Alone and Afraid

Deuteronomy 31: 6

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”

This is one of those verses we want to be true. It is also a good verse upon which to test your resolve. Are you a believer? Do you believe this verse is an actual promise from God to you? Can you stand on it? Well, that is the question, isn’t it?

Face it, there are times that despite our spirituality, we just feel alone. Intellectually, we know better. At least we know that the Bible says that God will never leave nor forsake us. Sometimes, though, you look into your spirit, you try to quiet yourself and all you hear is silence. It is in those times we must preach to ourselves and that is exactly what Father told me to do recently in my journaling. He said, “Preach to yourself what you would say to someone else.” That advice and the idea that He is with us all the time has stayed with me a lot lately.

The whole truth is that God cannot leave us even if He wanted to. Of course, you know He wants to be with you 24/7. He said to me, “That has been the point of this whole thing. It’s the reason I sent Jesus to earth.” This brings to my remembrance the promise in John 14: 23, “If anyone loves Me . . . My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” God’s purpose in sending Jesus to earth was so that we could again come into communion with Him. He wanted to establish a community of believers for Himself where He could set up His home within our hearts and be with us forever. Jesus, speaking of the Holy Spirit said, “. . . but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you,” (John 14:16). If He abides in us and with us, how can we ever be apart from Him? Those verses account for the abiding presence of the Father, Jesus and the Spirit. That’s pretty good company.

This should give us GREAT comfort and confidence. Today’s verse is from the Old Testament. How much greater is the good news since Jesus graced the earth. Even back then it is said, “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed,” (Deuteronomy 31: 8). Why should we be fearful or forlorn? Why should we be depressed or lonely? Our Father, our beloved, is with us every minute of every day. He and His heavenly host even watch over us while we sleep. God gave up Jesus whom He loves so that He can be with us night and day. He is not about to abandon us now after all the work He did to make His home with us.

Jesus said he left his peace here for us (John 14: 27). This verse is only four verses after Jesus said that he and the Father would make their abode with us. Part of that peace, it seems to me, is in knowing that the Holy Trinity is with you all of the time, day and night, at work at home. Whatever you do, wherever you go, they are there, with you. I write this hoping it will help you create more of a “God with me” identity. We need not be afraid or tremble. We can be strong and courageous of whatever tomorrow brings for our Lord and God is with us and goes before us. He will never, for one minute, leave us nor will He ever forsake us. You have a friend, a permanent friend, who, if you will let Him, will be your best friend for all time.

Listen

Numbers 2: 1 – 2

Now the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, “The sons of Israel shall camp, each by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers’ households; they shall camp around the tent of meeting at a distance.

One of the grandest precepts for us to accept and subsequently incorporate is that we can hear the voice of God speaking to each of us. Especially on this side of the Protestant Reformation, we should be people who are zealous to talk with God and hear His responses. Yet, we have fallen into a pattern of “praying” to him and then walking away. It is vital that we each hear the voice of God so that we may be led according to all His good intentions.

In the Old Testament, people heard God speak. Obviously, God was able to be heard by these two. Yahweh laid out a complete picture of where each tribe should pitch its tent in the camp and the order by which they should proceed when they traveled. If you were to read chapter 2 of Numbers, you would find that there is great detail in the instructions given by God.

Consider the building of the Tent of Meeting. It was completely designed by God and communicated to people. They heard the voice of the Lord right down to the color of the fabric and precise measurements. How is it that they could receive such detailed instructions from God, and we struggle to hear His voice at all?

I hope you will engage that question. Why are we not hearing God speak? Why don’t we all have a strong dialogue with God? It is not His intention that we live separated from Him. His desire is that we live in Him and with Him. He even said that he wants to make his abode with us (John 14: 23). That means He wants to live with us. Wouldn’t it be odd for someone to live with us but never speak with us, for us never to exchange thoughts and ideas? That seems very odd and yet that seems to be many people’s experience. So, either, we haven’t allowed God to make His abode with us, He isn’t speaking or we aren’t listening. What do you think?

