He didn’t answer. He didn’t sent a word in season. It became dry and parchy. The pain was unbearable.
“I HAVE BEEN WATCHING YOUR BACK” God whispered to my quietened soul last week, over 2 years since He had spoken those words from Isaiah. Yes, He had been MY REARGUARD. My life…that is, my soul had been left intact. The chaff had been separated from the wheat. The battle was over and I was on my way home. From now on
Psalms 147:13-14 HE WILL STRENGTHEN THE BARS OF MY GATES AND BLESS MY PEOPLE WITHIN ME. HE WILL GRANT PEACE TO MY BORDERS AND SATISFY ME WITH THE FINEST OF WHEAT.
It doesn’t matter at what point you are in your journey…and how fierce the battle may seem ahead of you…if God sent you out…He watching over your life…He will meet you at the end and you will be victorous in Him.
Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement. Yes…my family arrived in the UK on the 7th July and we have been trying to settle in. Obviously, there is still alot to be done…before we can move on but God has been faithful. Walking this road is a SWEET/BITTER experience in itself…but just as a friend sent me an email last week….OUR FAITH ought and should always look away….but LOOK UP at the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our FAITH. And while our circumstances and life sitiuations are different in every sense of that word….WE SHARE THE SAME FAITH….the faith that stays FIXED ON JESUS. The faith that Peter had when he walked on water towards Jesus. The faith that Hannah had as she cried out in faith to the Lord for a baby, the faith that Paul and Silas had when locked up in the prison. I am tapping into that SAME FAITH… and I hope and pray you will take the same grace today and walk down with me…towards the END of the promise.
BY THE WAY….Sarah laughed at the beginning out of fear but in THE END, she laughed out of pleasure. Whatever your reason for laughter….GOD IS FAITHFUL.
PS NOTE: I am not yet back on the net full time. So do bear with me.
The last time I checked….and I kept wondering, “GOD, DOES IT MATTER?” All this trusting, believing, pleading and staying at one point. “DOES IT MATTER?” So here I am and the Lord put it out well. Yes, it matters. Oh…it more than matters. I am stretching your spiritual muscles. For too long…you have confined yourself to accomodate what you can handle in your present situation. But I am here…I want you TO STRETCH, I want you TO ENLARGE, I want you to MOVE OUT….yes, because I have plans for you. In case you might wonder who this word is for…It for me….and you, and him, and her, and yes….for most of us.
DARE I SAY MORE…..read ISAIAH 54 for the bigger picture.
2 Kings 13:18-19 Then he said, ‘Take the arrows,’ and the king took them. Elisha told him, ‘Strike the ground.’ He struck it three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, ‘You should have struck the ground FIVE OR SIX TIMES; then you would have defeated Aram and COMPLETELY DESTROYED IT. But now you will defeat it only three times.
Everyone who enters into a fight…hopes always to win. But there is always a WINNER and a loser. However, there is another different angle to any kind of fight. Sometimes, you might win by default or sheer luck. Thankfully, as a child of God…who is constantly faced with different kinds of battles…our perspective in a fight is…or ought to be that one of a victor. Yet…in spite of this awesome knowledge, we at times enter into our fight UNARMED and UNPREPARED to endure through to the end. At other times, we have no strength to keep our hands on the WEAPON for too long. That’s what happened to the King of Israel.
Israel was ever fighting different kinds of enemies. Before each battle, according to the instructions, each king was required to inquire from the Lord through the prophet. In the account from 2 Kings 13, we see Jehoash, King of Israel consulting Prophet Elisha before going to fight the Arameans. And this was Elisha’s instruction to him.
2 King 13:15-17 Elisha said, “Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did so. “Take the bow in your hands,” he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put HIS HANDS ON THE KING’S HANDS. ‘Open the east window,’ he said, and he opened it. “Shoot!” Elisha said, and he shot. THE LORD’S ARROW OF VICTORY, the arrow of victory over Aram!” Elisha declared. ‘YOU WILL COMPLETELY destroy the Arameans at Aphek.”Continue reading →
2 Corinthians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the FATHER OF COMPASSION and the GOD OF ALL COMFORT, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can COMFORT THOSE in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
Wow! I have to say here one thing before I start. By reading this scripture verse, I understand why so many people are lost for words when it comes to comforting others! If you have never been comforted…you might not know how to comfort another in trouble. And while it is true, at one time or another you might have been on the receiving end of comfort…that still doesn’t qualify you to be a source of comfort for others.
One thing though makes all the difference: GOD….the GOD OF ALL COMFORT!
By comforting one who is in trouble…one doesn’t need to look up for the right soundly words. I learned that a little over a year ago. A friend was in trouble. BIG TROUBLE. My words…no matter how well meaning could do nothing to lighten her burden. Instead…her burden became my burden. Even though she never got to know it…I ached as much as she did. I wanted so badly to fix her situation…but I didn’t know how. I cried her tears; I asked her questions; My heart bled for her dreams; Then God showed up….to comfort her! Suddenly, my burden for her lifted. And in the most amazing way…words…WORDS OF COMFORT began flowing from my mouth. And she listened…and little by little, God began patching together her broken heart!
1 Corinthians 15:25-26 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. THE LAST ENEMY to be destroyed is death.
I have heard this declaration by Christians more often than not. ‘I HAVE NO ENEMIES.’ But the truth be told. Yes…you have enemies. In fact, from the very moment you openly declared your allegiance to follow the Lord Jesus, your first and greatest enemy became the devil. The devil uses other agents to oppose the purpose of God from being accomplished in your life. And while his agents maybe physical, emotional or spiritual…the most effective of them all is when he uses people.
This morning….the Lord whispered these words into my heart. ‘I WILL USE YOUR LAST ENEMY TO THRUST YOU INTO YOUR DESTINY.’ Suddenly, I understood what that meant. Throughout the bible history, we see people who rose up to oppose God’s chosen servants. And while facing their enemy, in human weakness, God always entered into their situation to show Himself strong on their behalf. Continue reading →
John 16:32-33 “But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. 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.
Do you have peace? You may say that is a broad question…and I admit it is. What does peace have to do with you? Most definitions of the word peace…are derived from the state from the outside which defines what happens on the inside. For example, when someone is mean and unfriendly to you, you may feel uncomfortable or restless in their presence. Or when there are chaos around, you tend also to lose focus and a sense of harmony.
In the above scripture verses is hidden wisdom in the words of Jesus to his disciples. Yes…Jesus was about to go to the cross. It was going to be the climax of events that had unfolded 3 years earlier. But…it wasn’t going to be the climax the disciples were anticipating. It was about to be very ugly….in fact, very CHAOTIC and VIOLENT. Oh yes…their world was about to be turned upside down. And Jesus was preparing them for it. So…when He was talking to them about HAVING PEACE, they had no slighted clue what was ahead. Continue reading →