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Encourage0gram March 25, 2020

Posted by Pastor Rick John on

Encourage0gram
March 25, 2020
 
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
 
Today we were advised to stay safe at home.  This development will have many effects on our daily lives. 
Brother Ed said he felt God saying: “Spend this time to seek healing from God in all aspects of your life.”  The government has given us this opportunity so let’s make the most of it.  Spend time with God and your family.  May God bring much healing into our lives from this quarantine season.  We all join in prayer for the end of this pandemic and ask God to protect those who are ministering directly to the sick. We pray for wisdom to those who are doing research to find a cure and vaccine.  We pray for the first responders, police, nurses, doctors, and all who work in “essential” industries. We plead with God to send Spiritual healing into the broken lives of so many. And we pray for wisdom for our leaders.
 
As I reflected on a “new season” for healing, I was drawn to a very familiar passage of Scripture.  Let me take just a few moments to unpack it.
 
ESV Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
 
Immediately, we see a list of three commands and one consequence.  You must follow the commands to see the result. We all want God to give us a clear, smooth future path.
 

  1. Trust in the LORD with all your heart.  The vert to trust is found 163 times in the Old Testament.  The precise form of a present command is found only 20 times.  The basic meaning is to fall facedown.  Surprising right?  When we trust we put all our weight on the One we believe in.  Faith is only as good as its object and our Object is the Almighty LORD.  He is our Creator, Sustainer, Savior and Sovereign. Therefore, it is most reasonable that we are wholehearted in our trust.  The phrase “all your heart” appears only seventeen times in the Old Testament. Nine times in Deuteronomy where Moses is preparing the children of Israel to enter the Promised Land. After the 40-year journey in the wilderness, they should have been prepared to live with wholehearted devotion to the Lord!  He had displayed his glory countless times! 
  2. and do not lean on your own understanding. This warning is in direct contrast to the command to trust.  We are tempted every day to rely on our ability to figure “things” out for ourselves without God.  We should not put our brains on cruise control, but we must keep our focus on the LORD.  It is too easy to seek only self-help or help of others and leave God out.  God will give us the ability to see clearly as we trust in Him.  He loves to display His grace by giving us wisdom from above (James 1:5).  Fill your life with the Word of God and you will see the infinite value of His wisdom above your own understanding (Psalm 119:9-11)
  3. In all your ways acknowledge Him.  Our ways are the present steps we are taking.  May the habits of our lives reflect a conscious sense of His abiding Presence and our knowledge of Him.  Theology (the knowledge of God) is the most practical knowledge there is.  So, seek to know Him better each day and apply what you learn. 

 
Based on these commands, a promise is made: He will make straight your paths.   The paths are the steps we will take in the future.  The promise by God to make our future straight means that He will smooth out the rough roads and guide us to do the righteous things.  This is a very rich promise!  Remember the context of the promise requires our obedience to the commands. 
 
I am grateful for Ed’s advice.  I seek His healing in my life during this lock down season.  I keep asking God to enable my faith to grow, my wisdom to increase, and my life to reflect sincere love for Him and others.  I challenge you to apply Proverbs 3:5-6 in your life today!
 
Until tomorrow, my love and prayers continue for each of you.
Pastor Rick

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