Life’s storms can be overwhelming. Seeing them from a new perspective, a higher point of view, through the eyes of God, can afford peace in the midst of them and give great hope for a time when they’re nothing more than a mere memory.
The cold had settled in. The icicle that had developed off the eave represented winter well. It grew larger and stronger with each rise and fall of the sun. The false heat of day, touching the snow upon the asphalt shingles, fed its stature but offered little respite to me. The larger the icicle became, the more dangerous it seemed. It, just as this particular winter, threatened menacingly that it was here for the long haul. But it had a purpose and a time, regardless of appearances, and it would one day be nothing more than a mere memory.
Such are the storms of life, the events that feel like their grip is oppressive and only growing. To everything there is a season. You see, God is mighty and created us now, for this time and place. It was not we ourselves who brought our existence into being, nor is our stature in this world self-made. We are His people, crafted by His will, and used for His purposes. While in the midst of winter with storms still ahead, know that God allows such seasons but curtails them into an appointed time, also for His purposes. Settle in to a trust of Him, and the storm will not be able to disrupt your peace-producing faith.
Today, though the cold will not release its grip for some time, I’ve gleaned a new perspective on that mighty icicle hanging from the eave outside my window. An angle from above, rather than that seen by most, shows evidence of its weakened state. It hangs now precariously by a tiny spot yet left to melt. By all other appearances, it is strong and menacing. Though oddly beautiful in its imposing presence, a dangerous decent is all that lay ahead, after which it will no longer pose a risk. It strikes me, its frailty. Where once might was its sole impression and still is from others’ points of view, things are shifting.
Though the storm may be strong in your life and the bitterness seems settled in for the long haul, God is in control. Come close to Him. See through His eyes. Get a new perspective and know that wickedness is losing its stability. It may suddenly appear dangerous, but such is the way of evil when it loses its foothold. Darkness always appears most ominous just before the Light dispels it.
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It was the middle of the night. Life had changed for me. I felt like I’d returned home, a child of God who’d been lost in a chaos that’d held me captive for too long. Evil works like that, using circumstances to draw our attention away from the living God. Something had wakened me. My eyes opened and I looked up. Floating above my bed was a large leather-bound book. It hovered there, suspended in a dimension seemingly unreal yet clearly evident to my eye. The front cover opened, revealing stark white pages, void of any writing. One by one the pages quickly turned until the center of the book was reached, at which point it stopped. On the left hand page were the typed words, large, bold, and very clear, FIRST AND FOREMOST.
I didn’t have to wonder the meaning, it was clear to me then and still is now. God is to remain, first and foremost, at my center. Disruptions and distractions of life are not to take my focus from my Father again. All of life’s needs and comforts are found there, in connection with Him. It’s this type of relationship that I want to encourage for you.
What Are Your Basic Beliefs About God?
In order to better understand this powerful bond and how it relates to us, it might be helpful to consider how we, in our deepest beliefs, fit into this union. What you believe is key and may need to be shaken.
Do you believe God is the Creator of the world, universe, stars, and moon? Is He still a Creator today, bringing forth human life, flowers, and sunsets? Is He real, living and present? Does He influence events in your life? Can you have conversations or receive guidance and wisdom from Him? Can you personally benefit from His might and power?
Is He the living God?
Humanity did believe in the living God in Moses’ day, however, as referenced in Deuteronomy 5:24, it was feared that you’d die if He spoke to you. Yet, God, in all His glory, intentionally revealed Himself and spoke to Moses. As stated in Joshua 3:7 the Lord spoke with Joshua too, letting him know He was with Him. Joshua, in turn, declared that all would know that the living God was among them, because God would be the One to drive out their enemies.
Where did this fear of death attached to personal connection with God stem from? Let’s go back to Eden, to the beginning of separation. When Adam and Eve’s eyes were opened to the knowledge of good and evil, they’d been told they’d surely die. They were banished from safety and security, where all their needs had been met. They lost a holy and pure connection to their Father. Life was empty and dark without God. Spiritual death seemed to have occurred.
