Reflections Of The Past

Yesterday and Tomorrow

Genesis 19:26 NKJV But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

 

As we come to the close of 2013 many are looking back and wondering what lies ahead. What does God have for our future? Could it be more of the same? Or is it possible that what lies ahead of us is better than what we ever could have imagined? We are at the crossroads between yesterday and tomorrow!

 

In Genesis 19:12-29 we find the story of God delivering Lot and his family from Sodom and Gomorrah before the sin of what was taking place there brought destruction upon the city and its inhabitants. God sent angels in to the city to bring Lot and his family out in order to bring them into a place of safety, a refuge where they could experience His goodness for their lives. Just as He did for the Israelites when bringing them out of Egypt, He brought Lot and his family out of a place of bondage and sin in order to bring them into a place of His provision and goodness. What lay ahead of them was so much better than what was behind, in their past.

 

In this story of Lot’s and his family’s deliverance, we see that Lot’s wife had difficulty leaving her past behind. She was so torn in leaving that as she was being brought out of the city she looked back longingly for what she was leaving behind. The result was that she was so paralyzed at the thought of leaving behind what she had thought as being the “good life” she had experienced in Sodom and Gomorrah that she was preserved right where she was as a pillar of salt. Her affections were for the world she was leaving behind and not what God had for her in the future. God was bringing her out of what she couldn’t see as a destructive lifestyle to bring her into the blessings of His future, but she wanted to stay where she was and it proved to be to her destruction.

 

God is the God of restoration, reconciliation and re-construction! Regardless of whether your year 2013 was a good one or what you consider to be a year of destruction, God has a good future ahead of you. The thing that we must remember is that we can’t fully embrace what God has for us in the future until we turn loose of the past. It’s difficult to walk a straight line if you have your head turned around looking behind you. Lot’s wife made the mistake of desiring what she was leaving behind. She couldn’t see the future for the past. Sometimes we get caught up in what we think is the best we could ever have until we can’t imagine God doing something new that could be better. Many times we won’t turn loose of the past because of following the “popular opinion” of what others think we should or shouldn’t do.

 

As God brought His people out of Egypt, which He defined as the house of bondage (Deuteronomy 5:6), to move them into the Promised Land we see them constantly thinking about what they had left behind. They couldn’t see the future for the remembrance of the past, even though they cried out to God for deliverance from the bondage they were under to the Egyptians, and He delivered them and provided for their every need while on the way to the Promised Land.

 

Numbers 11:4-6 NKJV Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said; “Who will give us meat to eat? “We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; “but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”

 

The people were blinded by looking behind so that they couldn’t see the opportunities that lay before them!

 

Are you blinded by your past today? Can you see the good that God has promised for your future? He said in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has a good future awaiting you; a plan filled with hope for good that is designed to prosper you and not harm you. He spoke these words to His people while they were yet again in bondage and had no vision of the good future that He had awaiting them. And the same is meant for us today as God never changes and His desires are always to bless and prosper His people; to provide a better future for them than what they are living in at the present.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 

God is speaking once again to His people today about looking forward into His goodness rather than dwelling on the past. 2014 is upon us; it is uncharted territory and God is opening the door for us into a new future; new goals and new dreams.

New Year, New Goals, New Dreams

Are you ready to lay aside the old and embrace the new? I have chosen to lay aside some aspects of ministry to embrace what only God knows that He has for me in the future. Some don’t understand and are saddened by my decision, but I feel it is the leading of the Lord and must follow what I hear Him saying to me. I know that God will lead by His Spirit and through His word, just as He did of old, leading by His presence as by the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. He never left them to travel through uncharted territory by themselves. He was always there to provide and protect.

 

Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt because she failed to see the goodness and provision of the Lord. She had become “comfortable” in the dysfunction of her life until she longed for what was familiar more than the newness and excitement of the changes that God wanted to bring into her life. She failed to follow Him and chose to live in the past rather than the future. What will it be for you? Will you embrace the new year with total abandonment of the past or will you be constantly looking back wishing things could be as they used to be?

 

I’m excited to be moving into the future! I believe God has good things in store for His people in 2014 and that as I align myself with Him and believe that what He has in store for me will be good I will experience the fullness of all that He has awaiting me in the new year!

Moving Into The Future

Father, I thank You for what You have taught me in 2013 and I look forward to the good future that you have set before me in the upcoming year. I pray that many will come to salvation through your goodness as You have stated in Your word in Romans 2:4 that it is Your goodness that leads man to repentance. I pray that we all might lay aside the past in order to move forward into the good that You have planned for us in the upcoming year. I pray that it will be a year of transformation as we draw close to You and embrace all that You have for us. Father, open the eyes of the blind to see the way that You have set before them. Teach us Your ways, Your right way of doing things, that we might walk closely with You and give us long life, good health, and provision for every need that we might encounter in the upcoming days. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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There Is Hope!

