Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snow - And God's Protection

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

This was yesterday -  
Romans 2:4 
Or do you show contempt 
for the riches of his kindness, 
tolerance and patience, 
not realizing that 
God's kindness leads you
toward repentance?

This is today and it is still snowing pretty hard.

Yesterdays it snowed and snowed and of course it was my busy drive all over the place day. So what started out as manageable became more difficult as the day progressed. I was not able to get up the hill to the last of my students and struggled to make it home on the country roads. I remember going side ways down one hill and praying that I would some how not slide off into the deep ditches on either side. I'm a pretty good driver in the snow, but my car is not as winterized as it could be and its tires need replacing and don't have much tread. Anyway I try to include the Lord through out my day but going down that hill and in some of the other scary moments I was asking the Lord to send big angels to keep us on the road. I kept talking to my kids and saying today we are having no wrecks, or visiting any ditches. I'm happy to say we made it home safely. 

So the unseen world... Do I really believe that God would send angels to help me get home safely?

Matthew 10:18 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven." Well this is Jesus talking and saying that little children have angels that are in close contact with the Father in heaven. 

Acts 27:23-24 (NKJV)
23 For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’

So heres a verse where Paul had an angel stand by him all night in a storm at sea and gave him a message of what would happen. I hear you saying it (yeah but Paul was special - he was the apostle to the gentiles.... right?) I will remind you of Romans 2:11 "For God does not show favoritism". If that is not enough remember in James 2:1-13  how we are not to show personal favoritism. We are all on equal footing with God, and He unconditionally loves us and has sent Jesus to pay the price of the sin for each and everyone of us. We may not all take advantage of the things that He provides for us through Jesus, or the kingdom resources that are at our disposal believers and as His beloved children. 
He however has provided and we too often leave his gifts on the table un wrapped and may not even realize they are there waiting to be noticed. 

Psalm 91:11 "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;" Is yet another assurance from my Bible that God will command his angels. So how do I know He will command them in my situation? I believe that John 14:13 says 12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."  It ends with the words if you ask. How do I know that God will help me? I know because I asked. I did not put a lot of conditions on how he might help me. I did ask for big angels to keep me on the road and to see me safely home.
I suppose you could just say I was lucky, or am a good snow driver, or the roads were not really all that bad. One can always explain away the unseen world. It requires a bit of faith to believe that there is anything beyond what we can touch and see with our physical senses.  But heres the rub... the bible says there are angels, the bible talks of a unseen spiritual realm or dimension. I try to not approach my bible like the smorgasbord, picking and choosing only my favorites and what is convient and easy to eat.  I may not understand everything it has to say on every subject.  James 4:2 says 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask." So my part is to ask, God does not just butt in un-invited. I guess I have come to a place of having gotten beyond my self reliance and to realize my weakness and on going need of the Lord and His daily intervention and involvement in my life. So I have on going discussions with him, I bring him the big stuff and the daily little seemly insignificant stuff.

So my question to you is are you first, a believer in Jesus - have you invited him to be in your life?
Are you brining your needs before him and believing that he is able and willing to answer.
Sometimes his answer is no or not now. Do you truly believe that God is for you and not against you?

I do believe that God is for me, that nothing can separate me from His love. I believe his love extends to my care and protection. That is not to say that I won't face difficulties, hardships and trials of various kinds. The Bible is pretty clear that we will have those kinds of things to face, but it also says that Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to comfort and to lead us and the Lord will be with us in those difficult things. Philippians 4:19 says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  It says all not some of my needs in this passage. I may not get everything I want and I may not always understand what I really need but I can be assured that the Lord does, and that it is His desire to provide and supply those things in order to accomplish his purposes in and through my life.

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

I guess my hope or challenge to you today is to look at the areas of lack in your life and check to make sure you have indeed asked God to help you and to provide for you in that area.  Sometimes we don't have because we have not asked, perhaps we think our needs are to trivial to bother God with. He delights to be invited to be fully part of every detail of our lives. The other side of the coin is that you may be asking out of wrong motives, in which case it might be wise to search your heart and to make sure you are walking and living as Jesus would have his beloved Children walk and live in thankfulness as representatives of His Kingdom. I'm not suggesting you get all legalistic, you know if you are bending towards the Lord or if you are resisting him in your life and doing life on your own terms. God sees and knows and waits for you to get honest with yourself and with him. He waits for you to get to the end of your self reliance and pride and to realize that you need him, like you need the air that you breathe.  Sometimes we simply need to stand in faith and know that God's answer is on its way. There are stories of God's provision being delayed as a result of a spiritual battle in the un seen angelic realms.  I know if you press into the Holy Spirit and take the time to listen He will lead and guide you and help you know the next steps that God has for you.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for your protection and provision today and every day. I thank you that you cause the sun to shine on the just and the un just. Help us today to trust you and to see the things that you have simply been waiting for us to ask you to provide and the places where you are patiently waiting for us to realize we need you. I thank you that your mercies are new every morning and that it is your kindness that leads us to repentance. I ask for your hand of favor to be upon those reading today and that you will move in their lives in wonderful and astounding ways.


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