He Who Kneels Before God Can Stand Before Anything

“It is written:” ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ ” -Romans 14:11 (NIV)

When I was traveling in India, I came across a church with a sign bearing these words. ”He who kneels before God can stand before anything”. It’s a profound statement. There are times when I feel that life has overwhelmed me. Once I feel comfortable with the rhythm life is at, the tempo picks up speed and the rhythm becomes distorted; leaving me to struggle in an attempt to keep up. Sometimes life seems so confusing, to the point of absurdity, that I often wonder whether I am living in a dream. At times when I feel that life has left me lying on my back, I remember that I serve a God who is constant and unchanging in an often fluid and chaotic world, who stands above the world and keeps it in His hands.

What a great privilege I have, that this same God desires to guide me through the chaos of life. Realizing that the world is fallen He, in His compassion, wants to aid the suffering and redeem His Creation. All that He requires of me is to trust Him in humble submission. Truly I, in my imperfect state, cannot hope to make sense of my own life. I have tried and failed on more than one occasion. But a God who not only has ordained my days for me, but wants to reveal His plan for me should I allow Him to, is the most perfect and compassionate guide to help me sift through and make sense of the disorder that life seems to bring about. By kneeling to Him, I gain the strength and confidence that only He can provide, to brave any storm life seems to throw at me. This is why God allows suffering in the life of the Christian. So that we may grow stronger, both mentally and spiritually, and that we may come out more enlightened than before towards His ways.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Let Our Champion Fight!

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” -Exodus 14:14 (ESV)

We love to give advice. Whether it is asked of us or not, we do not mind at all sharing our opinions on what to do in a certain situation or when tackling a specific problem. It makes us feel clever and useful to know that we have a voice and are able to use it for the benefit of others. Of course there is nothing wrong in giving advice. A timely piece of counsel said with genuine humility and love can do wonders for its hearers and set them on the right path. However, sometimes we may condescendingly give advice to others because we do not have faith in them. Though they may know what they are doing, we may feel that they do not. Thus we compel ourselves to enlighten them so that they would fulfill our expectations; even at the expense of their irritation.

Often times we do the same thing with God. While we may declare with our mouths that we surrender our circumstances to the perfect wisdom and will of Christ, we may not do the same with our hearts. When we see that things are not going our way, we mistakenly take it as a sign that God is not doing His job and decide that it is up to us to pick up the pace. We then make our suggestions to God; arrogantly thinking that the Creator of the universe needs the aid of our fallible human wisdom. How quickly do we forget the faithfulness and love of God! He has promised us that when we call upon His name and submit our situations to Him, He will fight for us on our behalf; overcoming them so as to fulfill the wonderful plan He has in store for our lives. Trying to work through our situations on our own faulty understanding will only serve to hinder the realization of the work that Christ is doing for each and every one of us. But when we allow ourselves to truly trust in our Savior, giving our fears and apprehensions to Him, we can rest in calm and quiet peace knowing that we are in His hands and that He will always emerge victorious no matter the storms we may face.

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Whose Gift Is It?

“Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.’ ‘I cannot do it,’ Joseph replied to Pharaoh, ‘but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.’” -Genesis 41:15-16 (NIV)

Joseph had an incredible gift. The ability to correctly interpret dreams is definitely something to marvel at. This gift which Joseph had reached the ears of Pharaoh, who as ruler of ancient Egypt was the most powerful man on Earth. Though he had many under him who claimed to have the ability to interpret dreams, all of them failed to deliver on their claims. What an opportunity for Joseph to make a name for himself! Standing before a man of such stature, he had the perfect chance to advertise himself as the undisputed authority on dream interpretation. He could gain the prestige of being the man Pharaoh goes to whenever he is disturbed by a troubling vision. Yet, Joseph knew that his ability to interpret dreams was not through any capacity of his own. It was solely by the work of God in his life and he humbly acknowledged this fact before Pharaoh. For his humility, God rewarded Joseph by prompting Pharaoh to appoint him as prime minister over Egypt; giving him power and status that was subordinate only to Pharaoh himself.

All of us have gifts and abilities given to us by God. But what do we do with these gifts? Do we use it to boost our pride, our reputation amongst men? In our egocentric attitudes we wrongly attribute that which God has graciously bestowed upon us to our own human capabilities and determine that only we are able to discern their proper use. However, if we rely on our faulty wisdom tainted by our sinful nature to direct us, we cheat ourselves out of the vision God promises us for an inferior one. God knows us intimately well, and knows of the abilities He has given us. Shouldn’t He therefore be the only one who can help us guide us in how to use them? When we cast aside our pride and humbly allow the Spirit of Christ to work in our lives, He will exalt us as we permit Him to use whatever we have for His restorative mission to the world. Our humility before Christ and our surrendering of our gifts to His perfect plan for our lives will take us to places we would have never imagined; leaving us in awe of His faithfulness and love.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.