Maybe you should ask Father about this. Maybe you should ask Him if your joint communication is where He wants it. Of course, then you will need to listen for an answer. Be still, turn off the TV and the telephone and listen to the voice within you. Take a few minutes to create quiet in your environment, both on the outside of you and the inside. Then listen. If you have trouble hearing, ask Him to help you but as you ask, believe that He will answer. Then be still and listen. And be persistent. If you are not hearing God or not hearing Him as well or as frequently as you would like, then persist. I promise that if you will allow Him, He will teach you.

New Covenant

Hebrews 8: 10

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

First things first, recognize that because of Jesus, you are now the house of Israel, so God is talking about you. There are many other passages, in both the Old and the New Testament, which speak to this new contract. In fact, one can see God’s plan unfold through the whole Bible. I could easily spend an entire week on just this aspect of God’s master plan but I will restrain myself. Just know that He has been putting the pieces in place for thousands of years.

The key here, as I see it, is that God is moving into our hearts. We are stepping into a relationship with God. I really like how this same thought is articulated in the book of Revelations, “Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children (Revelation 21: 7). God’s plan from the beginning and now was to raise a family. It ultimate goal is to have us in intimate, close relationship with Him. In the Old Testament, God was with the Israelites. He led them through the desert in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. He had an improvement plan on the drawing board though. In Joel 2: 28 He said, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all of you!” This was the foretelling of the New Covenant and the new way people would walk with God. No more is God in the cloud. With this pouring out, He has come to live in us. “Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3: 16).

God’s word is alive in us. He has come to earth and made a home in our hearts and spirits. No longer do we need to look outward to clouds or to an ark to behold our God. God has come to make His abode with us. We are the new Ark of the Covenant. Jesus has made all of this possible and we should seek God in our hearts and get to know Him as an intimate. He is our God and we are His people but as He has said, we are His children. The New Covenant is the indwelling presence of Almighty God and the intertwining of His spirit and yours. Get wrapped up in Him today.

The New Covenant

Jeremiah 31: 33

“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days”, declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

Have you ever wondered what the “New Covenant” with God is? First of all, let’s understand what a covenant is. The American Heritage Dictionary defines covenant as: a binding agreement made by two or more persons or parties; a compact; contract. 2. A solemn agreement or vow made by members of a church to defend and support its faith and doctrine. 3. Theology. God’s promises to man, as recorded in the Old and New Testaments. 4. A formal sealed agreement or contract. Our covenant with God is a sacred contract, if you will, a binding agreement between humanity and God. It is a reciprocal agreement wherein each party has its obligations and benefits. Our part is to be His people. Wow, that is an obligation which actually is a benefit in itself. If there were no terms other than that, we would win. We get to be His people. However, there are other obligations upon God which confer benefit unto us. He is obligated to be our God. If I will be His, then He has no option but to be mine. He is bound. That is powerful. You have the power to bind God to you such that He has no choice but to be your God. Do you see that? But wait, there is more. He has the affirmative duty to write all of His Word, knowledge and wisdom on your heart. Again, He has no choice. He has bound Himself by His Word and He has not the power to lie or to break His Word. Therefore, when you accept Yahweh as your God He moves into your heart and inscribes all that He is there.

Everything that Jesus is or did; everything he accomplished is alive inside of you right now. In John 14: 23 Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word and my Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.” And where do they live? Ephesians 3: 17 says that Christ dwells in our hearts. That is where the Word is written and Jesus is the Word. It really does all make sense. When Jesus said that He and the Father would come live in us He was echoing what the Father said in Jeremiah. Jesus knew what the New Covenant was. He heard God speak about the New Covenant and His plans for His people. Our only obligation is that we love Jesus. If we love Him, if we have a heart condition of affection for Jesus, an emotional response to who he is, then the entire trinity with all wisdom, power and grace will come live inside us and be our constant friend and helper. We give God our hearts and He gives us everything. That is the New Covenant. What a deal. No lawyer on earth has ever brokered a deal this good yet God gave it freely. What a Great and benevolent Father we have.