"Meeting God at Every Turn" (Redeeming Every Situation)
After I retired from the active pastorate and 10 Interim Pastorates, I decided to write my memoirs. Yes, the thought came to me that 'only famous people do that'. But then I took my eyes (and heart) off of me and put them on God and said, "Hey! thirteen people in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11) are mentioned by name, but several verses are given to 'un-named followers!" There will be more of them in Heaven than famous people. I have written a lot of pages, but won't bore you with those. However, I do want to share some testimony, for Psalms 107:1-2 says: "Oh give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy."
Then in verses 8-9, "O that people would praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works. For He satisfies the longing souls and fills the hungry soul with goodness."
I owe the two above titles to one of my favorite authors, Catherine Marshall. She endured a lot, including the death of her husband Peter, at 46 yrs. of age. But through her faith, she grew stronger in God's grace. Next to Jesus, my favorite subject in the Bible is Faith. (FAITH = Forsaking All I Take Him....For All I Trust Him)
In 1959 while pastoring in Cheyenne, Wyoming, we were writing our biographies for appointment as missionaries to Korea by the International Mission Board. I guess that I used the word 'wonderful' several times....and they wondered 'how' anyone's life could be so wonderful. My life HAS been wonderful. Even in the 32 radiation treatments for vocal chord cancer, God gave me a special thought that I call, 'God's Serendipities' (unexpected helps in time of need).
I reflected back to our not being able to return to Korea as missionaries. When the letter came informing us that we could not return, the chapter that I was reading that night in Marshall's book, 'Beyond Ourselves' was 'The Prayer of Relinquishment'. This we have done and for 41 yrs. God has not disappointed us and has used us. We, like she, have found that 'God can make a difference in every human situation.'
I agree with Catherine Marshall who said, "I have found that the best times when I sought to meet God at every turn, had NOT been on the easy 'straight-aways', but on the 'turns' when I least expected the realization of His presence. Many of these times, I had to go forward on faith alone, that Jesus was with me, leading all the way!"
Following are 4 truths that La Moyne and I have found in our pilgrimage of marriage and family:
1) God's Power has not diminished. (I John 4:1-4) Before leaving for Korea, we taught our 3 and 5 yr. old sons, a song to sing in the churches where we spoke - 'All Power is Given Unto Me, All Power is given unto Me, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel and Lo, I am with you always!" (28:18-20) Our little sons (a 3rd son was born while we lived in Seoul, Korea) were good missionaries! Sometimes it seemed that they were learning the language faster than La Moyne and I (even though we studied 7 hours each day at the Yon Sei University Language School for 2 yrs.)
2) God's Promises have not ceased. (Titus 1:2) God Who promises can not lie! J.O. Sanders in his book, 'Power Unlimited' wrote: "God's promises cover the whole range of human need. There will be no conceivable circumstance of life for which there is not an appropriate promise, waiting to be claimed. Promises are 'keys' that open every lock, for they cover the whole realm of human experience." We MUST know the promises....claim the promises....and trust the Promisor.
3) God's Program has not changed. His Program is wrapped up in the 2 Great Commandments:
"Love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength"
"To love our neighbor as ourselves" (Luke 10: 27-28)
Then Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan, emphasizing Christ-like love is 'active love', able to see needs and willing to help.
So HIS program has as it's keys: Love, Evangelism, Missions and Ministry.
4) God's Provisions have not lessened. (Phil. 4:19)
"For my God shall supply all of my needs, according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus."
In response to these 4 truths, the following must happen in our lives:
1) What God claims, I yield. (Romans 6:13)
2) What I yield, God accepts. 'All to Jesus, I surrender...all to Him, I freely give'
3) What God accepts, He fills. (Eph. 5:18 following)
4) What He fills, He uses. (See Fruits of the Holy Spirits in Gal. 5:22-23)
5) What He uses, He blesses. We may not can hold much, but we can overflow a lot.
We are blessed to be a blessing!
Vitamin C is good for our physical health, but best of all, are the Vitamin C's for our spiritual health: God Calls, God Cares and God Controls.
A children's song, says, "My best friend is Jesus, Love Him-Serve Him-Praise Him" but none of these happen unless we "Crown Him"! When God tests you, it is a good time for you to test Him, by putting His promises to proof, claiming from Him just as much as your trials have rendered necessary. Malachi 3:8-9 God says, "Prove me now" and Colossians 3:23 gives the key, "Shut up to faith". You always have faith, but it must be applied to the situation. Also, Romans 10:17 says "Let your faith grow by the Word of God."
A good thing to remember is, it is hard for God to control you AWAY from home...
if....He does not control you AT home.
It is a lifestyle....and we call it, 'Redeeming Every Situation'. Let's think about this a moment. If we don't do this, what are the alternatives? The main one is 'failure in relationships' (short term or long term). In fact, long term relationships depend on 'redeeming every situation' in the short term!
Jesus is our prime example of redeeming every situation, even the Cross, and our situations won't ever be as difficult.
You carry a heavy load? He carried a heavier one....sin!
You are lonely? He was more lonely! (Matt. 26:36-46)
You suffer? Consider the depth and length of His suffering.....rejected by most (whom he loved so much).
We pray that you will meet God at every turn in YOUR life.
May God mightily bless you this week!
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