VIDEO Luke’s Story: Trusting No Matter What

Aug 11, 2015

Luke Michaels is a teenager who is serious about his faith. He knew the love of Jesus at a young age, and he wanted to share that love with others—especially youth. He began to pray every day that God would use him in a big way. Luke says, “I didn’t know when He would answer this prayer. And I never knew He would answer it like this.” God answered Luke’s prayers and gave him a platform to reach countless others with the message of trusting in God no matter what.

God’s Plans – Do It Yourself

God’s Plans
fork in road
What do you want your servant to do? (nlt) Joshua 5:14

An army officer may have an overall plan, but before each battle he has to receive and give out new instructions. Joshua, a leader of the Israelites, had to learn this lesson. After God’s people spent 40 years in the wilderness, God chose Joshua to lead them into the land He had promised to them.

The first stronghold they faced was the city of Jericho. Before the battle, Joshua saw the “commander of the Lord’s army” (probably the Lord Himself) standing opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. Joshua fell on his face and worshiped. In other words, he recognized God’s greatness and his own smallness. Then he asked, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” (Josh. 5:14). Joshua experienced victory at Jericho because he followed the Lord’s instructions.

Recognizing God’s greatness & our own smallness makes us more dependent on Him.

On another occasion, however, Joshua and his people “did not inquire of the Lord” (9:14). As a result, they were deceived into making a peace treaty with the people of Gibeon, enemies in the land of Canaan. This displeased the Lord (vv. 3-26).

We too are dependent on the Lord as we face life’s struggles. He longs for us to come near to Him today in humility. And He’ll be there again for us tomorrow.

In what area do you need God’s guidance today? Ask God to lead the way.

Spiritual victory comes to those who humble themselves and seek God’s will.

By Keila Ochoa

Do It Yourself
chair outside

…casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God… —2 Corinthians 10:5

Determinedly Demolish Some Things. Deliverance from sin is not the same as deliverance from human nature. There are things in human nature, such as prejudices, that the saint can only destroy through sheer neglect. But there are other things that have to be destroyed through violence, that is, through God’s divine strength imparted by His Spirit. There are some things over which we are not to fight, but only to “stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord…” (see Exodus 14:13). But every theory or thought that raises itself up as a fortified barrier “against the knowledge of God” is to be determinedly demolished by drawing on God’s power, not through human effort or by compromise (see 2 Corinthians 10:4).

It is only when God has transformed our nature and we have entered into the experience of sanctification that the fight begins. The warfare is not against sin; we can never fight against sin— Jesus Christ conquered that in His redemption of us. The conflict is waged over turning our natural life into a spiritual life. This is never done easily, nor does God intend that it be so. It is accomplished only through a series of moral choices. God does not make us holy in the sense that He makes our character holy. He makes us holy in the sense that He has made us innocent before Him. And then we have to turn that innocence into holy character through the moral choices we make. These choices are continually opposed and hostile to the things of our natural life which have become so deeply entrenched— the very things that raise themselves up as fortified barriers “against the knowledge of God.” We can either turn back, making ourselves of no value to the kingdom of God, or we can determinedly demolish these things, allowing Jesus to bring another son to glory (see Hebrews 2:10).

The attitude of a Christian towards the providential order in which he is placed is to recognize that God is behind it for purposes of His own. Biblical Ethics, 99 R

Oswald Chambers

Our Help in Weakness

John 14:16-17

Following the Last Supper, Jesus took time to teach the disciples more about His mission and what would happen after He left the earth. He knew their darkest times lay ahead. They would experience despair at the death of their beloved Teacher, great joy at His resurrection, and sorrow at His departure. He was also aware that bearing witness to His life would challenge their faith. So, in John 14:16-31, He promised a Helper who would stand alongside them in the coming trials.

We often face life with a stiff upper lip, trusting our own ingenuity and skills to get us through. In choosing to follow the Lord, however, we agree to adopt a totally different mindset: We’re weaker than we could have imagined, but through the Holy Spirit, we are stronger than we dared to hope.

Whether our struggle is spiritual, emotional, or physical, we can rely on the Holy Spirit to help us. Paul gives us an example of what this looks like. When dealing with pain from a physical condition, the apostle prayed that the Lord would take away what he referred to as a “thorn in the flesh.” Instead, God said His power would be “perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Too many Christians operate under the misconception that God helps us only when we have gone as far as we can go. In reality, His Spirit doesn’t add to our strength, like some kind of spiritual steroid. Instead, when we admit we are powerless to help ourselves, the Holy Spirit gives us the strength we need to face any challenge with absolute confidence in God.

