You will not drown!…
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
Isaiah 43:2 (NLT)
Note from Kip…
There is no greater power than the hand of God on His loyal servant.
It simply doesn’t get any better than that. That is all that is required. Nothing exceeds it. Nothing can deter it. Nothing can defeat it.
We all find ourselves struggling in swirls of adversity from time to time. The seasons of refreshment are wonderful pauses, but the real action is when our faith is tested to it’s maximum and despite all that would consume, God’s mighty hand, propelled by the speed and enduring Love He has for us, sustains.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.
From the depths of the waters to the heights of the mountains, The Lord our Sovereign provides the strength we need to do that which we are incapable, to resist that which is irresistible, to exceed that which is unfathomable, and to see that which is hidden to our faltering eyes; with clarity and purpose.
Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people. He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago.
Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us.He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant — the covenant he swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham.
We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live.And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord.
You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.
Luke 1:68-79 (NLT)
The singular act of God coming to live among us, was the declaration of hope, that all who would abide in Him would be transformed from their fragile self, with no hope to endure, let alone thrive.
The action He took coming here, living here, and dying to redeem us; demonstrated His love and unrelenting desire to embellish that Love on us through His Grace and Mercy.
His greatest works be done, through us. The Sovereign Lord fully intended for us to be His hands and feet; the vessels of His Love and Grace.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!“
John 14:12-14 (NLT)
There is no doubt, He is able. And likewise because of Him Living in us, we are as well. Not of our own power, but by the power vested by Him in us. We can truly do all things through Christ, who strengthens us.
Say to all your people and your priests, ‘During these seventy years of exile, when you fasted and mourned in the summer and in early autumn,[a] was it really for me that you were fasting? And even now in your holy festivals, aren’t you eating and drinking just to please yourselves?
Zechariah 7:5-6 (NLT)
Note from Kip…
Doing the right thing for the wrong reason. The trap we can get into with prayer, service, and worship. God doesn’t look at the actions nearly as much as the motivation of our heart!
There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:18-19 (HCSB)
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Galatians 2:19b-20 (HCSB)
This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but closes his eyes to his need — how can God’s love reside in him?
1 John 3:16-17 (HCSB)
“Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
“Lord,” he told Him, “I’m ready to go with You both to prison and to death!”
“I tell you, Peter,” He said, “the rooster will not crow today until you deny three times that you know Me!”
Luke 22:31-34 (HCSB)
Note from Kip…
Getting out over our skies. Peter did it here. We do it as well. Considering our ability more than our trust in Jesus to fulfill our mission through His strength. This is a hazard we all face daily.
The encouraging thing about this exchange is that even though Peter did deny Christ just as He told him here, later Peter fulfilled the role assigned to him to strengthen his brothers.
We are redeemed every day. Every time we surrender our will to His. Each time we reject self and embrace the love and grace of our Lord!
“You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary?, Don’t even the Gentiles do the same?
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Matthew 5:43-48 (HCSB)
Note from Kip…
Not asking much are you Lord?
Actually, he’s not. We are to be perfect. We are to be abiding in God’s perfect will. Remember the heart! We live in an imperfect world in imperfect bodies. Oppressed on every side by the temptation that would seek to destroy us.
But in all of that God can see perfection in us, when we simply abide in his Perfect love and Grace.