Wouldn’t it be nice if God delivered us BEFORE our trials even started? We’d appreciate it a lot if He’d open the waters BEFORE we had to step in (Joshua 3:13). But the truth of the matter is He wants us to trust Him, to stretch our faith, to step out in faith with only His promises to lean on. That’s not easy. All Christians are called to do this at one time or another. In India it’s easy to see because pastors and Christians put their safety on the line when they become known as Christians. All they have is God’s promise to not leave them (Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 41:10) or give them more than they can handle with His strength (1 Corinthians 10:13). But that is enough.
For all his failings and lack of faith, Zechariah is still a good example of trusting God’s promises and seeing them come about. If you remember the story in Luke 1, he was struck dumb by Gabriel because he doubted God’s promise of a son. He didn’t know when God would restore him and could have withdrawn from God, but he didn’t. Many other priests were far more disobedient than he was but never had any negative consequences. That could have become an issue to him but it wasn’t. When it was time to name newborn son, the assumption was that he would be named after Zechariah or a close male relative. Zechariah insisted on obeying God and naming him John, even though doing so was unheard of in their culture. Still, he wrote that the name would be John. God has promised He would remove Zechariah’s dumbness but He didn’t do it until AFTER Zechariah obeyed (Luke 1:60-64).
Some times we sit back and wait for God’s promises to kick in and open the way so we can easily move ahead. But God’s way is to get our feet wet (Joshua 3:13), to obey God first (Luke 1:60-64), THEN we will see God’s promises come about. So if it seems like God isn’t keeping His promises to you, first of all make sure you aren’t selfishly misapplying them. God never promises an easy, smooth life – in fact He promises just the opposite (Luke 6:26; John 16:33). Then make sure you are moving ahead in faith, not sitting back waiting for God to act before you do so. Trust the promise and act on it even before you see its fulfillment. (February 17, 2019 Hyderabad, India)
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.
What promises of God do you lean on most? Which promises do you need to remember for what you are facing now in life?
Are you stepping out in faith, or sitting back waiting for God to take care of things before you act?
CULTURAL TIDBITS 9
Life is lived outside. A we drive I see people eating breakfast, sharing, brushing their teeth, getting a haircut, old men socializing, teens on cell phones, children digging in the dirt, women washing clothes in a bucket and stray dogs lapping up leftovers.
Inside the hut is for sleeping. Homes are not a reflection of personal style or individual beauty, only function. Hopefully it is enough of a home to shelter you and your few belongings during the monsoons. There are motorcycles parked outside many huts, right next to the family water buffalo.
This is one place I don’t trust the 5-second rule (when food falls on the floor)
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