For all the times you hear “I can’t”
Stop for a moment and consider the ant
watch how steadily and diligently he moves
to carry up to 3 times his weight over hills and grooves
you won’t hear him whimper or complain
but slowly, slowly he keeps his pace
no matter how small each item seems
it all adds up in the greater scheme
For all the times you hear “I can’t”
Consider still the smallest plant
that starts as a seed buried underground
concealed in darkness it can’t be found
yet diligently it extends its roots
then out from the ground one day it moves
just a little glimpse of green but everyday
you’ll see the plant growing in the sun rays
For all the times you hear “I can’t
Consider this little chant
“I can, I can, and yes I will
onward I’ll tarry across rivers and uphills
until I’ve reached the end of the race
I can, I will for all my days.”
You can, you will, upward, onward still!
Life is not slowing down. If anything it feels like it’s speeding up. We are all perpetually busy people with our work, families, hobbies and duties. Often it can feel like there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish what you’d really like to do. So, how do you combat this feeling and maximize every moment of your day?
Sometimes all we really need is to hear “you’ve got this.” No, not in reference to ourselves taking the lead on our lives but rather that God has got this. “You’ve got this” is our bold confession to God that we trust that He’s in control and that He can more than handle whatever we may be going through.
He’s with you: Never does He leave nor forsake you. Is there any better friend to have? Who can make a promise like this one except for God? Since we know He’s with us, let’s acknowledge His presence and lean on Him for everything.
He sees the beginning to the end: God’s view of our lives is not limited to the past and the present, but rather He sees the past, present and future. He sees it all and He’s working it all together for the good. All things, He’s working together for the good.
He has a purpose: when we entrust our lives to God we can be assured that He has a purpose for our lives. We no longer have to believe the lie that our life has no purpose. It has a purpose and He is the life behind the purpose.
Have you ever had a moment when you felt like the whole world was coming against you? A moment when reality seemed to be caving in? A moment when justice didn’t seem to be something that was applying to your current situation? A moment that was just plain unfair or “too much to handle” or too overwhelming?
You just don’t know what to do…
You are in good company. Throughout the Bible we read the stories of kings, rulers and ordinary men and women who were met with real tangible obstacles but brought them before God knowing that no obstacle is too great for God to handle. When we look historically at some of the great kings in the Old Testament, King Jehoshaphat was a very powerful King but was well aware of his weakness and that his help and strength came from the Lord.
When the people came and told him about the vast army that was coming against him his first reaction was alarm. He was ‘alarmed.’ But his next response was so significant. His next response was to “inquire of the Lord.” He knew that the problem he was facing was great but that God was greater and he knew that when he didn’t know what to do, that the first thing to do is to cry out to God. So, he gathers all of the people together and in the middle of this assembly he cried out to God. He ends his prayer with an honest confession to the Lord,
“Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12 NIV
How many times have we felt like that? An obstacle arises, a person is coming against us, our loved ones are stricken with an illness, whatever the case may be, we have all or will at some point in our lives experience circumstances that are difficult beyond our comprehension. We do not know how to resolve them. We see them and we are ‘alarmed’ just at Jehoshaphat was alarmed. But let our hearts turn quickly to seek the face of the Lord. While we are alarmed, He is not. While we feel overwhelmed, He does not. While the crisis seems bigger than us, we can rest in knowing that it is not bigger than God.
Oh let our eyes be enlarged and our souls revived again as we get a big view of who God is. Jehoshaphat prayed and as He did he reminded himself of the characteristics of God. In the face of a trial, we can learn to pray with eyes of faith as Jehoshaphat prayed. Here’s what we can learn from his prayer:
God is over all:
“Lord, the God of ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations(v.6).”
Jehoshaphat reminded himself that God is overall all. Seated on high in heaven and ruling over all kingdoms and nations there is nothing and no one that is over God. He reigns over all: past, present and future, He reigns. Knowing that the God we serve is the one true God who reigns over all we need not be troubled a second longer. All things are under His feet.
God is all powerful:
“Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you (v.6).”
We lest not forget that all power is in God’s hand. No authority reigns over Him. He is all powerful and any power that someone has over us has been authorized by God. We can expect that not only will God show up on our behalf but that He is already present, fighting as our Advocate. He will not give us more than we can bear and His power is made perfect in our weakness.
