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Thursday, June 21, 2012

No More Hiding from Trouble

I see people hiding all the time. Some have marital problems and hide from their spouses. Some have work problems and hide from their work They retreat into the smallest, darkest corner and hide. They see nothing but failure in their future. Hiding helps them forget this outcome.

Some of these people use alcohol and drugs to help them hide. Its really hard to concentrate on your problems as you sit in a stupor. Some of these drugs are prescription drugs. These drugs allow them to continue hiding without feeling they are failing somewhere else.

I have seen singers and speakers hide in front of their audiences. They say something like, "You'll have to excuse . . . ," to indicate that there is a reason the speach or performance is not up to par. They are really saying, "I am trying to hide from your criticism because I don't think I am any good."

I have seen people hide in their work. They don't want to face something somewhere else so they work unbelievable hours. Maybe they work because they refuse to face the fact that they have gotten their families is major debt or maybe they work because they have invested in something that will never pay off. Oh, and yes, it could be that they are just afraid to go home and face the spouse. Maybe they already know of an affair that is going on. They are pretending that things are fine at home while they are at work.

Believers have no reason to hide. We may walk through "the valley of the shadow of death" but we will, indeed, fear no evil for God is with us. We may have stress placed on our shoulders at work or at home but we know that God will rescue us from those who would do us harm. God will bring us through the shipwrecks of life.

We have three things we must do in order to see God walk through any hardship, tragedy or mishap. We must love Him, identify ourselves with Him and call out to Him. The failure to do any of these things will result in fearful treading through our tribulations, at best, and hiding from them, at worst.

God Himself has declared that He will rescue the one who loves Him. He has promised to protect those who acknowledge His name. He has assured us that He will answer when we call on Him. He has said that those who do so will be delivered and honored. God can be identified by His word. He never separates Himself from it.

Could we find a more true word that God's word? Could we find someone who would give us a more secure promise? Could we call on anyone who is more powerful, more knowing or more loving? Absolutely not ! Beleivers should never hide.

However, we must always remember that He is our refuge and fortress. He is our safety and strength.

Recently Nik Wallenda walked over Niagra Falls on a tightrope. It was an amazing fete. However, he was tethered so that a slip would mean that he would not actually fall into the falls for his almost certain death. Sometimes God allows us to walk through some very scary things. However, He holds on to the tether to pull us out and rescue us.

There is no greater assurance than God's promise.

Psalm 91:14-15 (NIV) 14 "Because he loves me," says
            the Lord, "I will rescue
            him;
    I will protect him, for he
           acknowledges my name.
15 He will call upon me, and I
           will answer him;
    I will be with him in
          trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor
          him.

4 comments:

high-expressions said...

Yes, speak about this one, preach it, Ps 91 verses 14-15.

Ps 91 is a very beautiful psalm, also commonly known as the protection psalm. Readers should go read it; you will see the promises frequently on the lips of believers found there.

The Psalm opens with "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. After that, the beautiful promises of God are given.

But what many of us fail to tell people, or maybe we ourselves, do NOT know, is how one gets to dwell in the shelter of the Most High.

Is that a physical place? Where is the shelter of the Most High? How do we get there?

In fact, many believers are disappointed, for often what they read in Scripture, like the beautiful promises of protection in this Psalm 91, they do NOT seem to come through for them. After a while, they give up, and conclude we cannot take the Word at its face value! Part of the blame lies with us, we don't properly tell people that many of these promises have conditions attached to them.

I am NOT saying if we do NOT fulfill the conditions attached, we will NEVER be able to receive the promises; I am NOT saying that. What I am saying is that if God puts condition(s) to His promise, it is NOT unreasonable of Him to expect you and I, to fulfill it/them.

The key to Ps 91's promises is in verses 14-15, the verses Ps Prentis left at the end of the article. Where is the shelter of the Most High? How do you get there? Is it a physical place? No, it is NOT a physical place. You and I get there by loving God.

When we get into trouble, it is NOT that God does NOT want to come and get us out of our trouble; He can easily do that. It is He can always do that, but the question is, do we know what is the point/lesson that can be learned from our scenario.

How do we commonly get into trouble? We disobey God or some commands of God. For example, God's Word said NOT to steal, but you did it. Or God's Word said that we are to seek first His Kingdom and righteousness, and then what we need, they would be added to us, but you don't want to follow that, instead you decided to put all your time and attention to your career, even if it would take a toll on your health or family. God can come and help you out, but will you learn the lesson therein?

Some people when they are in trouble, all they want and care about, is how are you, God, going to get me out of this? God can get them out, but they would get into trouble again and again. "But God is patient-what!" Hello, it is you have to grow; it is NOT God has to grow in patience! God's desire is for all of us to grow.

Cont...

high-expressions said...

COnt. from above

So, I have said, you got to love God, that is the key to availing yourselves to the protection promises of God, there, in Ps 91. But if you don't know how to love God, you are back to square one - where you don't know how to dwell in the shelter of the Most High?

Is it that obvious, how we are to love God? No, I don't think so. Make a guess, now. No, don't say, we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength! That still does NOT say how?

Jesus did say how. Obey His commands. Short and sharp, but pastors are NOT preaching it, no wonder people are NOT knowing it. It is repeated many times in the writings of the Apostle John. Two verses that I like, on this, are John 14:15 and John 14:21a.

How can you get to dwell in the shelter of the Most High? Love Him. How to love Him? Obey His commands. How do we say, people commonly get into trouble? They did NOT obey God's commands. See, God can get you out of your trouble, but if you continue NOT to obey His commands, you are just NOT loving Him.