Healing

Jeremiah 17:14 NKJV Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise.

 

Jeremiah called out to God for healing and then declared that as he was touched he would be healed. When God speaks of healing and declares that He will heal He doesn’t limit it to a certain area or aspect of your life; He speaks of healing as to whatever needs healing in your spirit, soul or body. Jesus died for the whole man and provides salvation and deliverance for whatever area of need that you have.

 

In Exodus 15:26 God declared Himself as the “LORD who heals you.” And in Psalm 103 we see the Psalmist praising God for providing healing for his sin and diseases and for restoring his youth as that of the eagle.

Psalm 103:1-5 NKJV BLESS the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 

The Apostle Matthew wrote in Matthew 8:17 that “He” (Jesus) “took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses” just as Isaiah had prophesied about Jesus many years before His crucifixion.

 

Isaiah 53:4 AMP Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.

 

The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible records Isaiah as prophesying in Isaiah 53:4 that Jesus “took up our infirmities”, which when translated from the original Hebrew word means that He became diseased, ill, and that he was made to be sick and was afflicted with illness, weakness, affliction, caused to suffer and be wounded for our sicknesses. He carried them to the cross and nailed them there along with our sin. Jesus was made to be everything evil in our lives so that we could be healed, whether it was in our physical being, our mental, emotional or soul realm, or our spiritual man. He carried all aspects of our sickness, spirit, soul and body to the cross and paid the price for our salvation full and complete.

 

I’m so glad that my Jesus is my Savior, Healer, Deliverer and Provider! He did a complete work on the cross for my salvation and I confess Him as my All in All, my El-Shaddai, the All-Sufficient, All-Bountiful One, the One who mightily nourishes, satisfies, protects, and supplies His people. He is mighty to save!

 

I know that not all believe that Jesus saves from illness, and I don’t understand why not all are healed, but this one thing I know: if God said it in His word, I can believe it. I will not judge God’s word by what I see happen around me or whether or not this one is healed or not healed. I will simply believe what He says and leave the works of establishing His word in a person’s life up to Him. I believe!

 

Father, I thank You for providing salvation for me; spirit, soul, and body. I thank You for loving me so much that You gave Your very own Son that I might be free from sin, sickness and disease and poverty and lack. You are the Mighty God, mighty to save Your people from all aspects of sin! Thank You, Lord Jesus, for taking stripes upon Your back to secure my freedom from all that sin entails. You are My Savior, My Healer, My Deliverer and My Provider. I proclaim You as My All in All this morning and I thank You for Your healing touch upon all who need healing, whether it be for forgiveness of sin, for healing in their bodies, mind, emotions or in their finances. Thank You for providing healing for them. I pray that they will believe in You, trust in You and receive that which You have so graciously provided through Your grace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Learn To Live Care-Free

Learn to live care-free

Luke 10:41, 42 NKJV And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

 

As I was praying and meditating on this scripture this morning, I heard the voice of the Lord speaking gently to my heart:

 

“I want you to be without care, My Child. I do not want you to be distracted by the cares of the world in which you live. Have I not commanded you to cast your cares on me? Set yourself free from the burden and weight of sin and care by releasing it to Me. Do not try to shoulder a load for which you were not designed and created to carry. Yoke yourself with Me and trade your care for My ease in life. Yield your will to Mine and learn My ways, My right way of living. Do not speak of the worries of your life for I am here to provide for your every need. You have no cares as long as you release them to Me. But if you continue to try to shoulder them yourself, you will continue to be heavyhearted for you can do nothing about them. It is not within your power to change those about which you worry. That is My place; My responsibility. Your responsibility is to pray about them and cast them on Me. My responsibility is to change the people and situations that you are concerned about. In this manner you will learn how to live care-free. Trust Me for I am well able to care for those things and people that you commit unto Me. Again I say, learn to live care-free, for I do not want you to live under the burden of your cares.”

 

May you find peace in the word of the Lord this morning!

 

Scriptures used by the Lord in relaying this word to us:

 

Luke 10:41, 42

1 Cor. 7:32a

1 Peter 5:6, 7

Matthew 11:28-30

Matthew 6:31-34

2 Timothy 1:12

 

Thank You, Father, for speaking this word to my heart this morning. I pray that all who are weighed down by the cares of this life will release them to You and allow You to teach them how to live without care. Thank You for Your provision for all of life! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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