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Moving closer to our Lord can sometimes be overwhelming.
Satan will often fill us with silly thoughts such as:
Does God even care about me?
Can I really trust Him to provide and protect me?
The answer to both is YES!
God loves and cares for us more than we can ever imagine!
God has always been been with His children.
He has both protected and loved them since the beginning of time.
He continues to do the same for each of us today.
In our focus verses for this week the author reminds God's children about some the mighty things the Lord has done in the past to protect and care for His people.
The early Israelites had witnessed God's amazing power first hand each time God stepped in to deliver them from enemy forces.
We can read about these first hand accounts in the book of Exodus. Moses documented these divine accounts. Because of this, we are able know all about God's incredible power and protection for His children from the very beginning of time.
Even though we no longer have the need to escape enemy chariots, we still need God's power and protection on a daily basis. We live in a spiritual world. We are in danger of experiencing Satan's attacks on any given day. The difference is, that unlike the Israelites' past attacks from enemy armies and war chariots, many times we are unaware that powerful and dangerous attacks are still coming our way today!
But God is aware! He is always ready and willing to provide us needed protection. It is so wonderful to realize that our God never changes! He cared for His people in the past and He STILL cares for His people today!
He truly desires to take care of us!
And He deeply longs for us to draw NEAR to Him.
Throughout this week, we will spend time remembering and reflecting upon everything we know about our Heavenly Father's provisions and protection.
We will do this both by reflecting upon Biblical examples and by recalling examples from our own lives.
Let's get started.
Psalm 46 (NKJV) 7-11
7 The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has made desolations in the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
11 The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
We do not know for sure who wrote this psalm, but we do know that is was meant to be sang by God's children as a song of rememberance.
Whoever wrote this song (psalm) wrote it with the intention of bringing the Israelites peace during times of uncertainty.
Likewise, this psalm along with examples below, can be used to continue to bring each of us peace today.
There are several examples in the Bible of God specifically protecting and providing for His people. The Israelites were often reminded of these times through the psalms they would sing.
Here are just a few examples: God protected the Israelites from the Egyptians (14:13-31), he provided manna for them (16:4-5) and he gave them victory over the Amalekites (17:8-16).
It is important to note that in verse 11 when the author states that the Lord of hosts is with us, the "us" is referring to literally us- all of God's children
This includes you and me!
Thoughts from Leslie
Our minds can sometimes play tricks on us.
Sadly, even when we know something is true, our thoughts can sometimes deceive us.
Because of this it is vital for each of us to use our eyes and minds to SEE the truth!
As most of us know, seeing the truth is sometimes easier said than done.
What makes seeing the truth most difficult is that we are often given a very limited view of a situation.
This is very true when it comes to seeing the truth about God.
Because our views are limited, Satan will continuously try to feed us lies.
Satan will try to make us believe that God is not there for us. The devil will tell us that we are wasting our time by trying to draw nearer to our Heavenly Father.
These are both lies!
Taking the time to slow down and look for God in our lives each day will help us to see through these lies of Satan.
We not only need to slow down and look, but each time we see God's protection, we need to take the time to actually reflect upon His amazing LOVE for us!
Humans are known to have short term memories. That is why it is imperative for us to actually recall and reflect upon His incredible goodness on a daily basis.
Because it is sometimes hard for us to remember all of the details regarding God's Love for us, it is important for us to take some needed time to stimulate our brains.
Music can help with this!
After we finish this lesson, let's listen to some inspiring songs and reflect upon all of the ways that God has cared for us in the past.
Why the need to add music to our times with Jesus?
Scientific studies have shown that that people respond very strongly to music.
Some studies have shown that music can stimulate more parts of the brain than any other human activity.
Music can have a very positive effect on our thoughts (if we choose the right music)
Early humans understood this.
I think that is why the book of psalms is so very powerful!
Let's learn from the author of this psalm.
Let's first behold the works of God (by remembering and listing all the ways the Lord has cared for us in the past)
Next, let's be still and KNOW that He is God (by relaxing in His presence as we color and soak in His Love for us)
Are we ready?
Lord of hosts-
1. that which goes forth, army, war, warfare, host a. army, host 1. host (of organised army) 2. host (of angels) 3. of sun, moon, and stars 4. of whole creation b. war, warfare, service, go out to war c. service
Connection to us:
Most countries required their citizens to pay taxes. In exchange for a percentage of these taxes, military protection is provided for the citizens. The purpose of this military protection is to keep the counties and its individuals safe in case there is ever a physical attack made by an enemy.
This is a good thing because our physical protection is very important!
What is often overlooked by most people is our need for spiritual protection. We sometimes forget that we live in a spiritual world. Because we live in a spiritual word, we need spiritual protection just as much as physical protection. Satan and his crew are relentlessly plotting and scheming in the hopes of personally destroying us. Their goal is to attack us when we are unprotected and at our weakest
Luckily for us, we don't have be unprotected! If we are a child of God, we have our Heavenly Father and His host of angels ready to fight for us! That is what this week's scripture is reminding us of. God has been protecting His people since the beginning of time.He is willing and able to do the same for each of us today!
Let's read this verse again and actually visualize a host (a great number) of angels surrounding us.