Then, there are those who would like to have God's protection all the time. Anything wrong with that? No, I like that too. But then, how do we love God? Some people do this, "This Sunday, I will go to church, and sing a few thanksgiving songs to God, since I have had relief from my trouble. God has indeed helped me," But then, the week following that, they don't go anymore. You know, how bad this attitude is. I tell you what you are in effect doing. You are holding out that God is the one needing teaching or growing; in fact, you are saying in His face, "God, if and when you help me, I will give you praise! God, you do first, then I give you love!” What audacity is that!

We need to love God for who He is and we are to worship Him in the like of the 3 friends of Daniel who were thrown in the furnace by the King Nebu. You can read the full story in Daniel 3. This is what the threesome said:

17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. ”

That is loving God; not you (God) do, and then I reciprocate.

Ps Prentis mentioned 2 other ingredients for getting help from God in your time of trouble. They are that you are to identify with God, and you are to call out to God. They are mentioned in verses 14 & 15. They can be regarded as being part and parcel of loving God, but can take it out and explicitly point it out to people; and I will elaborate on them a little bit more.

Actually, when you gave your life over to Jesus, when you entered into salvation, you are identified with Jesus, or to use the words in verse 14, you have acknowledged Jesus. But the problem with many of us, is that we soon “go on to do our own things”, and so, in the process we have failed to follow through with our commitment to be in continual acknowledgment of Him. Now, if you think you only need to do that, once, at the point of your entry into salvation, and can then just do what you like, without change in your life or lifestyle, you have been taught under erroneous core theology of the Christian faith (to me, that is being legalistic/legalism). Don’t let false teachers fool you, how you live show if you are acknowledging Him; you go legalism or legalistic with God, you cannot win your case.

Cont...

high-expressions said...

COnt. from above

When you are already a believer, acknowledgment of Him means you live according to His prescription (how you live), and when you are off, you have to acknowledge that, you are off, and you need to turn back, and resume the way of life prescribed by God (no lie, no steal, and so on…). Yes, that means you confess you have strayed; you repent, and you turn to God for forgiveness. Yes, acknowledge Him again. Don’t listen to teaching that tells you the only thing you need to do, is to tell the Devil off, by telling the Devil that you are still righteous. Who do you need to acknowledge, the Devil or God? Look, who is going to see you to Heaven, the Devil or God? What we need to address foremost, is our issue with God, NOT you don’t have to come before God, just tell the Devil off. I am NOT saying there is anything wrong with telling the Devil off, per se, but it is that we have to foremost, address our issue with God.

The common sense that we have to call out to God, to some people, it turns out to be NOT that common! Please, you cannot insist this, “He is God-what, He knows everything-what, He knows even before I ask, then I don’t need to tell Him-what!” You will be surprised that many believers do this to God. Yes, God, as well as the angels He assigned, watch over you, and without you knowing, help you a lot; but you cannot take Him for granted. Yah, you are taking Him for granted; you don’t even be bothered to talk to Him about your problem. You don’t want to dialogue with your loved ones, like your spouse, and then you expect him/her to anticipate, and act just in the nick of time to take care of things. Oh! You don’t do that to your loved ones, your spouse, but you will do that to God! Isn’t He your most loved one, ahead of your spouse!

If you have been loving your God, and say, you strayed or did a wrong or sin, and then you acknowledged Him again, and you called out to Him, would He NOT answer you? Verse 15 said He would. Some people have this attitude: “I don’t think He hears me, please pray for me to God.” I will pray for people who need prayer. I don’t credit myself as a righteous man, that my prayer avails much, but if you trust that my prayer can help, I will help. But people do need to examine themselves. Do I ask others to pray for me? Sure I do. But I also pray myself. If I ask people to pray for me for a matter, I must have or be prepared to pray to God myself concerning the matter. You have to ask yourself, why you won’t call out to God on the matter.

God hears it when a believer prays, like He hears it, when a doorbell rings! That is the minimum; in other words, God always hears. The Hebrew word is “Shama”, which can mean “hear”, like a hear a doorbell ringing, on the one end, or “listen” or listen to give efficacy, tending on the other end. Does God hear you? God hears you, alright; but He may NOT listen to you.

Stubbornly wicked believers, sorry, you cannot expect God to listen to you, as in, do as you want! Of course, NOT; in fact, in the extreme scenario, He may NOT hear you, but that, I believe, is NOT before He already warned you (exception to God always hearing you).

What some people want to do, is that they don’t want to re-acknowledge God, but they want God to listen. If you don’t want to re-acknowledge (from the heart, like what has been explained above), God hears, but He may NOT listen, meaning He may NOT give efficacy to your request. For God, what is more important is you get back right with Him. To us, God looks always tarrying, but to God, He is eager to pounce on the moment of change He wants to see.

Sometimes, He does NOT give you what you want, but answers you differently, for He knows best how to mould you or direct you, for our own good (old fashion, but true!).

COnt...

high-expressions said...

Cont. from above

When you love Him, including obeying His commands, when you acknowledge Him (NOT just at the time of your salvation, but continually acknowledging Him, and if you stumble, you re-acknowledge Him), and you call on Him, in humility and with a contrite heart, He will answer you. In verse 15, it clearly said there, that in your trouble, He will be with you (See, God never say, you will have NO trouble in your Christian life or when you are dwelling in the shelter of the Most High or when you are loving your God). In other words, in your journey on earth, God journeys with you. And He will rescue/deliver you, protect you and even honor you. Herein, are the keys to a good Christian life. What more do you ask – God walks with you (think Enoch), rescues/delivers you, protects you and even honors you.

God, may you bless the reading of these words. Amen.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions

PS: Those wanting a full exposition of Ps 91, can go here: http://high-expressions.blogspot.com/2012/02/secret-to-our-well-being.html (you have to copy and paste onto your internet explorer)