Wednesday, January 16, 2013

God's Timing #2 - Do Not Be Afraid

Understanding God’s timing is all about growing up in the Lord. There are times when some things should never be done, while other things must always be done. At certain times a particular action is the only proper course to take while at other times even good things are inappropriate to take because God clearly says, “not now!” Understanding God in uncertain times can help us avoid painful pitfalls and guide us into His perfect will.

If we fail to believe that God is serious when He says "never," we suffer the consequences of our disobedience. There are also consequences from not doing what God clearly tells us to do. So let’s look at an Old Testament story that will help illustrate this principle.

The Israelites had just left Egypt after the Lord delivered the ten plagues on the Egyptians. While they were camping at the edge of the Red Sea, Pharaoh changed his mind again and decided to pursue them into the desert to bring them back. You can read how it unfolded in Exodus 14:10-16.

Now sometimes when you get between a rock and a hard place, you do the natural thing and you blame the person responsible – Moses. As the Israelites saw their enemy approaching they panicked. They said things like, “I wish you would have left us alone and we would have just stayed in Egypt as slaves where we had three square meals.” They even regretted believing in the word of the Lord delivered through Moses. They forgot how God rained down the plagues on the Egyptians. How fast we forget when times get tough. They even forgot the Passover night when their children were spared. There was no faith to be found anywhere. It was in that moment they heard a “never” word from the Lord through Moses. It was simply, “Do not be afraid!”

Whether it is the Israelites at the Red Sea or you and I in Findlay, Ohio, fear and timidity are never God’s will for His people. To be controlled by fear means living by no faith. In Hebrews 11:6 it says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” It doesn’t matter who is pursuing you or how bad the economy gets, fear is never an option for the children of God. When we ignore God’s Word, “Do not be afraid,” we grieve the Holy Spirit and rob ourselves of what God intends for us to experience. Fear is far worse than any disease you can get because we make excuses and live with it while experiencing a slow internal death.

It’s easy to wonder why the Israelites had so little faith. But we are not in that life threatening crisis either. How big is your faith when a crisis hits? Remind yourself today and every day that fear is not an option. God is in control. Determine to stay fearless even if the earth or our economy gives way.

Don’t let news or any situation control your emotions. Let me remind you what Psalm 46:1-3 says,
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with surging.”

God did not forsake the Israelites at the Red Sea after doing so much to deliver them. Pharaoh would not have the last laugh over the Creator of the universe. So, walk in faith today and know that God will deliver and give you many reasons to increase your faith.

I am looking forward to a great day on Sunday as we gather and worship the King of kings and Lord of lords. It’s exciting to come together as the Body of Christ and grow in His Word. Great things are happening and lives are being transformed. Invite a friend with you this week…

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike

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