Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Devotional 140409

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Our Lord is good. He is Father for fatherless. He is shelter in stormy weather. We can always find refuge in Him no matter how stormy our days may become. Just as God had provided a cave for Prophet Elijah to hide from his fearful enemy and desert storm, he always provides security for us in our fearful world. The Bible described Elijah’s encounter with God during the most fearful days of his life, “The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"”(1 Kings 19:11-13). Elijah knew how to discern the voice of God – a gentle whisper sound; he was familiar with this voice because this might be how the Lord always spoke to Elijah when he walked with Him each day. I found that it is also true to the experience of the Disciples of Christ when they lived with our Lord Jesus on earth.

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:29). "Whom the Lord loves, He disciplines." How petty our complaining is! Our Lord begins to bring us into the place where we can have communion with Him, and we groan and say - "O Lord, let me be like other people!" Jesus is asking us to take one end of the yoke - "My yoke is easy, get alongside Me and we will pull together." Are you identified with the Lord Jesus like that? If so, you will thank God for the pressure of His hand.

"To them that have no might He increases strength." God comes and takes us out of our sentimentality, and our complaining turns into praise. The only way to know the strength of God is to take the yoke of Jesus upon us and learn of Him.

"The joy of the Lord is your strength." Where do the saints get their joy? If we did not know some saints, we would say - "Oh, he, or she, has nothing to bear." Lift the veil. The fact that the peace and the light and the joy of God are there is proof that the burden is there too. The burden God places squeezes the grapes and out comes the wine; most of us see the wine only. No power on earth or in hell can conquer the Spirit of God in a human spirit; it is an inner unconquerable Spirit.

If you have any complain within you, kick it out ruthlessly. It is a positive crime to be weak in God's strength. God always wants His children to be courageous. He wants us to be strong by His strength. By our human nature, we may be weak and helpless, but by His strength we are always capable and hopeful. God told Joshua after his mentor Moses had died, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9). In a similar way, Apostle Paul confessed from his own experiences in the Lord, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Phil 4:13). To me, God does not appreciate mediocre, pessimistic and scary Christians. He expects the disciples of Christ to be brave and positive, because they are new creations in Him. White paper cannot be black. The Almighty cannot be weak unless He chooses to be. Therefore, by nature, the children of God bear the power of God in their lives; they can conquer any barriers or stronghold of Satan. And nothing can conquer them or separate them from the loving power of God, unless they choose to disconnect themselves from the eternal source of strength. Help us to stay connected to you, O Lord! Help us to stand firm in you no matter how our world may change…you will take care of us and empower us to conquer our world.

Love you by His strength,

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