Power of God Revealed
Hearts changed once the power of God was revealed to them, once they witnessed God at work. It’s apparent, Biblically speaking, that many people throughout history acknowledged that there was a living God who was powerful enough to alter the course of their lives, offer guidance, perform miracles, and create outcomes that could not have been foreseen.
King Hezekiah, as referenced in 2 King 19:16 and Isaiah 37:17, asked God to bow down His ear and open His eyes, to hear the words of His enemy as they spoke against Him, the living God. God responded, sent His angel out, and destroyed the enemy. The power of the living God became evident. The psalmist wrote in Psalm 42:2 of the living God whom his soul thirsted for. Jeremiah referred to the Lord as the true God, the living God, an everlasting King, and the Lord of hosts (Jeremiah 10:10). King Darius, in Daniel 6:26, made a decree that all within his kingdom should tremble before the living God. God, Himself, stated in Hosea 1:10 that His children will be referred to as the sons of the living God.
And Then Came Jesus
Jesus lived as God has asked us to live today. He kept His Father, first and foremost, at His center. We can look at His life as an amazing example of what trusting God, even in the midst of chaos, can do. In this living relationship, God’s will led Jesus’ very footsteps. We can see in Christ’s life and death the value of obedience, a true image of living as One with the Father.
Jesus’ death, as the final sacrificial Lamb, tore the veil that kept us from relationship with God! Distance from Him, born in Eden, lost its power to keep us separated. We can be intimately connected to Him now. We can seek and sense His presence, His guidance, His peace, and His power. Adam and Eve were cast away from the wonderful company of our God by their disobedience. We’re able to return to Eden, a garden of rest, due to Christ’s obedience, His sacrifice on our behalf.
You are now a temple for the living God. God said (2 Corinthians 6:16) He’d dwell in His people and walk in them, that He will be their God and they will be His people. That’s you and me! Though trusting in the living God (1 Timothy 4:10) as the Savior of all men will draw criticism, we can rejoice none-the-less, because we can have what unbelievers can’t, the peace of God, even in the midst of life’s challenges. Observe those that hunger for earthly riches or recognition instead of God’s glory. Note their hearts and what they ultimately exude. See beyond the image they portray to the reality of darkness that surrounds them. Don’t trust in such uncertain riches (1 Timothy 6:17). Trust rather in the living God Who gives richly all things to enjoy, including life eternal.
“All things to enjoy”… How can we experience joy when life is challenging?
In days of Biblical history (Hebrews 3:7-11), our forefathers complained, seeking proof of a living God, even though they’d witnessed His miracles first-hand. They did not know Him personally, therefore they weren’t able to enter into His rest. We’re able to know Him! We’re able to enter into His rest, a place of peace and joy, a life of power and comfort, regardless of human circumstances!
Today, right now, (Hebrews 12:18-24) we are living in a time that we don’t have to be afraid of hearing the voice of God. Rather, we can rejoice at the sound. Today, we’re living in a time that any one of us can seek Him and come to know Him. We can come unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, Mount Zion, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of this new covenant. This can be experienced now!
We, His children, are vessels that hold the living God. When we rest in His presence and allow Him to move through us, others who don’t believe can witness His miracles, traits, and love. They may then feel led to seek what we have. Getting to know Him is the key for any of us. It’s God that draws us to His Son, Christ, Who saved us (John 6:44). It’s the Son that connects us to the Father (John 14:6). He gives us the Spirit of truth (John 14:16-17) so that we can live born again. And through this Spirit, we’re intimately filled with God. The circle is complete. We are One with our Father.
So, let me return to the original question, what are your basic beliefs about God? Let me encourage you to ask Him what’s real. Seek Him. Get to know Him. I pray He reveals Himself to you and that you choose to place Him, first and foremost, at your center.
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