"But now, this is what the Lord says - He who created you, Oh Jacob, He who formed you, Oh Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth'..." (NIV)
God is speaking into our lives today as our Lord and Creator. He is not only the Creator of our beings, but the God of Israel and Jacob - the Creator of the new person we have become through the cleansing blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is forming us, He is shaping us into His image. With each passing day and with each encounter of His presence, we are made more like Him - He is creating in us something beautiful and new!
Many of us may be experiencing trying and difficult situations; but the Lord is telling us today 'Fear Not'! Despite the uncertainties of tomorrow, and the situations which cause us stress and anxiety today, God is saying from Eternity 'Fear Not'! How can we not fear when the going seems to be getting tougher and our challenges seem to be getting more numerous? Only by relying on the Lord and allowing Him to carry you. The bottom line is that we have been redeemed, bought by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. When we were lost in darkness and on the road to destruction, God reached out and touched our lives. He redeemed us from the jaws of hell. He has chosen us and called us by name. We belong to the Almighty, our Heavenly Father, and that is so awesome! Because we belong to the Omnipotent ruler of the universe, it does not matter what comes against us – when God is with us, we are a mighty majority! And whatever we have to face, He is with us in the situations of life, and He promises us that we will suffer no harm. Instead, the sometimes painful situations of life make us stronger in our faith, more mature as disciples, and give us a rich store of experience which enables us to be of strength and blessing to others.
The three friends of Daniel in the Old Testament book of Daniel were thrown into the fire for not worshiping the king's image of gold (Daniel Ch 3). We are told that the furnace was heated up seven times hotter than normal, so hot that it killed the soldiers who pushed the boys into it. However, the king and others were amazed to see the three men walking about within the furnace, unharmed, and that there was also a fourth person in the flames with them. They commented that the fourth person looked like “a son of the gods” (vs 25 of Chapter 3)! The three boys were eventually taken out of the fiery furnace unharmed, with not a hair singed, none of their clothing burnt, and not even a smell of burning or fire upon them! Although these boys were in the furnace for a time, God's physical presence was with them, and He shielded them from pain and harm. He covered them from danger. He filled them with peace, and caused them to be brought out of the blaze with everything intact and untouched. This is the God we serve!
The three boys made a statement before they were put into that devouring fire. They said (Daniel 3:17): "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from your hand, O King". According to their faith, it was done! Friend, God is more than able to deliver us each time we feel overwhelmed by a challenge which seems like a fiery furnace or a raging flood. If we focus on the problem and how big it is, we would be overwhelmed. If we only look to the world or the carnal realm for solutions we would never know the powerful overcoming which these three boys experienced. The Lord is telling you today that no matter how bad your trial may seem, He is with you. You are passing through these waters and rivers (Isaiah 43:2). You are walking right out of this time of fire, but keep walking, keep moving; you are passing out of it because God is with you, and none of these difficulties will scar you or affect you because His presence shields you. The flames will not set you ablaze because the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, is your Savior. He is in the saving business! Not only did He forgive our sins and give us a fresh start, but when we are under attack, He comes to our rescue. When we are up against the wall, our Savior saves us! While God loves all of His creation, His born again child is very dear and precious to Him which is why He tells us in these verses that He will "give Egypt” for our ransom, “Cush and Seba” in our stead. He loves us so much that He pays a high price to save His children – He even “trades nations”, and steps into national and international situations for the sake of His kids. And that is not all. He gave us His only Son! His kids are precious in His sight - so precious that He did not withhold the most precious, the Prince of Heaven, that we might be free!
The Lord says from these verses that if we trust in Him, and do not give in to fear, we will see the miraculous take place. We will also see Him extend His saving hand over our future generations! However bleak things may seem to be in the lives of our children, and although they may seem to be far from God or from their parents, God is promising that He will bring them back to Him and to the bosom of their family. He is a God of generational blessing, and once that blessing and anointing is flowing through your life, (it flows from the head down - Psalm 133) your children will be blessed. They will be touched by the Holy Spirit. They will be brought back to the unity of the family fold and the presence and blessing of God! This part of today’s eWord is especially for any of you who have been crying out to God on behalf of your children. God has heard your prayers. He has seen your tears. Receive His Word today, and believe for it as you pray. Your Daddy (and theirs) is bringing them back home into His arms!
Friend we can see the powerful overflow of God's Spirit into our lives not only for our own overcoming, but also for the generations to come. Claim this Word for your children and grandchildren. Claim it for your parents and other people you are interceding for. There is nothing impossible with God and He wants us to believe that and trust Him. If He gave His only Son that we might be free - what will Papa ever withhold from us who are so precious to Him. (Romans 8:32: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”)
My prayer for you this week is that you will choose to believe God’s promises and not the lies and discouragement the enemy has brought against you. He is with you. He will take you through this time unhurt, and on to higher ground to be a blessing to many. Fear not - the Lord is with you - He loves you!
Minoli Haththotuwa, 01 July 2013