Who or What Could Save Me?

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There have been times in my life where it has felt like my relationship with God was like two ships passing in the dark with a sea of void between us. These times were very discouraging and very painful to walk through because my sinful life condemned me, my shame overshadowed me, my past haunted me, my circumstances frustrated me and my mistakes made me feel worthless. I found myself asking who or what could possibly save me?

In order to make it through life and everything which happens along the way, we must know the answer to this question! The moment we become a follower of Christ, our debt is paid in full; nothing can separate us from His great love and our worth and our value is found in Him alone. On our own, we will never make it, but with God as our ultimate source of strength, we will never grow faint or weary. I know this firsthand because when I would try to do things my own way, I opened the door wide open for attack. The enemy would whisper any number of malicious and contemptuous lies in my ear to which I had no defense, but when God was the center of my life I could honestly say because the Spirit of the Lord lived inside of me, I felt freedom. Instead of having to answer who or what could save me I could declare who or what could possibly separate me from His great love?Romans 8_38

Despite our past or what we are currently walking through, God can use anything and He never wastes any painful experience as long as we give it all to Him. With God as the focal point in our life we can walk through fiery trials and emerge without even smelling like smoke. We will not only survive oppression, but we will thrive in the midst of it. It sounds crazy, but the more messed up our life is and the more junk God has saved us from, the more God can use us and the more we can begin to understand what it truly means to be redeemed by grace because of His mercy.

Lion of JudahHowever, when God isn’t our number one priority in life, we are vulnerable to attack and one of the most important things I’ve learned is the devil is a very patient predator who is waiting for the exact moment in which we will experience the greatest harm so he can completely destroy and devour us. He is waiting for the kill shot, but what he fails to realize is the greater our fall, the greater our potential testimony will be when we humble ourselves enough to receive God’s unending grace. With this information, we should look for areas in our life in which we are vulnerable to attack and surrender them to God because it is much easier to avert a disaster than to clean one up.the-devil-as-a-roaring-lion The instant we think we are above any pitfall, we open ourselves open up to it, so we must continually look to God in all things and trust that His ways are higher than our own, especially when we can’t see a way. Don’t get discouraged when life happens; just trust that God will work all things for your good when you love Him and are called according to His purpose.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NASB)

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Trial by Fire

To say that this last month has been a challenge would be sugar coating it.  Although, not being in the NICU is a definite improvement, the never-ceasing crying and colic that has ensued since coming home is way beyond any sense of normalcy.  I am quickly learning that the best way to give God a good laugh is to try and make a plan, because we are totally off the reservation.  We praise the Lord for the air He has breathed into her lungs and simply believe that she is going to be an awesome Christian recording artist or that she will reach multitudes through her speech.

What we have walked through, I would classify as a fiery trial; one that has lasted longer and burned hotter than I could ever imagine.  Even in the midst of the flames, I sensed God was at work and I remain faithful that we will emerge from this fiery furnace without even smelling like smoke.  When my faith drifted to doubt and when my confidence waivered towards self-pity, He would quickly bring to mind all the things I had to praise Him for.  There is tremendous power that is released when we can praise Him in the midst of our pain and torment.  If we can praise Him, even when fear and anguish bombards us from all sides, He will come alongside us to comfort us and when we can walk no further, He will carry us.

In times of despair, when challenges seem to be around every corner and when fear of doing anything paralyzes us, we must look to God for courage, guidance, and strength.  When we allow the enemy to rob us of these God-given promises, we must remember that our God is faithful, righteous, and just.  Then, instead of praying that God would send us a new supply of these promises, we should be praying that God will give us what we need so that we can take back what the enemy stole.  Regardless of what we are walking through, Jesus is standing right beside us waiting for us to reach out to him and whether or not we emerge from our fiery trials burned or smelling like smoke is up to us.

Change and trials are inevitable and as I am entering into a new season of my life as a parent and as a pastor, I know I must continually stay on guard for anything meant to derail God’s best for my life.  I must never lose sight of the big picture, while remaining faithful and true to my God.  In one year, God has fulfilled my two greatest desires, while protecting me from certain death twice.  I want my lips to continually praise Him and I want my actions to always edify Him, while bringing glory to His name.  No problem is too hard or too insignificant for Him and He promises to watch over all those who love Him, so I encourage you to reach out to the Lord during your next trial.  If you are in one right now, call out His name and He will lead you out and be quick to give Him praise through whom all blessings flow.