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How nice of you to drop in and visit my page. It's actually not really about myself, but about the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a place you can come, should you find time, and find encouragement and free resources for spiritual growth. I pray you will be blessed and provoked to follow on to know the Lord intimately yourself. Seek HIM and HIS Face for HE alone is WORTHY!! He alone is lovely! Most of what is written on this blog is written by myself, during my study time with the Lord unless otherwise stated. If it's otherwise, the author's name will be included.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

It's God's Joy to Deliver You

When He had a people in the earth, called Israel, they were led to Egypt during a time a famine. After that, the generations of these people were born into Egypt, through no fault of their own. That's just where they lived. It was a land of idolatry, a land where they were oppressed and heavily burdened by the Egyptians. They suffered plenty under the Egyptian rule. God did not want His people to remain in Egypt. He had something and somewhere better for them. He had a bountiful land, full of plenty, already prepared for them by other, pagan nations whom would be thrown out for their great sins and refusal to repent. God looked and watched over this land, called Canaan. In order to get His people to want to leave the land of Egypt, because human nature never wants to leave where it is comfortable and has its needs met, He had to turn the heart of the Egyptians against His people. (Psa_105:25) He did not want His people to have to suffer so greatly, but He knew the demonic influence that was rampant in Egypt with their sorceries, and the multitude of idols, would infect His people and ultimately destroy them. Indeed, by the time He brought them out, many carried small figures of Egyptian idols with them. He had to let it get hard in Egypt before they would remember Him and cry to Him for deliverance so He could intervene and rescue them. He will not force Himself into our lives, but He knows how to cause us to cry out for the help He knows we need.

Israel was a weak and enslaved nation. They had been in Egypt 430 years. Much of that time had been spent under bondage and harsh abuse. When God came down to set His people free, He began by launching an assault against the most prominent of Egypt's idols. He started with the Nile River, because the Egyptians believed it was the center of the world and the origin of the world's beginning. They also believed the soul of the dead had to cross the Nile before it could enter the kingdom of the dead. God turned the Nile River to blood for 7 days. The fish died. He sent plagues of frogs, flies, lice, locusts, and He sent plagues of sores on man and beast, but none in Goshen, where His people Israel were. He sent hail and flaming fire in the land. (Psa 105:32) He sent darkness so great for three days no one went out in Egypt but there was light in Goshen, in the homes of His people, Israel. He took the firstborn both of animal and human, in Egypt. This combination of plagues and catastrophes destroyed this nation of Egypt. In one last final judgment, He destroyed Egypt's army in the Red Sea.

When He brought His people out of Egypt, they were not poor anymore, nor were they sick or feeble. God once again turned the hearts of the Egyptians to have compassion on His people and they gave the Israelites jewelry, gold, and silver and whatever else they needed for their journey. Egypt was glad to see them go. Egypt was destroyed. He showed His people the gods of Egypt were powerless to protect or defend anyone. He showed the world the Pharaoh was not god.

He led His people in the form of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He led them through a desert wilderness. When they got hungry, He sent manna from heaven, and quail. When they got thirsty, He took care of it. Remember, He had to supply for over three million people in a wilderness where there were no stores, only the meager provision they brought out with them, which was gone in three days' time.

Psa 105:41 He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river.
Psa 105:42 For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant.
Psa 105:43 And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness:

What really stands out to me here are three important things. They were traveling through rough terrain. If you have Google earth, I suggest you open it, and pinpoint Egypt. Then use the application to head toward the Red Sea, and then on into the Sinai Peninsula. It is harsh, mountainous territory in places. They were carrying tents, leading their animals and their children, and they were on foot. This was a rigorous journey. But there were places where the ground was level and wide enough for three million people to camp. They got thirsty, He opens a Rock and pours out enough water to satisfy millions, including both human and animal. Is not Jesus Christ, our Lord, the Rock that followed them in the wilderness? (1Co_10:4) He had made a promise to Abraham and He remembered it. He kept it. He brought them out of Egypt with joy and gladness! Does not the Bible say there is joy in heaven when one sinner repents? (Luk_15:10) As you consider their journey to freedom, to the promised land, remember it is much like our own Christian journey. He brings us out of sin and darkness, into His marvelous light. He gives us His Holy Spirit, by which we are born again. Suddenly, there is a new life inside us. War breaks out, for this new life is contrary to the old, human nature. We have part of God's nature in us and it doesn't agree-ever- with human nature. He starts us on a journey, and at times it gets difficult, the way is straight and narrow. He has to strip us, like Israel, of confidence in our self, of worldly ways of thinking and behaving, as He is in the process of creating in us the image of His Son. He wants to make us like Jesus. He takes us through His Word, teaching us as we follow Him through those pages, revealing things in our heart to us that are unlike Him. At times, He allows difficult situations in our lives to cause these things He knows are hidden in our hearts to come to the surface. He has to allow us to be tested so we know what we are made of. When we see what He knows is there, that is unlike Him, then our job is to repent so He can cleanse and forgive us.

