God's Care and Protection
GOD'S CARE AND PROTECTION
The Lord is my Shepherd
The heart of God as your Father towards you is always that you would be taken care of and protected from the things that would try to destroy you.
Going through the earth there are negative spiritual beings that have the three-fold objective of killing, stealing and destroying you as they carry out the mandate of their master.
As true as this is, there is another side of the story as God always has the last say in that Jesus came that you might have life and life more abundantly. John 10:10
Ensuring that we enjoy this life, Christ gave you His peace; the Spirit of God; and a multitude of angels sent on your behalf to ensure that His desire for us is carried out. These angels stand in opposition to anything that resists the mandate of God for His people.
The caution here is "Having the promise from God to care for and protect us does not mean that there will not be opposition. I say this often because there is a tendency to forget that serving God has associated with it victories that are a direct result of conflicts. Without conflict, there can be no victory.
As a matter of fact if we think about it, just by reason of God promising to care for and protect us means that there may be times when He will have to maintain our lives and protect us from something.
This simple Truth has caused many Christians that are un-grounded in the Scriptures to turn away from God when facing opposition.
Not realizing that God does exist and that He rewards those that diligently seek Him [Hebrews 11:6], they falter in the day of adversity. Proverbs 24:10 states:
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.
And as the Message Bible says,
If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn't much to you in the first place.
But what we don't realize is that cowardice and fear is contagious. If you are fearful, negative and only see things from the perspective of it never working out for you; your children and those close to you will develop that same mindset and emit fear, cowardice and negativism to those they come in contact with. They will go through their entire lives with no hope for tomorrow or even considering that their actions of today will affect the future of their children tomorrow.
A person who is fearful will also prevent good, well-meaning people that may want to befriend you from coming into their life because they don't want to be around someone that's scared, fearful and negative all the time.
Some people just want to enjoy their life and will not spend any more time than necessary around people who are consistently down, negative and afraid to step out on the promises of God.
In like manner, if you hang around fearful, cowardly and negative people and people that are always looking at things as being impossible, you too will never enjoy the victory that God intends for you to have here in the earth.
The once positive attitude you had will be influenced to think that what you desire is unattainable and you will become fearful to step out trusting God to fulfill the promises He made to you.
They will tell you it won't happen; I tried it before and it didn't work; that God's Word doesn't always work the way He said it will and a variety of other reasons. Listening to this destructive, damaging and disheartening or intimidating talk long enough will suck the very life that you have right out of you.
What you must understand is this not the first time the enemy has tried this tactic on the people of God. There's nothing new under the sun; it's just that you don't experience some things until you have been elevated to a place in God that gets the devils attention and he must try to discourage you from going even higher.
"The officers shall speak further to the people, and say, ˜What man is there who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest the heart of his brethren faint like his heart.
Using this principle, when Gideon was in battle, this same admonition was presented and Judges 7:3 states that twenty-two thousand [22,000] people left the battle.
Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.' And twenty-two thousand of the people returned, and ten thousand remained.
You must understand that these were not people living in the earth that did not have a promise from God or was without a Covenant with God. These same people were just given a massive promise of not only God's care and protection, but certain victory.
Yet, they did not have a renewed mind to the purposes of God understanding that God's ways really are higher than our ways; His thoughts really are greater than our thoughts. God said that His Word will accomplish the assignment He sent it for and He would be there to ensure that we always triumph in battle - and this must be the mindset that we allow to take over our thinking.
The fact is, just like the people of Israel under the Covenant of the Old Testament, we too have an assurance from God that Jesus Christ "Always causes us to triumph and that we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.
In a similar manner that the children of Israel still had some fearful warriors, the same holds true in the Church today and we must be certain that we are not connecting [or joining our hearts] with people that are afraid to fight; afraid to trust God; and afraid to have greater hope for tomorrow.
1 "When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. 2 So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people. 3 And he shall say to them, ˜Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; 4 for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.'
The responsibility of having the right attitude in battle is placed upon the shoulders of the people of God. Their greatest battle was not the enemy, but believing what the man of God told them. Therefore the renewing of our minds with the Word of God ensures that we have the right attitude as we go through life.
When you are presented with a Word from God, you must extend your faith to believe that what God said - is so! Remember Hebrews 4:2 says that "the Word the children of Israel heard did not profit them because those that heard it did not mix faith with it.
We must believe that when a principle or promise is put in the atmosphere during any service or setting, being God's Word that cannot return unto Him without accomplishing the purpose for which He sent it, it's seeking a place where it can lodge and produce what God sent it to produce.
