Category : Devotion of the Week
Category : Devotion of the Week
God Rescues us from the Wrath to Come
“Pull the red lever. Pull the red lever!”
Sitting to the right of the helicopter pilot, I frantically looked around for the red lever that he was shouting about.
Just minutes before, the pilot, knowing I was a bit nervous about my first helicopter ride, was joiking around with me as we flew over a lake.
“Do you know how to swim?” he chuckled.
“Yes, but hopefully I won’t be swimming today.”
It was my first week as a television intern at the ABC affiliate in Dallas and I was tagging along with a news crew to a story in Cleburne, Texas. It saved a lot of driving time to take the chopper.
But then something went terribly wrong. The compressor malfunctioned on the helicopter. The pilot had to shut off the engine. I was in the co-pilot seat and the pilot was commanding me to pull the red lever to lower the fire screen between us and the engine. I fumbled around, couldn’t find it, so he pulled it himself. The screen was designed to protect us if the engine ignited. Meanwhile, because we were high enough in elevation, we were able to auto rotate to the ground and landed with a thud.
While we survived, one week later the same helicopter suffered a different fate. It crashed, this time carrying the pilot, sports photographer and the photographer’s wife. It got caught up in telephone wire while trying to download highlights from a Baylor football game. I was the one in the sports department who was taking that feed, but I could have easily been on the helicopter if the photographer’s wife had not made the trip to log the plays.
I was only 22 at the time, but years later, I realized God saved me from certain death in both those instances and now I never take the gift of life for granted. Each day I thank him for another opportunity to serve Him.
I also realize God saved me from eternal death as well. When I gave up the control of my life to Jesus at age 35, a television career was no longer my passion. I began to live for Christ. The scales were taken off my spiritual eyes and I saw things with an eternal perspective. I also realized, through my salvation, God rescued me from the “wrath to come.” John 3:36 says, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
If you have ever wondered, “Why would a loving God send people to Hell?” Flip it and realize, “A loving God offers everyone an opportunity to accept his Son so they don’t have to go to Hell.”
2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
I am thankful God was patient with me. After praying a prayer in high school to accept Jesus, I drifted away from the faith for seventeen years before rededicating my life to the Lord. That’s when the change in me began.
Today I ask you, Are you certain of your eternal future? We can’t take any day for granted. If you have never given over your life to God, here’s a simple prayer to pray:
“Lord, God, I have done a lot of wrong in my life and I want to be right with you. I confess the wrong and ask you to forgive me. I recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah and know that he died on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice so I might be cleansed of my sin and gain eternal life with you. I give the control of my life over to Jesus today and ask that he reside in my heart from this day forward. In Jesus Name I pray, AMEN
God Rescues Us From Trouble
The righteous person is rescued from trouble, and it falls on the wicked instead. (Proverbs 11:8)
I’m a fairly good driver, except when I don’t know where I am. The other day I was driving our Level-Up Conference keynote speaker, Thelma Wells, to a radio interview when I almost turned into oncoming traffic. Later, near the broadcast studio, we needed to go straight on a road that was blocked because of the Texas Rangers game so I took a left when I should have gone right. An angry traffic copy shouted “Turn around!” By that time I was rattled. I’d like to say these are a first for close encounters on the road, but I’d be lying. I am on the road a lot and have seen God’s hand of protection countless times.
Does this mean we will never experience severe trouble or a major car accident? No.
Does this indicate there will never be problems in our lives? No.
In John 16:33 it clearly says, “In this world you will have trouble.”
But it does indicate that God rescues us more times than we are aware of. When we do end up in that traffic accident or in a situation where we need supernatural help, our heavenly Father is there when we call on Him, unless it is time for us to go to our eternal home. It’s my theory that the Lord softens the impact.
I just heard a testimony from a man who was involved in a rollover car accident when he was twenty. He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and walked away with cuts. Authorities told him 95 percent of all people who are not wearing their seatbelts in rollover accidents are killed. When that sunk in he realized God rescued him from death for a reason, so he gave his life to Christ.
Has God ever rescued you on the roads?
I heard another testimony of a woman who was a clerk in a convenience store when an attacker tried to rob the store and kidnap her. She shouted the name of Jesus over and over and the attacker fled.
There is power in the name of Jesus.
In addition to rescuing us from dangerous situations, God also delivers us from what troubles us emotionally. Psalm 34:17 promises, “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”
I was troubled last night, but I woke up to the song, “Oh My Soul” by Casting Crowns. Whatever song I wake up to is the one I sing back to the Lord during my morning quiet time. This tune talks about being weary from losing control and about losing hope, but the key message in the lyrics is “You’re not alone.”
And that is the primary message I want to share with you today.
If you are a Christian, you are not alone.
When you go through troubles, God can rescue you both physically and emotionally. Just cry out to Him and expect Him to work on your behalf.
It’s not to late to sign up for the Level-Up Conference on October 7th at First Baptist of Lewisville, Texas. Our “Buy One, Get One Free” promotion ends tonight. Join Thelma Wells, Sharon Hill, Kathy Green, Suellen Roberts, Lisa Burkhardt Worley and a total of fifteen speakers and worship leaders for a day of leveling up our relationship with God, leveling up our prayer life and leveling down the mountains in our lives. www.tinyurl.com/level-conf
God Rescues us from Fear
“I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).
