Monday, September 14, 2009
Mid-Day Devotion 9/14/09
“My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
For generations, amidst the greatest of captivities, it would be four words that Prophets and Apostles, Saints and Disciples, whose lives were held to be cheap and without meaning, would put their hope and their faith in. Four simple words that told unto them, go, walk in the ways of the Lord, walk in His divine precepts, see the world for what it is, see the world for all that it holds, for all that it shows unto you, and know… know that there is a faithful, vigilant God, a God who contends with the cause of His children and who, in their darkest of hours, in their greatest of need, He shall give them hope and courage to overcome the greatest of adversity.
In those four words, there would be trust and expectation that would set to flight despair and darkness, as those who put their reliance on them in devoted anticipation of their fulfillment would look to the Lord, their God, and know that He would never fail them or forsake them (Joshua 1:5), for He had a plan for their lives that He had set into motion even from the moment of their conception whilst they were in the womb, their lives being formed by His Holy Hand. (Jeremiah 1:5) For those who looked to that promise, to that blessed assurance there would be power… wonderful, wonder working power that would know not the force of this world or the iniquity of evil as it marched forward with little to no regard to human life or the rights and the spirit of freedom interwoven into the soul. All it would know, through those four words, was a transcending, encompassing love that surpassed all the knowledge and wisdom of this world, all the power and the force of this temporal existence.
“Great is thy faithfulness.”
The power of the Lord is not the power of force. It does not hold its strength in swords or in spears, nor is it found in any of the weapons of steel and iron that can be forged in this world. It’s might is not in armies marching forward or in navies setting sail, or in the sheer power of numbers by which we, in our human logic and our worldly understanding, mark the strength of nations with. No, it’s in the authority that He speaks with and in the manner in which He contends with the cause and the plight, the suffering and the sorrow of His children. The intensity of God’s love and compassion is in the hope that springs forth from the grace and the mercy that He shows. It’s in the depths that He does go to fight for and to make free His people who find themselves held in dark, hidden places, gripped by neck by the hands of evil and wicked men who would seek to choke the life out of them, using them as nothing more than pawns in their vile games of terror and hatred, as contempt guides their way.
The power of the Lord is in His faithfulness, and in the blessed assurances of comfort that He offers unto His people, and it’s a power in which we know there is no force, no army, no strength in this world can stand against, even as it seems that evil is on the march and chaos surrounds us. God, in His compassion, will never fail us as He reminds us that each and every step of the way He is there beside us.
He is beside us…
Even as tyrants rise, laying waste to the land, holding their people in bitter estate, casting all those who oppose them to the dark, dank dungeons that would seek to silence them, God is there beside His children, contending evermore with their cause. Even as slavery seems still to inflict itself on the people, breaking their bodies and forcing them to build, out of hatred for men, wealth for the glory of men, the Lord is there to show that the whip has no power and it’s sting is fleeting. Even as human trafficking rips the innocence and the life from our sons and our daughters, using them in lust and in hatred until there is nothing left and then casting them aside to death, the Heavenly Father shows His love, letting us know that such wickedness is not long for this earth. Even as terror seems all around us, as wicked men of violence and hatred push forward, taking prisons, ransoming and murdering them for their own purposes and devices, there is always a God of deliverance there with the poor and the inflicted, letting His people know that their power shall soon fade.
Though we may not always see or understand His plan, though it may seem incomprehensible to us as we pray and we seek peace, as we seek out His wisdom amidst the darkest of days, amidst the greatest of chaos He is there, showing His faithfulness as He walks beside the prisoners and the captives, the slaves and the hostages, working His will in this world that His justice will be done.
Seek therefore His wisdom and His strength, asking what can be done in your life to work His will for the freedom and the liberty of those who are so brutally ripped away from their homes and from all that they know and all that they love. Like the Saints who have come before, like the blessed martyrs who know stand before the throne of light, kneel in humble submission to the Lord and ask “What, Heavenly Father, may I do to work Your will and desire on this earth, to contend with You in the cause of the hostages and the prisoners held in such dark estate?” Ask of God and seek His answer, knowing that Gospel of Christ we are called to deliver to this world is a message of freedom and justice unto a world lost to the depravity of sin and iniquity, evil and hatred, and that our lives must be given to its advancement, even in the greatest of challenge, even in the greatest of dangers, that all may know that there is a living God, and, through His Son, Christ Jesus, we are called to live in service to our fellow man, showing the power of the Lord in our lives even in the greatest of challenges.
Be of courage and strength, knowing that the Lord is faithful and that His faithfulness is your faithfulness that hope may shine forth from your spirit as you hear the calling of the Spirit, giving your life, in all ways, in all things, to the cause of freedom and justice, equality and liberty. It is then that you shall know that you, in a lost and sinful world, have given yourself over to the cause and the calling of the Lord, to be used as vessels of His holy and divine purpose in this world and that though dark forces of wickedness and violence may seek to dominate you they shall have no power over you.
Let not then any suffer so long as you have strength, let not any find themselves to be afflicted amidst their plight as captivity seeks to keep its dark hold over them, but give yourself over to the precepts and the plans of the Lord, knowing that His faithfulness shall guide your way each and every step of the way as you walk in the path of His righteousness for the challenges that seek to overtake His children. Lose not your hope when the troubles seem so great, but know that God is there beside you, and beside all those that are in need and trouble, giving strength beyond anything that could have been imagined in all the world.
After all, with the faithfulness of the Lord on our side, the love of Christ in our Heart and the calling of the Spirit in our Soul, who can stand against us?
Lord, grant this unto us all.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.