Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Sword Time! Scriptures to Tear Down #5!

If we are to counter the whisperings that God doesn't care, or that fear is our permanent status, then we must unsheath our sword.  In other words, let's open the Word when fear, insecurity and questioning God's trustworthiness hits our hearts.  Remember: The S/Word is our weapon of warfare as we engage in battle.

I should have brought forth the word in the earlier blog, but it is so easy to become wrapped up in our won stories, and lose sight of the Rock upon which we stand. 

Here we go:

S/Word Swing: "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." (Ps. 56:3) ("be bold confident, secure, sure"--Strong's)

S/Word Swing: "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18) ("brought to its end, finished"--Strong's)

S/Word Swing: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." (Ps. 46:1) ("assistance"--Strong's)

S/Word Swing: "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:6-7) ("an admonishing or calling to soundness of mind, to moderation and self-control"--Strong's)

S/Word Swing: "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, [tested, testing] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." (1 Cor. 10:13) ("an egress, way out, exit"--Strong's) 

So, I must  engage in a wee bit of commentary.  If we trust, we have confidence in what we do, correct?  If I trust my car is in working order, I climb in, turn the ignition and away I go.  If I have a lemon, then I am never sure of its reliability.  

God is reliable because He is utterly trustworthy, for He has shown His mercy and grace time and time again.  Read His Word and follow His grace-filled story of warning, punishment and then  restoration.  Satan harps on the punishment part, because it makes God look capricious.  But Satan ignores (and so do we) the "bookends" of God's mercy:  He warns His people, follows through if  they ignore Him and then later will restore them with lovingkindness.  

Final word:  Many people quote an axiom that goes something like this: "God will not give you more than you can handle."  So, if your daughter is sick and then dies, you can bear this, because God gave this to you, knowing you can handle it.  


We usually quote this as if to comfort the person with some kind of biblical-sounding wisdom.  GO TO THE WORD, PLEASE.   Look carefully at 1 Corinthians 10:13, which I believe is the mother to this illegitimate child of a saying.  

God doesn't hand you two tons of burden, asking you to carry it, because He knows you can handle it.  He then leaves the situation, takes a seat in the cosmic bleachers and watches you, to see how you are doing. HUH?

The Word says that tempting (Satan capitalizing on our own desires--James 1:13-15) or testing (our character and how much we trust God--James 1:2-4)) will come.  Jesus faced Satan all the time, whether in the desert, through the scornful attacks by the Pharisees or the betrayal by a friend, and He wasn't told, "Handle it, Son."  

God is "ever-present" in our trials and temptations.  God does not leave us in our greatest moment of pain and suffering.  We are not laboratory mice where God sees how much humanity can take.

We are His sons and daughters.  If you look at the final words of the verse, He will provide a "way out" or "exit" in the Greek.  

Think of it this way.  You are in a burning building.  Maybe you fell asleep with a cigarette in your hand, or forgot to turn off the stove.  Maybe your old toaster sparked and caught fire.  Maybe some neighborhood malcontent threw a lighted match into a pile of leaves and your house caught fire.  Does it matter?  Yes, maybe later for reflection and seeking what God would have you learn and grow in the knowledge of...but for now, you want out.

The firefighter shows up.  He knows the way in and the safest way out--that is part of his training.  He comes over and takes your hand, leading you out the front door, where the flames haven't yet engulfed.  

Now, according to the axiom, you yell, "Hey!  I can handle this!" (Not!)

According to His Word, God, says, "Come this way, child.  Follow Me out."

The net result of the axiom is you feeling sorry for yourself ("Thanks a bunch, God. I ain't handling this!") and having others feel sorry for you ("She is a victim of such terrible circumstances!")

Stuck in the muck. 

The net result of His Word is you have pain and suffering yes, just as Jesus did, and He will show you "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:7)

Locked on the Rock. 

You will grow in your trust of Him. You will be a light to His faithfulness in the battle.

I know which one I'd choose.

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