Thursday, November 17, 2011

God is in Control

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio


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Isaiah 54:16-17:
“‘See, it is I who created the blacksmith 
who fans the coals into flame and forges 
a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who 
have created the destroyer to wreak havoc; 
no weapon forged against you will prevail, 
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. 
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, 
and this is their vindication from me,’ declares the LORD.”

I was reading an article about Five Bible Passages to Read When You Are Doubting God. Four of them are verses that I know well and have stood upon countless times. There was a fifth one that I was not familiar with and the is the verse we will use as today's verse.  I like it in the Contemporary English Version the best 16Don't forget that I created metal workers who make weapons over burning coals.
   I also created armies that can bring destruction.17Weapons made to attack you won't be successful;
   words spoken against you won't hurt at all.  My servants, Jerusalem is yours!
   I, the LORD, promise to bless you with victory. 

I guess what stands out to me is... that God is in control and He promises that Weapons and Words used to try and attack His people won't be successful. He promises us victory.  I need to remind myself of verses like these when I make an major error in the check book and now sit with my account over drawn. Ugggh ... so its not an attack of an enemy but my own carelessness. I'm not saying "The Devil made me do it" Its probably more the result of me trying to juggle too many things currently and my struggle to keep it all strait in my head. I suppose I could beat myself up over it - I realize that really won't help.  If I look at the next two months there are plenty of reasons to for me to panic. Money is tight already and hours for my husbands job will be even less because of the holidays. I could allow myself to be consumed with worry, fear, doubt and trust me I have had some moments of anxiety. It is at times like this that I am thankful that I have a believing husband who was quick pray with me and remind me that it will work out - it always does. 

Anyway I am at the Public Market Thursday, Friday and Saturday and perhaps that will be the vehicle through which God provides. Maybe He will put it on someone's heart who has been blessed by reading theses devotionals to use the donate button on the top left of the page. I don't know how God will meet this need but I know that He will, and so I am choosing not to worry and will continue to do the things that are before me to do.  Please don't think I am more gifted at trusting than you are,  God has allowed me to practice and exercise the muscle of trust a lot.  When I am in a situation that cause me to feel fear, worry or doubt I take those thoughts captive and I make a point to remember all the countless times God has come to my aid in the past. I will remember, and as I do faith, hope and trust will rise up and push the worry, doubt and fear out of the way.

There was a time when I used to wish that I did not have to live and walk by faith. It seems I am always having to stretch my faith for some thing. I went through a period where I wished I could be like others that did not have to look to God to meet there needs. Folks with great jobs and lots of insurance and seeming security. I look around at the great number of those seemly secure people who are finding themselves un-employed in this difficult economy. I think that were I to come from such a life and find myself suddenly having to trust God or not knowing God how fearful that place would be. I realized that I have had the privilege of seeing God work things out for me time and time again. I have learned to trust and know Him so much more deeply as a result.

So I am not writing this to allarm any of my friends or family. I generally don't say anything to anyone and just bring my need to the Lord and he provides in ways that I never even thought of. So why share with you, my readers? I know that each of you has your own struggles that you are facing and it helps to know that you are not alone and that others have gone through or are going through similar things. It is important to share with you some of my little tricks that I have learned.
I have learned that if I can do something for the poor - it blesses the Lord and reminds the enemy that he can't intemidate me. Give and it shall be given to you...pressed down, running over.... I try to remember that when things are tight is not the time to hord but to continue to give and help others.

Think of the story of Elisha theres a famine in the land and he is hanging out by this little brook and the ravens are feeding him. Ah what a life ... but then the brook dries us. Dang it - now what's a prophet to do. God sends him to a widow woman to ask for her help. She is busy making her last meal for she and her son. She's got nothing to give - right. She gives anyway. Its a great story.. you should read it for yourself. I should just leave you hanging so you will go and discover for yourself how this story end. I'll be nice and paste it here for you.

1 Kings 17:8-16 (NIV1984)

8 Then the word of the LORD came to him: 9 “Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”
 12 “As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”
 13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.’”
 15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.

I read in one comentary that her jug of oil and flour lasted her for two years til the famine ended.
What the heck - why would God not just send him to a nice bakery and give him some money. I think God uses stories like this that he does not need to turn to the fall backs we would tend to seek for aid. He can create bread to feed a multiude out of a kids sack lunch. 

We watched a great presentation by John Eldredge last night called the Outlawcast. It was excellent how transformed flat whimpy Sunday school  Jesus into a real person. I highly recommend it to you. There are 18 individual free video and audio files that you can download or stream. You might want to go through them together with your family or in your home group or on your own. They are rich and well done videos that I encourage you to experience.  There is even a free participants guide that you can download and use as you go through the 18 videos.  This is a writer and a ministry that have impacted and challenged and helped to change my life on more than one occasion. They many great resources at thier site. I don't get a kick back for refering you, I am simply sharing a resource that I hope you might find to be of benefit as you press in to know Jesus more and more.

Prayer:
Dear Lord,
I pray that not only will you provide for our needs, that in it you will reveal to us more of your wonderful character. There is so much of you to know help us to see you, and to trust you more. Be with us in the situations and circumstances of our lives. Open our eyes and our hearts that we might see you more clearly and grow to love you more and more.

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