Tag Archives: Power of God

Three Reasons to Wait on God

 

Job 38:1

And now, finally, GOD answered Job from the eye of a violent storm

Introduction

Some of you grew up like I did. When thunderstorms would arise, mamma would call us in the living room, make us sit down, turn out the lights and caution us to be quiet because every time it thundered that meant God was talking.

 

And now, finally, God answered Job.  Job had been through hell. He lost family, property, wealth, and reputation. All while maintaining his integrity and clinging to his finite knowledge of God. After praying and fasting, while enduring his affliction along with emotional trauma, God had said nothing.

 

And Now, Finally, God Answered. Can you hear Job’s exasperation? Job, the man God loved.  Job, the man God bragged to satan about his righteousness and faithfulness. Job suffered without hearing a Word from God. Can you with Job the test of his faith?

 

And now, finally, God answered. God chose to answer Job in God’s own timing. God chose to answer Job from within the eye of a violent storm. From a interlude, a quiet place, within a violent storm, before the worst of the storm would pass. God answered Job from within the eye of the storm. From the eye of the storm that Job was in or the eye of the storm God created just from which to talk to Job.  But Job had to be still so Job could hear God’s answer. Is there a storm raging in your life? Are you expecting, are you listening for God?

 

Transition

 

The text says:  And now, finally, GOD answered Job from the eye of a violent storm. Job has waited.  Job is suffering. He and his friends have debated the righteousness of God and the sinfulness of man and how justice is administered within that context. And now, finally, God speaks from the eye of a violent storm. In other words, God has decided God has heard enough of human reasoning about a situation that God created. Lord, have mercy.

 

But the question I’m wrestling with in this text is what does the context of God’s answer say about God?

 

Move 1

First, it says God knows. God knows everything concerning you.  Job declared, “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold.”  God is intimately aware of what you’re going through. God is not in some far off universe, taking care of other things and leaving you holding the bag.  No, God, the Holy Spirit is present in the earth and God knows what you’re going through.

 

Our ancestors left us the knowledge of the spirit world complete with angels, ancestors, and God.  This world is not our home nor is it the only dimension of existence.  And declared to us that God operates in every dimension.  They said God is everywhere present at the same time and God knows all things.  Somebody say God knows.

 

Beloved, nothing that you experience is experienced apart from the knowledge of your God.  He knows.  Hallelujah!

 

Move 2

But let us move on.  Second, it says God is Sovereign. God answered Job from within the eye of a violent storm.  God met a storm with a storm. And spoke with Job in the most dangerous, deceitful part of the storm.  It’s called the eye of the storm.

 

The eye of the storm is the only peaceful part of the hurricane. … The center of low pressure in the storm is the eye. The lower the central pressure, the fiercer the storm, and the higher the winds – nevertheless, the eye is calm and peaceful.

 

God said time out to both storms and showed his sovereignty over both storms.  The storms in Job’s life and the storm he came to speak with Job from. This shows us Beloved that God is Sovereign over any circumstance or situation you face in life. God is not intimidated by any storm that comes up in your life. Lord, have mercy.

 

Move 3

Third, it says God can be trusted and that God wants us to trust Him.  Trust His Knowledge, His Judgement, and His Power all of which are rooted in His love. I hear Job speak his faith when says, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”

 

Job is determined to trust God despite the violent storm he is experiencing in his life.  All his foundations have been destroyed, his reputation, his family, his prosperity.  Yet, Job holds on to his faith. Job keeps on praying, refusing to accuse God of injustice concerning him, and praises God no matter how tough his life gets.

 

Job is determined to trust God even if he died.  He declares, “If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.”  Anybody here determined to trust God even unto death.  Hallelujah!

 

Move 4 Conclusion

The fact of the matter is that there will be storms in your life.  But be of good cheer, because God your God knows all about you. Not only that, but your God is Sovereign over your life.  Is there anything too hard for God?  So, beloved you can trust God when you can’t trace God.  Hallelujah!

God came to Job in the eye of a violent storm, the winds were gushing over 120 mph, the rain was falling with cyclone force, the trees were toppling over, and the roofs were torn from the foundations, property was demolished and God came to Job in the eye of a violent storm.

Somebody say, the storms are passing over hallelujah!  The context of God’s answer indeed says that our God is an awesome God.  He knows, He is Sovereign, and He can be trusted no matter the test.

 

 

Post-Resurrection Power for Pre-Resurrection Failure

Subject:  Post-Resurrection Power for Pre-Resurrection Failure

Text:  John 13:21-32
21 After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. 23 One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; 24 Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. 27 After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival”; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30 So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. 31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.

 

Introduction

Well, it’s been about 3 years and much has happened.  Jesus intentionally chose 12 men to follow him as disciples and women raised funds to ensure his ministry would be successful.  But for this moment let us consider what happens when your inner circle breaks down when it betrays and denies you right before your very eyes.  For this is not a backdoor affair, this is a public denial by those whom Jesus handpicked to take his ministry to another level. That is the case within our text.  The entire 12 abandon our Lord when he should have been able to count on them most.  It’s amazing what pressure on your convictions can produce.

