“”You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
“And you saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea, and performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted arrogantly against our fathers. And you made a name for yourself, as it is to this day. And you divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on dry land, and you cast their pursuers into the depths, as a stone into mighty waters. By a pillar of cloud you led them in the day, and by a pillar of fire in the night to light for them the way in which they should go.”
Nehemiah 9:6, 9-12
I couldn’t sleep and opened up a couple of different books I’ve been reading. Searching for some answers for things I have going on in my own life, those books brought me nothing of any weight. Then I looked over and saw my Bible just staring at me. After being such a big advocate for reading God’s Word and speaking to you of how much Gods Word will change your life, I noticed that many times I search for answers in all sorts of different places, things and books but how often do I really pick up Gods Word and dig in. How often do I put on my miners helmet and take off on an adventure to see what God has to say to me?
Unfortunately, the answer is not very much. Tonight, I reluctantly picked up Gods Word and opened up to these Scriptures. I also noticed one of the main reasons I don’t run immediately to Gods Word when I have problems or in times of need, it’s because I’ve seen how powerful Gods Word has been in the past and I know most likely I will read something that humbles and convicts me. I know before I even open up His Word that I’ll read a powerful truth that will call me to step down from trying to live in my own power and put my trust solely in God alone. That doesn’t sound so bad but if you’re human you know how hard that can be. To set aside your pride and want for control, then give up everything to God, to answer the call in His Word to give up pleasures and things you really enjoy in this life and follow Him wherever He wants you to go, doing whatever He wants you to do. I’ll be honest, there’s times I don’t pick up Gods Word because I know already the steps out of my comfort zone God’s powerful truths will take me and that can be scary. I know that sounds pretty bad but it’s the truth. It’s easy to get on here and talk up a big game to try and encourage you to move out of the comfortable life and into the fullness of life God has called you to. The hard part is being honest with myself, others and you about why I struggle with putting these words to action. These aren’t things I want to admit but it’s the truth, and I pray that something in these words opens you up to see the truth of your own shortcomings. I could easily tell you of all my shortcomings that I experience everyday but this by far is my biggest one majority of the time. Seeking God and His Word, because I’m comfortable where I’m at and I know one glance into God’s Word will change that, it will move me into unknown waters into a place where I have no choice but to trust in Him. I don’t care who you are, that can be extremely tough sometimes.
Tonight I opened up Gods Word and found the answers I was looking for like always. I see these verses in Nehemiah talking about how powerful God is, how mighty and awesome our Creator is, I see a description of Gods character and who He is. I see that and I just think, wow!!! Why would I not put my trust in God? Why would I not always seek God through His Word for answers and provision in my life? Why would I not trust Him with all the things that I struggle with, the problems I have and the worldly desires that I hold onto?
Well, the answer to that last one is simple, I don’t want to let go. I find myself so often chasing the desires of my flesh and it’s what I’ve done for years on end but there is my flesh standing in the way of wanting to let go. As God’s Word says; “the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” It’s obvious to me more than ever how weak my flesh is, how easily I can be tempted and persuading to follow my own fleshly desires over what the Spirit tells me, shows me, and I know is right. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to let go to these things I hold so dearly and a big part of that is fear. Fear of failure to be more exact. After failing so many times it’s scary to take that step of faith with your eyes in the rear view mirror seeing how you screwed it up last time you tried. It’s terrifying to give up something and put your trust in God for help when in the back of your mind you’re already thinking about how you’re going to give in, give up, and fail again. I see these truths tonight in Gods Word and all those weaknesses and struggles I just shared with you, they don’t see so big and scary anymore! Why? Because I see how big and powerful God is, how He has literally created this world and everything in it with His own hands. I see who God is and what He is capable of, that gives me peace and comfort knowing He’s more than powerful enough to bring me through whatever comes up in my life. As bad as I want to avoid facing the afflictions I face daily, I see how God has brought deliverance to His people in the past, how He has taken them out of slavery, sent them to new places that were way out of there comfort zone, parted the Red Sea, opened up a clear and wide path for them to walk through to set them free from their enemies and all the evil that pursued them. I see that God continued leading those people as they walked in freedom, even if they failed God stayed right by there side as a guide for them to follow!
It just amazes me to see what God has done, it amazes me even more to sit here and awhile ago I felt hopeless and weak. Now, I still feel weak but my strength comes from another source, it’s not my own, it’s not any book or anything of this world, but my hope and strength was literally found by opening up Gods Word. Even with the temptations, distractions and pull of my sinful flesh not to do it, Gods Word and learning more of who He is, and all that He is done, I know without a shadow of a doubt that God can and will take me out of the slavery I’m in to fear, comfort and fleshly desires. I know that He can lead me into His freedom and do the what seems miraculous after the all the times I’ve failed to do myself. I know God can part the sea and I know God will give me a big clear path to walk through it. I know God will send my enemies and all the evil schemes around me away, I know He will protect me and provide for me, I know He will guide me through the wilderness and always be there with me right by my side. You see, I sound confident now compared to the first part of this message. “I know” doesn’t come from myself but simply from God’s Gold. This strength and hope I have now comes purely from opening up Gods Word, reading His truths and learning more about who He is and what all He’s capable of! My confidence is in God, and God alone! It’s crazy how much we can be reluctant to even open up Gods Word because of our own comfort and selfishness, but man!!!! When we take what seems like such a small step of faith and open up His powerful Word, He will and can change our lives forever!!! Hope, strength, peace, life, faithful steps out of our comfort zone, change, love, it all starts as we open up Gods Word and dig in. That’s it, just one flip of a page and the adventure of a lifetime begins!!!!