Monday, March 15, 2010

Claiming the Promises

The word of God truly is living and active. I love it while I am in it how God reveals, grows, deepens, and makes me hunger for more. I have been soaking up the promises and praises, as well as the lamenting and pleading, in Psalms for a few weeks now. This morning it really struck me how the claims of the Bible are ours to claim as a child of God. They are not just for David or Paul, but for every child that the Lord has marked with his seal.

They cried out to the Lord in their trouble and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest; he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased, and he did not let their herds diminish. But he lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks. (from Psalm 107)

I have been reading the biography of Nelson Bell (A Foreign Devil in China), the father of Ruth Graham Bell. He was a medical missionary in China for several years, including during the beginning of World War II. Daily he watched atrocities around him, but his walk was so close with God and his understanding and belief in God's sovereignty and His promises that he felt safer in a foreign country under daily sniper attacks and threat of kidnapping doing the Lord's work because he knew that this was where God wanted him to be.

It has really made me ponder my walk with the Lord. My trust, obedience, faith, desire to follow Him rather than my own desires. I find myself coming up lacking in the prayer department. I long to walk that close walk with God but find other pleasures that rule my life more~ like sleeping rather than forming a disciplined prayer life. Nelson held prayer and spending time with God above all else. He had set aside time daily for private prayer and family and hospital prayer a minimum of 4 times a day. It has reminded me of the story of Daniel and how he set aside time for prayer daily with the windows open for the world to see. As a result he walked with God so closely that he felt his presence. Can you say that in your life? Do you walk with God as a friend? Those promises are yours to claim from your Heavenly Father. He promises good for his children. He promises all that He does is because He loves them. He promises eternity with Him.

You don't know Him you say? He is the God of the universe. The creator of all. Because of the sin of all mankind he sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price for that sin. He became the bridge back to God. Scripture says that all have sinned. All are separated from God because of our sin. Ephesians 2 says that mankind is actually dead in our transgressions and sins. But because of God's great love for us he made us alive in Christ and what he did on the cross to pay the penalty for us. By grace he has promised to take away all our sin and guilt and shame and cover them with Christ's righteousness. What do we have to do you say? There is nothing we can do my friend. We are dead, remember. It is Christ who has done it all. He is the one who causes us to see our own sinfulness. He is the one who causes us to repent. He is the one who opens our eyes to salvation and begins the work of righteousness in us. As we continue on the journey He is faithful to see us to the end where we will ultimately see Him face to face. Take the time to ponder where you are with God today. Is He beckoning?