Bounty from the Word

“Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.” (Psalm 119:17)

Materialism is so prevelant that it is sometimes difficult to not associate words like “bounty” or “blessing” with earthly riches. This psalmist wasn’t concerned with physical prosperity, but rather that God would reveal to him what his own heart sought—“that I may live, and keep thy word.”

He requested spiritual insight: “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (v. 18). Without hint of greed or self-centered aggrandizement, he only longed to understand the “wondrous” insights of the torah (law). We lack “bounty” if we neglect studying God’s inerrant Word.

We often forget that we are “stranger[s] in the earth” (v. 19). Once adopted into God’s family (Ephesians 1:5), our citizenship (Philippians 3:20) is transferred from this earth to God’s “city” (Hebrews 11:10). Thus, the psalmist begged for God not to “hide” the commandments from him because his “soul breaketh for the longing” (v. 20) he had, in every season, for the judgments of God’s Word.

He remembered God’s swift justice against the “cursed” (v. 21) who “err” (wander, stray) from the Word, since the “princes” (chiefs, leaders) of the land resisted his effort to obey God (v. 23). Nontheless, he was determined to demonstrate his “delight” in the “counselors” within God’s testimonies (v. 24).

Many who claim to be evangelicals today boldly scorn those who trust that “every word of God is pure” (Proverbs 30:5). May God keep us from “the fear of man” (Proverbs 29:25) and embolden our resolve to “worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalm 138:2). HMM III

God in Our Midst

And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. —Exodus 33:14-15

In what I have to say I may not be joined by any ground swell of public opinion, but I have a charge to make against the church. We are not consciously aware of God in our midst. We do not seem to sense the tragedy of having almost completely lost the awareness of His presence….

Revival and blessing come to the church when we stop looking at a picture of God and look at God Himself. Revival comes when, no longer satisfied just to know about a God in history, we meet the conditions of finding Him in living, personal experience….

Modern mankind can go everywhere, do everything and be completely curious about the universe. But only a rare person now and then is curious enough to want to know God.

Oh Lord, show me Your glory. I don’t want to be satisfied with just a second-hand picture of You; I want to sense Your living presence with me. I long to know You. Amen.

Good Literature: Responsibility of Christian Home

The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord; but the words of the pure are pleasant words. Proverbs 15:26

It is my belief that we Christians are bound in all conscience to discourage the reading of subversive literature and to promote as fully as possible the circulation of good books and magazines.

Just what part evil literature has played in the present moral breakdown throughout the world will never be known till men are called forth to answer to a holy God for their unholy deeds, but it must be very great indeed!

For thousands of young people the first doubt about God and the Bible came with the reading of some evil book. We must respect the power of ideas, and printed ideas are as powerful as spoken ones. They may have a longer fuse but their explosive power is just as great.

Our Christian faith teaches us to expect to answer for every idle word; how much more severely shall we be held to account for every evil word, whether printed or spoken.

The desire to appear broad-minded is one not easy to overcome, for it is rooted in our ego and is simply a none-too-subtle form of pride. In the name of broad-mindedness many a Christian home has been opened to literature that sprang not from a broad mind, but from a mind little and dirty and polluted with evil!

We require our children to wipe their feet before entering the house. Dare we demand less of the literature that comes into our home?

What Do We Love?

But we all… are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 CORINTHIANS 3:18

God wants us to recognize that human nature is in a formative state and that it is being changed into the image of the thing it loves.

Men and women are being molded by their affinities, shaped by their affections and powerfully transformed by the artistry of their loves. In the unregenerate world of Adam, this produces, day by day, tragedies of cosmic proportions!

For His own children, our heavenly Father has provided right moral objects for admiration and love. They are not God but they are nearest to God; we cannot love Him without loving them.

I speak of His righteousness; and the heart drawn to righteousness will be repulsed in the same degree by iniquity. I speak of wisdom, and we admire the Hebrew prophets, who refused to divorce wisdom from righteousness.

I speak also of truth as another object of our Christian love. Our Lord Jesus Christ said, “I am the truth,” and in so saying He joined truth to the Deity in inseparable union. Thus, to love God is to love the truth!

Father, help us to love Your entire Being—not just a few favorite attributes like Your grace and mercy and goodness. Enable us also to love Your attributes of holiness and justness.