The elephant is the largest land animal on earth—and one of the most powerful. Yet it takes only a strong rope to restrain one. Here’s how it works. When the elephant is young, he is tied to a large tree. For weeks, he will strain and pull, but the rope holds him fast. So eventually he gives up.
Then, when the elephant reaches his full size and strength, he won’t struggle to get free, for once he feels resistance, he stops. He still believes he’s held captive and can’t break free.
Satan can play a similar trick on us to hold us captive. The Bible assures us that there is “no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1). We have been set “free from the law of sin and death” (v.2). But the enemy of our soul tries to make us believe we are still dominated by sin.
What shall we do then? Reflect on what Christ has done. He died for our sins and declared an end to sin’s control over us (v.3). He rose from the dead and gave us the Holy Spirit. Now we are empowered to live victoriously in Him because “the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in [us]” (v.11).
In Christ, we are set free.
He our captive souls has bought,
He has reconciled to God,
He has washed us in His blood. —Wesley
My Help Comes From the Lord
From: 2Praise God
How many times have you taken it upon yourself to get things done when you knew God was telling you to stand still and/or wait on something?
I’ll be the first to raise my hand in saying I’ve done so. Right now in my life, I’m in this place where every week my family and I are faced with the challenges of paying hotel rent. I’m in the process of looking for employment…but I’ve tried to take matters into my own hands, thinking that I’ll “help God” because I can’t figure out what He’s doing.
Today, the very thing I placed my trust in to make some extra money was cancelled out. My first reaction was to panic and get upset. But you know what, after I prayed I am reminded that my help does not comes from what I, Naquan can do, but from what God can do (and we know that God can do all things).
Why do I share this with you? Because I know I’m not the only person who’s been tempted to step outside of faith and take matters into their own hands. Now, I’m not saying that you’re not to do anything to make a living…however, in the situation that God has ME in, it’s a faith walk and sometimes the faith walk is not the most easiest walk.
Your Help Cometh From the Lord
So I share my story to encourage someone today. Your help does not come from what you have or don’t have nor what you know or don’t know. Your help comes from the Lord, the Lord which made Heaven and earth (scripture verse: Psalm 121:2). God said in His word that He will supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory and we know we serve a God who cannot lie.
It is by the grace and merciful hand of God that my family and I had the funds to pay rent each week with NO INCOME. Even if I wanted to, I could not take the credit for it because the little money I did make was no way near the money needed each week to pay the hotel fees. So I know it’s only God who has been sustaining my family and I.
So as I encourage myself, I encourage you. You may not know where the next dollar, meal, drink, or etc is coming from. You may want to panic and give up. You may be tempted to take matters into your own hands. However, I encourage you to stand on the word of God and His promises because your help comes from the Lord!
If God can send ravens to feed Elijah, then surely God can use anything to be a blessing to you. Remember, your help comes from the Lord (bible verse: Psalm 121:2). Obey God and leave the when, how and where to Him. Your Heavenly father is a present help in times of trouble and He will not leave you hanging.
|My Right-Hand Man
“I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8 (NASB)
I sat on the floor and cried. I felt overwhelmed and so alone.
“Who is going to help me now, Lord?” I whispered.
My assistant and close friend had just informed me she was no longer able to partner with me in my ministry. Circumstances beyond her control made it impossible for her to continue to work alongside me as someone I depended on. No longer there to help me. No longer there to be my sounding board, my prayer support, my “other half” in a very real sense.
I felt like I was losing my right hand.
Have you ever felt that way? As if you are suddenly on your own, without anyone to hold you up?
And yet, God had something He wanted me to learn in that difficult moment.
Just hours earlier, I had spoken to a group of women about the seasons of our lives in which we need to be pruned. I gave the example of how rosebushes need to be pruned. They look choppy after the pruning, but come spring, the roses bloom brighter and more beautifully than ever.
But here I was, being pruned in my own life, and feeling like I was losing my right hand!
