Sunday, May 04, 2008

Divine Intervention....

So often it seems like life just goes on and on and God just does not care. At least that’s the view of many people today. They wonder “If God really cares, then why do so many people suffer?” They wonder why it takes so long for prayers to get answers, and they wonder if Jesus will ever come again.
Lessons from the Bible
Looking back through Bible history, there are so many lessons we can learn from, to see how God really does care and He really does have a plan, and He does answer prayer. We can see it in His divine intervention in the ordinary affairs of mankind. God is a God of action and a God who keeps His promises. He is also a God who loves His creation but hates the sin. This generation hates to talk about sin. So often, the negative things we have recorded in the Word of God tell us of the consequences of sin. When we deliberately choose to disobey God, there will be consequences. Mankind in Noah’s day discovered it the hard way. In a sinful, carnal culture that continued to grow worse and worse, the one righteous man, Noah, listened to the voice of God. “Build an ark…” Noah built an ark and his family found refuge when the judgment of God fell on the world. For 120 years, Noah had preached, to those who mocked his efforts to obey God. Noah remained steadfast. Nothing moved him from his commission. His confidence in God told him that when God speaks, man must obey. By faith, Noah built an ark, not knowing why—just following the orders from on high. When those first raindrops hit the roof of the ark, when those clouds took on a strange, ominous look, and when the earth began to shake and water began to come pouring out of the cracks in the ground, Noah knew—divine intervention had come. In a moment of time, God changed everything! Nothing they had known would ever be the same again!
Hundreds of years later, Jericho found themselves surrounded by an army, a motley crew who persisted in marching around this fortified city. For six days they marched, through the dust and dirt, looking up at the awesome walls of the impenetrable fortress city. They had plenty of food inside the walls, for harvest had just finished. In the natural, it seemed ridiculous! But this band of warriors had a secret weapon. They served a God who intervenes in the affairs of men and who comes to their aid when they call upon Him. He gave them specific instructions. March, six days: priests sounding the trumpets in the front and the ark behind. On day seven—march again, but this time do it seven times. On the seventh time, sound the trumpets and shout! As if on a signal from God, the city walls began to crumble. The city that could not be taken was destroyed and cursed by the people of God. Joshua and his warriors became famous in a day because of the divine intervention of God. “So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.” (Joshua 6:27) What kind of ‘Jericho’ are you facing today? Did you know that the God who created the world cares about your crisis? He is still the same God who knows how to give orders, expect obedience, and reward those who follow. He takes the impossible and makes it a miracle! There is nothing to tough for God. Jericho had double walls, 45 feet high, yet they were nothing to God. One little earthquake right on time changed everything. For Jericho, the city was never the same again. For the people of God, their faith was now as tall as those walls used to be.
Israel had made a lot of mistakes, failed to listen to the prophets and their warnings from God, and they found themselves slaves in Babylon. But even then, God was watching and waiting. Three young lads, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah—groomed to become leaders to influence their own people to follow the idol worship of their new homeland—stood tall and bold in the face of ungodly demands. They are remembered for their bold stand. The king ordered those insolent boys to be thrown into the fiery furnace, heated seven times hotter than normal. Soldiers died just throwing them in the fire. But the king could not understand it when he noticed the three lads, walking around in the fire, accompanied by a fourth man who looked like ‘the son of a god.’ He commanded them to come out of the fire… and they came out, their hair not singed, not even smelling of fire. The King began to praise the God of these three young men. In a moment when all seemed hopeless, when the fire seemed hot and the sentence seemed irreversible, God intervened on behalf of three who stood firm for God. You may be about to be tossed by the world into a fire that appears will destroy you. Do not fear! God made the fire, and He knows how to protect His own! Praise Him in the midst of it all! God can change everything!
In Your Trial
It’s easy to think the worst. We do it all the time. We look back at all the moments when God could have done something different. We wonder “Why? Why me? Why now?” Whenever we fail to understand, we often fail to see the divine perspective. “Isn’t there some other way God?” is often our question. We wonder why God allows such awful things to enter our lives—loosing a loved one, or perhaps foreclosure, or perhaps cancer. It is in those moments of testing that God gets to hear His children calling out for help. They stop relying on themselves and turn to Him for aid. In those moments, values are re-evaluated, as eternal things take on a new perspective.
Remember Jesus, in the garden? He had seen both sides….earth and heaven, and yet when He came to his most challenging moment, He asked, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." (Matt 26:39) Not even Jesus enjoyed suffering! But Jesus also knew that He had to work the Father’s plan. God always has a plan. This was the ultimate divine intervention on behalf of all of mankind. From this moment onward, nothing would ever be the same again. The old covenant was replaced by a new one written in His own Son’s blood. The sacrifices were ended as His sacrifice satisfied the need for all time. The veil in the temple was torn down. The old system of works was over. A new way of faith and grace was born. The God who had planned from the day Adam and Eve fell into sin, to put Satan under our feet—had accomplished His goal. The new way had begun. God intervened in the lives of men.
He Never Changes:
God is still the same God today. He still cares about you. He still reaches down from glory to touch His people and change the impossible into the possible! But He also expect us to respond to Him when He does it. We have become a most ungrateful people. We forget to say “Thanks!” We forget to give Him the glory. Tell someone what He has already done for you!
What do you need God to do for you today? Are you facing a flood—like Noah, a wall—like Joshua or a fire—like the Hebrew lads? Perhaps you are in a prison like Paul and Silas, or perhaps you are facing shipwreck like Paul. There is no challenge too great, no problem too small, no cost to exorbitant, no distance too far. God sees it all and knows it all and has power over it all. When we are faithful, and we do our part, God, in His time, will do what must be done.
In the coming days, there will be tough times, no doubt. But God is still God! It will be a time to band together as believers and encourage one another in the faith. It will be time to share our resources and aid the cause of Christ as never before. God will ask us to be mature, responsible, giving, loving, humble and honest. When we respond to Him, He will see another Noah, Joshua, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. He will see another Paul, or Silas, or Martha and Mary. He can raise your Lazarus! He can loose your chains! When your boat is shipwrecked, He will bring you safely to shore.

Power for Divine Intervention
In these final days, I believe God wants to do the miraculous. God’s people must prepare themselves to be a part of a movement that will demonstrate the mighty power of God to a skeptical world who thinks they don’t need Him. Once again, God wants to heal bodies, raise the dead, provide food, change the impossible! He will use ordinary men and women just as He used Peter and Paul. Paul once wrote… “I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (I Corinth. 2:3-5) Are you afraid? Paul was! You may feel like you don’t have the ‘stuff’ it takes to do the job, but neither did the apostles and disciples. They learned to rely on God and what He could do. It all depends on your faith. Are you counting on the government or on God? The money or the Messiah? On the promises of politicians or on the Power of God? Don’t look to the church for answers. Look to God! When your words are just not eloquent, let the Spirit flow through your lips. Speak under a divine anointing to change your world for God! Reach out to those who need His touch—His divine intervention! Use the name of Jesus! Pray! Believe! Go! God will do the rest!

J. Johnson

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