Ephesians 2:11-13 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Sometimes when we are going through difficulties we momentarily lose sight of who we are in Christ Jesus because the things that are going on around us or to us become larger than our understanding of our identity in Christ Jesus. This morning as I was praying about some things happening in my own family I was reminded of this portion of Scripture in Ephesians 2.
God reminded me that people who have never received Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord are a people without hope living in a world that is devoid of God, the only One who can save them from their sin, their sickness and their poverty. They are strangers from the covenants of God’s promises.
God has given to those who have received Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord, precious promises that are a part of the covenant that we have with Him through the blood of Jesus. Jesus secured our covenant; there is nothing that we can do to attain those promises because our own righteousness is as filthy rags before Him. But the blood of Jesus is pure and clean, without sin, spot or wrinkle, and the only acceptable sacrifice that God would receive as the payment for man’s sin. Jesus paid the price that we might experience all that He gave up for us. He gave up His holiness to become our sin. He gave up His divine heath to take upon His own back the sickness of mankind. He give up His prosperity that we might not have to live in poverty any longer. We have been given the great exchange through the blood of Jesus Christ and brought near to God through His righteousness.
In Hebrews 8 we find the record of what the Old Testament priest did when he offered the gifts and sacrifices before God on behalf of His people. It says that the High Priest offered those sacrifices as a copy and shadow of heavenly things, but that there is One who has obtained a more excellent ministry than those earthly priests, and that He is the Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. Jesus is that High Priest for us who, once for all, offered the sacrifice that forever served as the offering for man’s sin. (Hebrews 8:3-6)
Jesus is the Mediator, or as defined by Strong’s concordance in the meaning of the Greek word for Mediator, mesites, as the go-between, umpire, reconciler, arbitrator, or intermediary. He is the one who goes between us and God and has accomplished our salvation through His vicarious death thereby guaranteeing the terms of the New Covenant. This New Covenant is established on better promises than those of the Old Testament. We now see that through Jesus Christ, that His blood purchased our redemption, full and free. We are the beneficiaries of the covenant that Jesus and God made between themselves thereby freeing us from the need to try to obtain salvation, healing, and prosperity. It has been done for us through the blood of Jesus.
As the Lord spoke to me this morning through this scripture in Ephesians 2:11-13, I came into a greater understanding of the power and privileges that we have as God’s own children. The world has no hope because they do not know God and He is the God of all hope (Romans 15:13), and the promises of God are “yes” and “amen” in Christ Jesus, to the glory of God through us (2 Cor. 1:20).
So, what exactly does that mean? Well, for us who are in Christ Jesus there is never a time where we are without hope. God’s word tells us that He has a good plan for our lives; one that is filled with hope and a good future. (Jeremiah 29:11) Our life’s situations are not hope-less, but hope-filled! We have the God of all hope living within us. That makes hope a reality to us! Without hope we have nothing to hang our faith on. But with hope in God we have a foundation for our faith to rest upon. The promises of God to us are “yes” and “amen”, or “so be it”! And God is glorified as we receive the manifested promises of God through our lives. When a believer in Christ Jesus is healed, God is glorified in their life. When His provision comes into our lives to meet the need that we have, He is glorified through that.
Mark 11:22-24 NKJV So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you, pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
Jesus said to have faith in God! And once you rest your faith in Him, then you can SAY to your mountain, your situation, your difficulty that is trying to present itself as hopeless, that it needs to change; to come into alignment with what you are asking God for through your prayers. When you do that you can then believe that you receive what you have asked of God.
The wind and waves that Peter encountered when walking on the water to Jesus come to all of us at times in our lives. If we do not keep our eyes focused on the One who is calling us to Himself, Jesus, we will sink under the waves of adversity. The devil would like for us to focus on the wind and the waves so he can watch us drown. But God’s word prevails over all the devil’s lies.
Isaiah 59:1 NKJV Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.
God is not far away; He is not limited in His ability to reach down and save a person from disaster. He is not deaf that He cannot hear our cries for help. But we have to be the ones who SAY to the mountain of adversity, speaking God’s word to it for it to move.
I remember one time I was returning with a friend from a ministry time and upon leaving my friend instead of saying “goodbye”, I said “well, take care”. She immediately said to me, “oh no, I don’t take care, I cast my care on the Lord.” That was an eye-opener for me. It caused me to stop and think about the things that I say that are said out of habit or tradition based on what I might have learned through my environment, or from friends or family. How many times have you used the phrase, “I’m tickled to death”, when thinking about something funny? Why would we want to be tickled to death? Why not be tickled to life?
1 Peter 5:6, 7 NKJV Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
We are not to “take care” upon ourselves, but we are to “cast our cares” upon Jesus. These are two drastically different courses of action that will either result in our being burdened by care or free from the weight of it.
A good illustration in God’s word of taking care, instead of casting it upon Jesus, is found in Matthew 6:31: KJV Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
The way that we “take care” is when we speak out our thoughts of fear, doubt, lack, sickness, hopelessness, etc. A good illustration of taking the thought by saying is when we call a sickness or other difficulty that we are struggling with as “my sickness”, i.e. “my arthritis, my lack, my pain, etc.” Jesus said that we make these thoughts of lack ours through what we say about them.
Psalm 107:2 NKJV Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.
Instead of saying that we are lost, poor, sick, burdened down, helpless to do anything in our situation we should be saying the provision of God that He has recorded in His word that speaks to our situation.
Joel 3:10 NKJV Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, ‘I am strong’”.
God has redeemed us from the hand of the enemy! If you have received Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord then you are the REDEEMED! Let the REDEEMED of the Lord SAY SO! Let the weak SAY, “I AM STRONG!”
God says to say the promise instead of the problem!
Isaiah 35:3, 4 NKJV Strengthen the weak hands, And make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with a vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.
Friends, never give up, never give in to the lies of the enemy that are saying to you that things will never be any different and that there is no hope for you or your loved ones. The GREATER ONE lives on the inside of you and He is always at work! He will come and save you, or your loved one, or your situation or problem! He will COME and SAVE YOU!
Speak to your problems the promises of God and watch Him build your faith and turn your mourning into dancing! Expect to see the promises of God manifest in your life. Believe in God and put your faith in Him that things are changing; you are being saved from whatever it is that is causing a problem in your life. Believe and receive!
Father, I thank You for being the greater One who lives within me. I know that nothing is too difficult for You. So I declare Your promises in the face of the problems that often try to invade our lives. Thank You for being there for us to cast our cares on You, as I know that You care for Your own. May we each find the promises from Your word that apply to our lives right at the moment when we need them. I pray that Your word will abide within our hearts so that when we need to be set free from a problem or difficulty Your word will be there to set us free. Father, help us to focus on You, not on the wind and the waves, but on the promises of Your word. Cause us to be focused and alert to the Sword of the Spirit, which is Your word, that we can use to slash the enemy as he tries to bring hopelessness into our minds. We are not defeated, we are over-comers in Christ Jesus, for You always lead us to triumph in Him. Thank You for the victory! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.