Mighty to Save
From: Our Daily Journey
During WWII, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill hailed the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Allied troops from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk as a “miracle of deliverance.” The event was so widely celebrated that Churchill had to remind people that “wars are not won by evacuations.”
Trapped by Hitler’s forces and with one route of escape, the Prime Minister had admitted that only 20,000 to 30,000 troops seemed likely to make it out safely. On hearing this, King George VI called for the people of Britain and of the Empire to commit their cause to God in a National Day of Prayer. They poured out their hearts to the only One who could deliver them and—in God’s providence—they were delivered.
Out of gratitude, people across Britain observed a Day of National Thanksgiving. Up and down the country, choirs and congregations sang the words of Psalm 124.
“What if the LORD had not been on our side? Let all Israel repeat: what if the LORD had not been on our side when people attacked us? They would have swallowed us alive in their burning anger. The waters would have engulfed us; a torrent would have overwhelmed us. Yes, the raging waters of their fury would have overwhelmed our very lives” (Psalm 124:1-5).
Perhaps you’ve witnessed a deliverance by Almighty God in your life. Whether a healing, a wondrous provision, or a beautiful reconciliation, you carry with you a sense of humble gratitude to God who chose to intervene in a situation that seemed utterly hopeless at the time (Psalm 124:6-7).
God often works powerfully through hard things that come our way. But even when the answer isn’t what we hoped for, we can declare, “Our help is from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8).
Never choose to be a worker for God, but once God has placed His call on you, woe be to you if you “turn aside to the right hand or to the left” (Deuteronomy 5:32). We are not here to work for God because we have chosen to do so, but because God has “laid hold of” us. And once He has done so, we never have this thought, “Well, I’m really not suited for this.” What you are to preach is also determined by God, not by your own natural leanings or desires. Keep your soul steadfastly related to God, and remember that you are called not simply to convey your testimony but also to preach the gospel. Every Christian must testify to the truth of God, but when it comes to the call to preach, there must be the agonizing grip of God’s hand on you— your life is in the grip of God for that very purpose. How many of us are held like that?
Never water down the Word of God, but preach it in its undiluted sternness. There must be unflinching faithfulness to the Word of God, but when you come to personal dealings with others, remember who you are— you are not some special being created in heaven, but a sinner saved by grace.
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do…I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
A door opened in heaven (Rev. 4:1).
You must remember that John was in the Isle of Patmos, a lone, rocky, inhospitable prison, for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus. And yet to him, under such circumstances, separated from all the loved ones of Ephesus; debarred from the worship of the Church; condemned to the companionship of uncongenial fellow-captives, were vouchsafed these visions. For him, also a door was opened.
We are reminded of Jacob, exiled from his father’s house, who laid himself down in a desert place to sleep, and in his dreams beheld a ladder which united Heaven with earth, and at the top stood God.
Not to these only, but to many more, doors have been opened into Heaven, when, so far as the world was concerned, it seemed as though their circumstances were altogether unlikely for such revelations. To prisoners and captives; to constant sufferers, bound by iron chains of pain to sick couches; to lonely pilgrims and wanderers; to women detained from the Lord’s house by the demands of home, how often has the door been opened to Heaven.
But there are conditions. You must know what it is to be in the Spirit; you must be pure in heart and obedient in faith; you must be willing to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ; then when God is all in all to us, when we live, move and have our being in His favor, to us also will the door be opened.
–Daily Devotional Commentary
God hath His mountains bleak and bare,
Where He doth bid us rest awhile;
Crags where we breathe a purer air,
Lone peaks that catch the day’s first smile.
God hath His deserts broad and brown–
A solitude–a sea of sand,
Where He doth let heaven’s curtain down,
Unknit by His Almighty hand.