He doesn't forget His promises, He watches over His Word to perform it. When He delivered His people, He brought them out of bondage with joy and gladness! Consider He knew these folks would be murmuring and complaining against Him shortly after their deliverance. He knew how badly they would fail. He knew the majority of them would refuse to enter into the land He had prepared for them. He had a place already prepared for them. Still, He delivered them with joy and gladness. Amazing. He knew He would have to judge some. He knew some of them would challenge His authority and perish. They had every opportunity just like the others to be free and blessed by Him had they trusted and obeyed.

Now, let's bring it home to our time, our lives. It is His joy to reach out His mighty hand from heaven and save and deliver sinners from the darkest pits of sin. He is glad to rescue them from their addictions, their habits, their bondage. In doing so, He shows the god of this world who is the devil, is powerless to prevent Him from saving them. But this is a journey impossible for human flesh to make on its own. We must have His power and His strength.

He opened the Rock, which is His Son, Jesus Christ, He is the One who John said would baptize us in the Holy Ghost. We are in a wilderness. It's a dry place, this world we live in. He promised He would send those who would obey Him, and tarry in His presence power from on high to live this life. He wants us to come. He wants us to pray, and believe Him. Faith is what you do about what you know is true. He's coming after a people that are His completely, not half hearted, not wishy washy, but completely sold out to Him. When He comes for His Bride, who only has eyes for Him, He will bring her forth with joy and gladness, as well. He's sent the Holy Ghost to prepare and empower her, He's provided all things that pertain to life and godliness. Everything we need is in Christ, and made available to us by the work and power of the Holy Ghost. But if we don't separate ourselves from the things of this world, from the influences of this world, and turn with all our heart to God, we will miss Him. He won't compete to be heard. We need a time of separation where we read nothing but the Bible, turn the TV and computer off, stay off the phone as much as possible, and limit our conversation with anyone except God, as much as we can. We need to fast our minds from these influences of the world, and separate ourselves and fast, and pray and seek God for the power He promised which is what it will take to overcome. We need to humble ourselves in this way, and just ask God, Lord, am I pleasing to you? What is it you want to deal with in my life? Examine me, Oh, Lord, see if there be any wicked way in me that needs to go. Search me, Father, because I want to be Yours, completely, and I don't want to stay here when You come.

Nothing is worth missing Him, folks. Nothing and no one. If we don't humble ourselves, and seek repent, and turn from our wicked ways, and pray for our families, our lost loved ones, who will? What are our wicked ways?

2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

He's not talking to the world, or sinners here, but His own people. Humble that self life that wants to make all the decisions but still call Me Lord. When we are acting independent of Him, acting without consulting Him, neglecting Him, walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit, it is wickedness. I was sitting in a meeting in London, KY two years ago, and Pastor BH Clendennen was preaching in this pentecostal church. These people seemed passionate, even the children were well behaved, and many had their hands in the air, praying and worshiping God, and it wasn't a show, either. I could see the sincerity on their little faces. You could feel the presence of God in this place as the Pastor preached that message "To Live is Christ, to Die is Gain". I'll never forget it. It was May 2, 2008. During that message, Pastor said "God said we need to get the worldliness out of the church". I looked around, all the ladies' hair was very long, their dresses long, I saw no one dressed inappropriately, none of them had make up on, or jewelry. It looked like an old fashioned, holiness believing, Pentecostal church congregation. The men were dressed as they should be, with neat hair cuts. There was a sense of reverence, and respect in this place. That statement he made just stood out to me, and in my mind, I whispered a question to the Lord. "What does he mean by that, Lord? This church doesn't look worldly at all." I was surprised when God answered me, in that still, small voice I've come to love. "Worldliness is when the church acts and does things without praying, without talking to Me first." I thought about that, about how we read the Bible, and often take it as we understand it, without digging in deep and praying and asking Him, Lord, am I getting this right? We say and do things without Him, we don't always ask His direction and leading through out our days, our lives, and we make our own decisions. We decide when to pray, when to read the Bible, and what to do, with very little input from God, yet we call Him Lord. This must change. How? Give ourselves to prayer and the Word and fast our minds from outside influences that would make it hard to hear what He has to say. We only get one shot at this, folks. He's coming soon. This world is getting darker and more wicked by the minute. We must have our own Word from God, now. We can't make it on what somebody else says. We need to hear from Him ourselves.

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