God, this doesn’t feel like pruning, I prayed. This feels like my right hand is being chopped off! Please God, not her. She’s all I have right now. Please don’t take my right hand.
Desperate for God’s presence and His comfort, I reached for my Bible. Not knowing where else to turn, I opened to the Psalms. Years earlier, my cousin had shared how Psalm 16 comforted her when it came to experiencing loss in her family. I read the Psalm aloud and stopped suddenly after reading verse 8:
I have set the LORD continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
Lord, I prayed, I’m complaining I’ve lost my right hand, but You are my right hand. You are the One who helps me, counsels me, encourages me. You are the One who never leaves my side.
Dear God, I’m so sorry I didn’t see it before. You truly are my Right-hand Man.
I read through the rest of Psalm 16, and smiled at how it ended:
“You will make known to me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; In your right hand are pleasures forever,” (Psalm 16:11, NASB).
God was telling me, in my moment of fear and anxiety, that not only was I not alone, but I never would be. Even without my friend to help me. With God at my right hand, there is joy in His presence and pleasures forevermore.
I realized that day there is no one else I would rather have at my right hand.
I got up off the floor and walked out of the room with my Bible in my hand, my head held high and my Right-hand Man at my side.
I have never walked alone in this job yet, I thought to myself. And I never will.
“We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.”
Upon some points a believer is absolutely sure. He knows, for instance, that God sits in the stern-sheets of the vessel when it rocks most. He believes that an invisible hand is always on the world’s tiller, and that wherever providence may drift, Jehovah steers it. That re-assuring knowledge prepares him for everything. He looks over the raging waters and sees the spirit of Jesus treading the billows, and he hears a voice saying, “It is I, be not afraid.” He knows too that God is always wise, and, knowing this, he is confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes; that nothing can occur which ought not to arise. He can say, “If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose than have, if God so wills: the worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me if God ordains it.” “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” The Christian does not merely hold this as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet; the poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions have worked the cure; the sharp cuts of the lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing. Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely blessed results; and so, believing that God rules all, that he governs wisely, that he brings good out of evil, the believer’s heart is assured, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, “Send me what thou wilt, my God, so long as it comes from thee; never came there an ill portion from thy table to any of thy children.”
“Say not my soul, From whence can God relieve my care?’
Remember that Omnipotence has servants everywhere.
His method is sublime, his heart profoundly kind,
God never is before his time, and never is behind.”
“Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?”
Kindred has its obligations. The Reubenites and Gadites would have been unbrotherly if they had claimed the land which had been conquered, and had left the rest of the people to fight for their portions alone. We have received much by means of the efforts and sufferings of the saints in years gone by, and if we do not make some return to the church of Christ by giving her our best energies, we are unworthy to be enrolled in her ranks. Others are combating the errors of the age manfully, or excavating perishing ones from amid the ruins of the fall, and if we fold our hands in idleness we had need be warned, lest the curse of Meroz fall upon us. The Master of the vineyard saith, “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” What is the idler’s excuse? Personal service of Jesus becomes all the more the duty of all because it is cheerfully and abundantly rendered by some. The toils of devoted missionaries and fervent ministers shame us if we sit still in indolence. Shrinking from trial is the temptation of those who are at ease in Zion: they would fain escape the cross and yet wear the crown; to them the question for this evening’s meditation is very applicable. If the most precious are tried in the fire, are we to escape the crucible? If the diamond must be vexed upon the wheel, are we to be made perfect without suffering? Who hath commanded the wind to cease from blowing because our bark is on the deep? Why and wherefore should we be treated better than our Lord? The firstborn felt the rod, and why not the younger brethren? It is a cowardly pride which would choose a downy pillow and a silken couch for a soldier of the cross. Wiser far is he who, being first resigned to the divine will, groweth by the energy of grace to be pleased with it, and so learns to gather lilies at the cross foot, and, like Samson, to find honey in the lion.