It was a Monday morning in 2003. I was getting ready for work when my body went rogue. My heart started racing uncontrollably and I thought I was going to pass out. My first thought was, heart attack. Having had a dad who died of a massive heart attack at age 39, I took the symptoms seriously and asked my husband to race me to the Emergency Room. After running an EKG and other heart tests, the ER doctor asked, “Are you under any stress right now?”
I replied, “I work full-time and I’m studying for a seminary final.”
“I see this all the time. Your brain is fried. You didn’t have a heart attack. You had a panic attack.”
Always the overachiever, I thought about what caused the panic. I realized the root was fear. I feared the unknown. It was my first test at seminary.
“Would I know the answers to the questions?”
“Would I do well or would I do poorly on the test?”
“What if I was studying the wrong thing?”
I knew I was called to seminary so I wanted to succeed, so much so, that I put undue pressure on myself.
After this same scenario happened a second time during mid-terms the following semester, both my husband and I realized I had to quit my full-time job and focus on school. But I also had to give this situation over to God. I gave Him the studying. I gave Him the exams. I gave Him seminary. Oftentimes, there simply was not enough time to study everything so I’d ask him, “Which questions do I need to focus on?” He was always faithful and those were the questions asked on the test.
While we should have a healthy fear of the LORD, God says he did not give us the spirit of fear, so where did that spirit come from? It’s from the enemy of our soul who wants to take us down. He desires to paralyze us so we can’t complete our God-given mission.
So what should we do?
We need to bind the spirit of fear in the name of Jesus.
We need to surrender our fears to God.
Ask for His peace in whatever area you struggle.
Philippians 4:6–7 commands us to not be anxious about anything and says to be honest with God about what is bothering us. When we do that, the Word promises that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
It’s not too late to sign up for the October 7th Pearls of Promise and OnCall Prayer Ministry “Level-Up” Conference in Lewisville, TX featuring keynote speaker Thelma Wells. Take advantage of our special until September 30th: Buy One, Get One Free. Just go to: www.tinyurl.com/level-conf to register.
Part One: How God Rescues us From Evil
The group of young girls was huddled up next to me. I saw one of them take an injection needle out. Oh no, they are doing drugs. I decided to be bold and said, “You girls are so beautiful. Why are you destroying your lives in this way?” Then one of them turned on me and attacked me, threatening to inject me with the venom she was forcing into her body. I shouted, “In the name of Jesus, I cast out evil in this girl.” At those words she fell to the ground.”
This was the dream that woke me up this morning at 5:00 a.m. I was thankful it was only a dream but it is an example of how God gives us power over evil, even in our sleep.
When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he acknowledged that evil is prevalent and that they needed some help to overcome it: “…And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13).
1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” We have to be prepared with spiritual weapons to fight the bad guys. Ephesians 6 encourages us to put on the full armor of God to take a stand against the devil’s schemes. We can take hold of weapons like prayer, and the “sword of the spirit” or the Word of God.
The Bible is full of examples of how to fight evil. In Acts 16:16-18 you will see how the Apostle Paul dealt with a woman who was a fortune-teller and predicted the future. She followed him around for many days shouting “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She finally got under Paul’s skin so he turned around and said to the evil spirit within her: “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” It was at that moment the spirit left her.
While you may think this is ancient news, I recently heard a story about a young woman who was attacked by a stranger in her place of business. When he threatened her, she shouted the name of Jesus over and over and he fled.
I believe the more you press into your faith and take a stand for the Lord’s righteousness, the more the prowling lion will circle your territory. But remember, God is our rescuer. He gives us that promise in His Word. But we have to be educated about how to fight the unseen forces of the world.
“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3).
Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_pavlik18′>pavlik18 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
It’s not too late to sign up for the Level Up Conference October 7th at First Baptist of Lewisville. We will help you Level-Up your relationship with God, Level-Up Your Prayer Life and Level-Down the Mountains in Your Life. Register now at: www.tinyurl.com/level-conf
“We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.”
Do you have trouble trusting God at times?
You are not alone. Many of us walk on wobbly legs when it comes to trust, especially when a situation doesn’t go the way we hoped.
We ask questions like:
“Did I hear you right?”
“Have I done anything wrong?”
Then when we are desperate we cry out:
“Why have you abandoned me?”
It is in these moments where I believe God wants us to trust him the most. He desires for us to rest in Him even though we don’t see the solution. If we’ve been called to a task, He says, “Quit worrying. Let me handle it.”
He also wants us to remember all the situations he brought us through before.
I’m in that place of shaky trust right now, but God continues to remind me of who He is in my life. He is my Jehovah Jireh, my provider.
He reminds me of this in many ways, including through songs. At church the other day, the guest soloist was Mack Brock, the lead singer of the group “Elevation Worship.” He sang one of the group’s great worship songs entitled “Do it Again.” It has become my theme song during this stretch of shaky trust. The opening lines are: “Walking around these walls I thought by now they’d fall but you have never failed me yet.”
The walls around a project I am currently working on will not fall. I feel like Jacob wrestling with God until He blesses me. However, I thought back to all the other “God projects” I’ve had on my plate and I remember he did not fail me in those. I am crying out, “Do it again!”
Is your trust shaky right now? If so, stop and think back about God’s faithfulness. Know that he can remove any mountain blocking victory, and then praise him in advance for what is coming. He may be testing you to see if you’ll trust Him. Despite the roadblocks. Despite the uncertainty. Despite the appearances.
He is faithful.
He has a plan.
He will not fail you.