The man of God [or God's representative] released the Word on behalf of God saying in verse 3, "Don't faint; don't tremble; don't be afraid; and don't be terrified.
The reason you're not "to faint, tremble, be afraid or terrified is because you have an Ally that is with you, fighting for you and delivering you from whatever you may face.
Our Ally is:
Bigger than the enemy
Greater than the opposition
Stronger than all the demons combined
Smarter than the devil
And as a proven track record that has zero losses.
Definitely the Heavy-weight Champion of the Universe!
This word ally, is mostly used when it comes to building and maintaining international relationships. It means you have a "Friend; helper, supporter, assistant, partner, associate and collaborator that is on your side.
Although we know we're saved, we go to church, we serve God in the capacity we know how; the reality is that the trials and circumstances of life often make us feel like we are not only alone, but that no one even cares.
When presented with this lie from the enemy, we have one of two options in life: trusting God or not trusting God. We can believe what God said or believe what the enemy is trying to make us believe.
The fact is "Trusting God gives you hope while you are still in the midst of the situation. Your mental state is influenced when nothing around you has changed. This is called hope as God elevates His Word above what you face and you begin to see the possibilities that are wrapped in your Loving, Caring, All-powerful and All-knowing God. It allows you to move your life forward and bring it to the level of belief and trust that God intends.
Trusting God keeps you positive until the situation changes as the Bible is clear telling us that what we go through, is "light and but for a moment. This is the New Testament rendition of "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning! The Lord is letting us know that nothing we face in life is forever unless we choose to relive it over and over.
This precept is revealed in Second Corinthians 4. Here you not only have the fact that what you are going through will eventually change; but you have a mindset that God desires for you to have as well.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
In verse 18 when it says do not lose heart, in the Greek text this means, "Don't turn out to be a coward or lose courage; it also means "Do not faint or give up hope in view of difficulty or trial.
This is clear in the Message Bible translation:
These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.
You must also realize that no matter how bad it may seem, God views it as being a light affliction or small potatoes that's momentary and is actually working for you and not against you.
In support of this, Romans 8:18 states:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
However, to go through with the heart of God, after we've done all we can, we stand by turning our hearts away from the problem [not looking at the things we are facing] and look towards the things that have yet to manifest [the things we desire to have].
When we look at the problem we are looking at what God considers as temporary or passing and therefore is subject to change. But when we look at what His Word promises, we are looking at things that are established with eternal purpose and are much more beneficial.
When we go through, although the hurt and pain is real and will try to get us to worry, the mentality is that it is light and subject to change.
Hebrews 12:3 shows us how to do this effectively while giving the remedy to overcome the negative thoughts and resisting the lies of the enemy.
3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
If you don't consider the fact that Jesus was opposed while He walked the earth you will think your problem is unique.
Jesus not only endured the aggression, anger, resentment and opposition from sinners - but still accomplished God's plan and died for them so they could have eternal life “ yes, while they were yet sinners.
If Christ was opposed while He walked the earth, you must realize that He is still being opposed while He walks the earth today “ THROUGH YOU!
Therefore, keeping your eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, frees us from the bondage the enemy is trying to put us in and strengthens us to endure what we face until we secure the victory that God said is ours.
This is why, understanding God's care and protection is so important. You see that He promised to do both, but after further thought, you come to the realization that He's been doing it all the time.
Pastor, how can you be so sure?
1 "If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, let Israel now say”
2 "If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us, 3 Then they would have swallowed us alive, when their wrath was kindled against us; 4 Then the waters would have overwhelmed us, the stream would have gone over our soul; 5 Then the swollen waters would have gone over our soul.
6 Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth.
This is how we know that the Lord has been there all the time. If He wasn't, we would have been consumed long before we saw 2012.
* The enemies of the Lord would have mounted an all-out attack on you and won.
* They would have pulled you down,
* They would have made you believe a lie and wind up in some psychiatric center
* They would have taken you out with one of the many afflictions “ illnesses, sicknesses and diseases that they put on your body
* They would have saw to it that that car that narrowly missed you hit its target
* They would have gloated over the fact that you live with no real hope for tomorrow.
But God was there and all you need is someone to let you know that "Your best days and your blessed days are yet ahead of you.
Those things that have held you back has now been released and God has given you the faith to believe Him for the miraculous.
Can you take what God gave you and mix it with the Word of God? Hebrews 4:2
God has taken care of you up to this point and has every intention of continuing what He has started until the Day of Jesus Christ.