So Jesus is seated at the table with his disciples, breaking bread with them and the Holy Spirit gives him a glimpse of what he will have to endure in the coming days.  Among this revelation, Jesus sees Judas, his treasurer betray him, his closest ally, Peter denies him, and then the other 11 desert him.  Talking about a vision from God, Jesus certainly had one.

These are not strangers, these are close associates, his disciples.  Men who supposedly have left all to follow Jesus, all ambitions, all worldly pursuits, all worldly desires for power and prestige.  Men who have traveled with Jesus across the Palestinian valleys and the Judaean hills.  They have crossed the Sea of Galilee with him, even endured criticism of him, and have had intense debates regarding theology with him.  They know him, and yet they don’t know him as well as they should. The fact is it is in the hour of greatest adversity, that they get a chance to discover that they are not who they think they are.  They are not the courageous 12, they are more like the hateful 8.  They’re a hot mess; they are pre-resurrection disciples in need of post-resurrection power to be effective witnesses.  Hallelujah!

 

Move 1

This turn of events, this traumatic incident in his life, caused Jesus to reflect on the words of King David, the Psalmist King.  King David, when faced with the dire circumstance of betrayal, lamented in Psalm 41:9, “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.”   I wonder if he was being prophetic or if Absalom’s betrayal hurt him just as much as Judas’ betrayal tormented Jesus.  But let us move on, it’s lunchtime and we cannot linger here.

It is traumatic because Judas does not betray Jesus until Judas is blessed by Jesus.  It is only after he receives the bread that Judas yields himself to Satan.  Can you imagine that?  You bless your inner circle and then your inner circle betrays you.  Lord, have mercy!

That’s a message all by itself; let us move on.  The Holy Spirit gives Jesus a vision only of betrayal, denial, and abandonment or so it seems; because despite his tortured soul at this revelation from the Holy Spirit, Jesus sees what will happen post-resurrection.

 

Move 2

And that’s why we celebrate Holy Week.  We assemble because we understand the blessing of post-resurrection.  Yes, when pressure is applied, we may fail, but that’s pre-resurrection.  Yes, we may betray friends, deny allies, and even abandon loved ones in their hour of greatest need, but that is pre-resurrection.  Pre-resurrection happens in the face of unforeseen circumstances wherein we thought we could stand only to discover the pressures of life beat back our resolve and revealed our cowardice.

How many times have we resolutely proclaimed a stand for righteousness, justice, and equality only to back down in the face of our opponents?  How often have we made vows to God only to see ourselves fail to fulfill our vows?  This is the stuff of pre-resurrection. Stuff we are called to overcome with post-resurrection power.

But isn’t it good to know that there is fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel’s vein and sinner’s plunge beneath that flood lose all their guilt and shame.  I’m so glad that God has given us a solution to our pre-resurrection blues.  For I hear the Apostle Paul declare, “When I would do good, evil is always present within me.”  And then Paul asks the Questions:  “Who shall deliver us from these pre-resurrection struggles?”  “I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!” These words led the hymn writer to exclaim, “What can wipe away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus!  What can make me whole again, nothing but the blood of Jesus!’

I stop by here on this Wednesday of Holy Week to share with you that there is post-resurrection power for pre-resurrection failure. His Name is Jesus.

And if your inner circle breaks down, if your life has been turned upside down just remember that it was in a similar incident that Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.” It is in that hour when your entire world is turned upside down, that God will get some glory out of your life. It’s a matter of perspective

Sometimes, you have to be left alone, ostracized, rejected and abandoned in order to see the glory of God in your life.  Remember beloved, God is not dependent on your friends or your associates to use you.  God does not need you to get over 1,000 social media followers in order to make you a sponsor of the cross of Jesus Christ.  Jesus saw his betrayal, denial, and abandonment as an opportunity for God to be glorified and so should you.

 

Move 3

Let us pray.  Heavenly Father, may we be able to surrender our will to yours, our friends and family to you even in pre-resurrection circumstances.  For we believe that your post-resurrection power is more than enough to bring glory to your name.  Let us view our situations as Christ viewed his:  as an opportunity for you to show up and show out.  Bless your word today, in Jesus Name, Amen.

Triumph over Traps

Daniel wasn’t sabotaged because he was slothful.  It was his success in whatever position God allowed him to hold that caused him problems.  Success breeds haters as well as supporters. Daniel’s enemies used his faithfulness against him not his work ethic.  They observed him, discovered his routine,  and then set a trap for him.

Jesus said,  “Beware when all men speak well of you.” In other words, the more people praise you on your success the more consistent your prayer life should be. You watch God and let God watch your enemies.

Like God did for Daniel,  God will dispatch an angel to defend you in the time of your trouble. Stay faithful my friends and stay focused.  Hallelujah!