I read Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard years ago. A beautiful allegory of our walk with the Lord. I have images permanently engraved on my brain from reading that book that relate to trusting the Lord even when you cannot see what lies ahead. This is, in a nutshell, the life of Jesus’ disciples.
When we receive Jesus as our Saviour AND Lord we are acknowledging His Sovereignity over our lives. We’re giving up our rights and our will for His. We are accepting the guidance of the Holy Spirit in every part of our lives. This requires faith and trust in the unseen work of our Lord.
No matter what our lives look like in the physical realm, there is also a spiritual realm where a war is being waged. We cannot see into that realm, but we know it is there and we can influence what happens with our prayers (Daniel 10 all, esp. v. 12-14, Luke 18:1, Ephesians 6:10-18, 1 John 5:14-15). I’ve heard many stories of people being protected by angels or helped by angels because of prayers. Here is one such story published in Billy Graham’s book, Angels: God’s Secret Agents:
“The Reverend John G. Paton, pioneer missionary in the New Hebrides Islands, told a thrilling story involving the protective care of angels. Hostile natives surrounded his mission headquarters one night, intent on burning the Patons out and killing them. John Paton and his wife prayed all during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see that, unaccountably, the attackers had left. They thanked God for delivering them.”
“A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Jesus Christ, and Mr. Paton, remembering what had happened, asked the chief what had kept him and his men from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, “Who were all those men you had with you there?” The missionary answered, “There were no men there; just my wife and I.” The chief argued that they had seen many men standing guard – hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords in their hands. They seemed to circle the mission station so that the natives were afraid to attack. Only then did Mr. Paton realize that God had sent His angels to protect them. The chief agreed that there was no other explanation. Could it be that God had sent a legion of angels to protect His servants, whose lives were being endangered?”
Some may not believe that accounts like this are real. Snopes calls stories like this glurge. A made up word that according to http://www.dictionary.com/browse/glurge means, “stories, often sent by email, that are supposed to be true and uplifting, but which are often fabricated and sentimental.”
It probably does take a person of faith to believe this is possible. As it takes a person of faith to trust every word of the Word of God. But as we learn to live balanced between the physical and spiritual realms of this life we can know that the angels are fighting for us, because the Word of God has said so (Psalm 91).
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. Psalm 34:8 ESV
13And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? 14Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? Hebrews 1:14 ESV
God is on our side. He always has been and always will be. He is able to equip us with all we need to not just survive this life, but thrive. But we must always do our part by always seeking Him first and love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30).
Jesus said to love Him is to obey His commands (John 14:15). Some of the commands Jesus gave were:
*Do not worry…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:25-34)
* Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. Matthew 7:12 NLT
* …just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34 ESV
*28…“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
* 14“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15 NLT
We often have trouble with these commands.
*We may feel like if we aren’t worrying we aren’t caring about the problem or person. On the contrary, worry does nothing to solve a problem and I not adds to our suffering, very often over things that jever happen. Trust the Lord with everything, from the smallest concern to the largest problem, and see just how amazingly He handles it all. He already knows what’s coming and the outcome.
*Do we find it hard to treat others the way we want to be treated, because they are not treating us well? Did Jesus put a qualifier on His command? No. He wants us to be His light by showing lovingkindness to others even if we feel they don’t deserve it. Perhaps by pur example others will change their attotide and behavior. Even if they don’t, our attitude will be good, pure, and lovely–just the way the Apostle Paul tells us we should keep our thoughts (Philippians 4:8).
*How do we love one another as Jesus loved us? Jesus always lived selflessly, with compassion toward the lost, hurting, and helpless. Of course the most selfless thing He did was give His life for our salvation. We need to live like Jesus lived with lovingkindness and compassion for people who are lost, hurting, and helpless.
*Letting go of our burdens may make us feel out of control. That’s a good thing, don’t you think, when the one we are conceding control to is God Almighty. He is supremely equipped to handle our troubles for us in ways we cannot even ask or imagine.
*Forgiving someone does not mean they are “off the hook.” God will deal with them over what they have done. Hopefully to their own repentance. That is not our concern. Our concern is only doing what we are commanded to do, forgive them. Forgiving is for our own benefit, so we do not become bitter and hard-hearted, and so we can be forgiven by our Father in heaven.
*Forgiving sometimes includes forgiving ourselves. When we really mess up, we may hold onto the guilt and shame long after repenting to the Lord. This should not be! God’s forgiveness was bought with a precious price and when we repent we are cleansed and free of condemnation. Holding onto that guilt and shame is a lie of the enemy we must cast down. The enemy of our souls wants us to feel unusable. God has made it well known in His Word that this is not true. God uses all of us “cracked pots” for His glory. It’s through those cracks that the splendor of His glory shines through!
No matter what unforeseen circumstances come before us, we know God is for us, so no one and nothing can be against us (Romans 8:31).
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 51:10 NLT
It can be so hard to let go and let God work without our input and in His timing, but oh how freeing it is when we learn to trust Him that way! Trust and obedience to His Word,and His call on our lives, no matter what comes our way. That is the victorious life we are meant to live in our Savior and Lord Jesus. In Him we are overcomers!
Copyright © 2018 by Julia Melatis. All rights reserved.