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God Knows Exactly What We Need When We Need It

Have you ever had a “mountain-top experience” with God? Maybe you have, but I’m guessing you’re more familiar with the valleys in between. I know I am. Maybe you’re in a valley right now.

The problem is that we rarely get to stay on the mountain top. Moses didn’t. Elijah didn’t. Even Jesus didn’t. When Jesus had a mountain-top experience along with Peter, James, and John, Peter wanted to build some tents assuming they might stay awhile (Matthew 17:4). But after that moment of glory, down the mountain they went to resume their daily lives and ministry (Matthew 17:9).

Elijah had one of the most remarkable mountain-top experiences recorded in all of Scripture. He called down fire from heaven, which consumed an altar and demonstrated God’s power over the false god of Baal. But shortly thereafter, Elijah came down the mountain and fled to a valley of depression where he asked that he might die (1 Kings 19:4).

When Elijah returned to another mountain, Horeb, the mount of God, the Lord came to him, not in a strong wind, earthquake, or fire, but in “the sound of a low whisper” (1 Kings 19:8-13).

Why did God reveal Himself to Elijah in two different ways on two different mountains? In Kings 18, Elijah was the confident prophet battling the false prophets of Baal, and God appeared through power and majesty. In Kings 19, Elijah was the feeble prophet who had just come through the valley of depression, and God appeared through peace and calm.

Two mountains, two different seasons of life, and one God who knows what we need and when we need it. God was on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18), and God was on Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19), but God was also in the valley (1 Kings 19:5-8).

God knows exactly what we need, when we need it. Whether you are in a moment of spiritual strength, spiritual calm, or spiritual sorrow, God knows, and He will meet you at just the right time and in just the right way. We may not always see Him or hear Him, because we may be tuned to the wrong channel. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). In our stillness, we wait for Him.

I pray that in this season of pandemic the Omnipotent will calm your heart and still your fears. There’s a popular worship song right now called “The Blessing,” which is based on Numbers 6:24-26. May these words of Aaron’s Blessing be your blessing today:

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Posted by Rick Grover, Lead Pastor with

Three of the Hardest Words to Say in the Christian Faith

As I write this, there are now 800,049 confirmed cases worldwide of those infected with COVID-19.  164,610 of them hail from the U.S.  There are now 38,714 deaths worldwide, 10% of them from within our nation’s borders.  By the time you read this, I’m sure the numbers are far worse. 

Everyone in my small circle of influence is telling me similar things: (1) We’re tired.  (2) We’re anxious.  (3) We want life to return to normal.  (4) We’re going stir crazy, and we still have a number of weeks, if not months, before we’ll get through the immediate crisis.

We’ve heard it said so many times that it sounds trite and tired, but it’s true nonetheless: “We don’t know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future.”  Sometimes, though, the way God holds the future and the way we would are two different things.

I wonder if Daniel’s three friends ever thought that.  Exiled from their homeland, forced into servitude to the king, subjected to an entire cultural re-education program, and mandated to worship a golden image of the king, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s world was turned completely upside down (Daniel 1-3). 

When sentenced to death in a fiery furnace, they replied, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.  But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18, ESV).

“But…if…not….”  Three of the hardest words to say in the Christian faith.  Do I believe God can deliver us from COVID-19?  Yes.  Do I believe what the enemy has meant for evil, God can use for good?  Yes.  Do I believe unprecedented times can bring unparalleled opportunities?  Yes. 

But…if…not, will I still serve Him, the One and only true God?  I pray my answer, and yours, is “Yes,” a resounding, “Yes.”  We believe that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God’s ways higher than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). 

We believe that though we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, one day we will see everything with perfect clarity (1 Corinthians 13:12).

When the blind men came to Jesus to be healed, He asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”  And they said, “Yes, Lord.”  And He said, “According to your faith be it done to you” (Matthew 9:28-29).

So we pray, Give us faith that will bring healing to our nation and world, and in all of the unknowns, may millions turn to You who are known.  

Nearly 600 years ago, Thomas à Kempis concluded his classic work, The Imitation of Christ, with this final sentence: “If God’s works were such that human reason could easily figure them out, they could not be said to be wonderful, nor would they be far too marvelous for words to express.” 

O, Lord, give us a resolute faith like that of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to believe that one day You will reveal to us that which is far too marvelous for words to express.  Grant us Your strength to endure, Your wisdom to understand, and Your peace to calm anxious thoughts.  Thank You that Jesus invites all who are weary and heavy laden to come to Him that He might give them rest.  May we embrace this truth in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Posted by Rick Grover, Lead Pastor with

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