This is a POWERFUL image!
God loves us so incredibly much!
He deeply desires us to Draw in NEARER to Him.
He longs for us to rest under his powerful arms of protection!
shelter or protection from danger or distress, a place that provides shelter or protection
משׂגּב 1. high place, refuge, secure height, retreat a. stronghold
Connection to us:
How many of us remember being scared as a child? The first place we would run is to the loving embrace of our parent. We would lift our arms to our mom or dad in the hopes that they would pick us up and carry us away from our"perceived" danger.
As Christians, we can still have that parental protection today!
Our Heavenly Father is offering His loving embrace to each one of us today! We are HIS children! He is calling to us to reach our arms to Him! He longs to HOLD and CARRY us away from the "real" and ever present danger that our world today holds! Satan is grabbing at us? Real Danger is HERE! Are we ready to jump into the protective arms of our Almighty Father???
Behold- (verb) to look at (something) : to see (something)
חזה châzâh khaw-zaw to gaze at; mentally to perceive, contemplate (with pleasure); specifically to have a vision of
Connection to us:
Most of us have have had issues in our lives which have caused us to feel uneasy and even a little nervous. Those issues could have involved anything worrisome to us such as a health scare, a financial burden, a family crises, a romantic conflict, etc.
Our lists of issues could go on and on.
Whatever the issues were or are there is always one common question which needs to answered: which will we choose to behold , our problem or our God?
At what (or WHO) are we going to LOOK and focus?
If we choose to LOOK continuously at our problem, our problem will seem to GROW!
In the same way, if we intentionally LOOK at our Lord, our FAITH in our Heavenly Father will GROW!
It is up to us which we "feed"
We can choose to empower the issue we are having, or we can choose to empower our faith!
Are we ready to turn our eyes away from our issue for a moment and BEHOLD God's amazing power to protect and provide?
Let's spend some time today FEEDING our faith :)
To do this, let's go back and reflect upon all of the ways that God protected and provided for His children in the past. Our God NEVER changes! He has and will always take care of His flock!
Under the "Biblical History" section for this week's devotion you will see this short list of God's protection shown in the past.
God protected the Israelites from the Egyptians ( Exodus 14:13-31), he provided manna for them (Exodus 16:4-5) and he gave them victory over the Amalekites ( Exodus 17:8-16).
I challenge you to research some other Biblical examples and add them to that list this week. The book of Exodus is a GREAT place to look :)
Works- (noun) things that results from the use or fashioning of a particular material
מפעלה מפעל miph‛âl miph‛âlâh works, things made
Connection to us:
As humans we are limited to what "things" we can make or accomplish because our materials are limited. Even talented artists are somewhat limited to the art they can create because of the limited resources available to them.
It is vital for us to understand that God does not have limited resources or materials!
Our Heavenly Father is WILLING and ABLE to create any WORK that we can ever hope for or imagine!
I think sometimes we limit God with our restricted view of Him. I think very often we ask for assistance and even act upon a choice that is so much lower than the choice that God is wanting to WORK for us. We do this just because we do not fully understand and trust in His abilities!
We must remember that Our Heavenly Father created EVERYTHING! He is not limited by resources, materials, time, or man power! This fact is so much deeper than our earthly minds can even understand!
Let's ask God today to help us grow in our understanding and faith in His abilities and potential WORKS!
Let's pray that our desires and asks do not limit God to provide for us in any way.
Many times our minds do not even know WHAT to ask for, this is why it is imperative that we pray for God to do HIS will in our lives!
The biggest challenge after we pray this will be to not step in and try to HELP God when He has something BIGGER in the WORKS for us!
Let's pray for FAITH and PATIENCE as we ask for and allow God to WORK in each one of our lives in HIS WAY this coming week :)
In God Alone ~
In God and Him alone, my soul waits ever patiently for my hope only comes when I rest sound and quietly.
He is my sturdy Rock, from which I can’t be shaken He protects and defends me from the attacks of Satan.
A Refuge to me He is, a place to run and hide His love encompasses me from each and every side.
It is in Him I trust, in Him my faith is hedged for He is my soul’s salvation in His strength I am dredged.
In God and Him alone, my soul rests expectantly . . . for my hope I know will come while I wait on Him patiently!
“Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.”
He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.
King James Version by Public Domain
Copyright 2015 Deborah Ann Belka
- Have you ever been tricked into believing a lie? How did it happen?
- Satan does not want us to trust God with our problems. He wants each one of us to try to solve issues using our own power. Why do you think this is?
- Has Satan tricked you recently into believing that there is a problem in your life that you should not release to God? What exactly is this problem?
- Beginning today, what can you do differently to help yourself not believe Satan's lies?
- Do you feel like you place limits on God? If so, how can you work to break this habit?
For the first few minutes, let's simply listen to our favorite worship songs and direct our thoughts to God.
As our brains begin to remember examples of God's LOVE in our lives, let's actually write these examples down. This list will be important for us to keep nearby. These examples can be a constant reminder to us of who God is!
After we finish our list, let's sit quietly and color for the remainder of the time.
Let's thank God for loving us and ask Him to reveal Himself in a new and powerful way to each one of us today!