Recall the Faithfulness of God:
“Our God did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend (v.7)?”
Jehoshaphat recalled what God had already done in the past and we can do the exact same thing. The truth of the matter is that God has always been and will always be faithful to us. He has already given us everything and yet He continues to answer our prayers and provide for all of our needs. He is faithful. We recall His faithfulness not because He has forgotten but rather to remind ourselves, God was faithful then, He will be faithful again today and tomorrow.
The Battle Belongs to the Lord:
“He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem.(v. 15-17).’”
God is working on our behalf. Isn’t it amazing how when trouble comes we so quickly forget that the battle is the Lord’s. We think it’s our battle and that we have to figure it out and “get ourselves out of it.” Regardless of whether we got ourselves into a battle or one has come upon us we can still seek the Lord and know that the battle is the Lord’s and deliverance is in His hands. He’s on our side and “if God be for us, who can be against us?”
The Lord is with Us:
“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out and face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you (v.17).”
No matter where we are and what we’re going through we can be confident in the fact that the Lord is with us. God Himself is with us. Not for one single moment are we ever alone. We do not have to be afraid or discouraged but we can walk confidently in the fact that God is with us and for us. He has our back and does not let us go. In the midst of everything we face He is there with us, holding our hand through the process and acting on our behalf for His glory.
“As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.”
Praise the Lord! Something awesome happens when we begin to praise God. As we worship Him with the words of our mouth we are taking our eyes and hearts off of ourselves and fixing them upon Almighty God. God is always worthy of the praise because of who He is. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is the One who gave us life. He is the One who sustains us. He is the One who gave His life to redeem us. He loves us with an everlasting love just as we are and there’s nothing we can do to not be loved by Him, hallelujah! There is always a reason to praise Him and no matter what we’re going through, He is worthy of the praise.
In the midst of whatever you’re facing, don’t forget that the King of Glory stands ever near. Our Counselor, Friend, Savior and a very present help in time of needs. Embrace Him and praise His name. He’s walking you through and will sustain you and encourage you. Be of good cheer, the Lord is near. When you don’t know what to pray you can say,“we don’t know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”
Do you hear it? Listen closely, pause and behold, He is speaking. Right now, every moment, every day. His voice can be heard. Do you hear it?
People trek around the world to find it, the enter holy places to hear it, they climb the mountaintops to encounter it when all along there He stands, nearer than your breath, knocking at the door of your heart. Knock, knock, knock. A gentle knocking but the kind that makes you curious. The kind of knocking that makes you pause and consider. A knocking that makes you question what you’ve always known and makes you ask if it is possible for there to be another way, a true way, the only way.
The truth about God is that He is Holy. The Everlasting Creator, the One who was and is and is to come, the Alpha and Omega, the Almighty King, the Savior, holding all creation together by His breath and word. This is He. And yet, he knocks politely at the door of our hearts. He doesn’t barge His way into our hearts but He knocks and waits for you to let him in.
If you’re searching for God, stop and pause for a moment because He has found you. His offer to come into your heart stands just as true today as it did when He first knocked. You have not gone to far down the ‘wrong’ path. You have not outrun His presence. You have not done something bad enough to make Him decline His offer to you. You’re not too young.You’re not too old. It’s not too late. It remains the same offer. An offer that seems to good to be true but is indeed true. An offer that promises a lifetime of fellowship with the King and an eternity with Him. A life not lived based on your own understanding but a life spent led by a loving Heavenly Father who has a plan and a purpose for your life. Is there anything better than this? This calm, sweet, blessed assurance. He’s calling you, He’s beckoning you, He wants you, He desires you. You are His child now and forever.
Stop being an orphan. No matter how you redesign the orphanage, it’s still an orphanage. Yours might look like a multi million dollar mansion or a humble apartment but regardless, it is not where you belong, you are no longer an orphan. You have been accepted by the King, your Heavenly Father, Creator God. He has chosen you as His child. Will you accept His offer? Will you give your life to Him simply by confessing that you believe in Jesus and that He died for your sins. The price was a high price that could not be paid by us and he paid it. He rescued us. Are you going to die un-rescued because of your unbelief? Your life is slowly slipping away. You can choose. You don’t have to live a life alone. Come to Him. He loves you. You are welcome in His presence. He’s calling and His voice echoes in the depths of our hearts. Remove the callous layers and welcome him in your heart today.