Day 15

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A Warfare of Rest - Day 15 - Unchanging

Have you ever come to a point in your life where it seems like you have messed things up so badly that you start to wonder if you’ve irrevocably altered the plan of God for your life and nullified His promises?  Have you ever heard the taunting voice of the enemy saying, “Yeah, sure, God may have SAID this and that over your life.  But then YOU did X and Y and Z.  You messed up, buddy, and now it’s too late for you.”   

I came to just such a point about 15 years ago.  First, God the Lord asked me to lay down a ministry position by revealing to me that I was serving there, not in obedience to Him, but because I was driven by a fear that no one would see my calling and that my destiny would remain unfulfilled.  Then, a few months later, I found out my husband was having an affair and we separated.  My life was coming apart at the seams and I was wracked with regret, shame, and condemnation.

One day I could bear the pain of my dismal failure no more and I threw myself, sobbing, on my living floor, pouring out all the dark despair of my heart before the Lord.

"God, I know that I have ruined my life.  It’s not bad enough that I am a WOMAN in ministry (my church wasn’t supportive of women leaders) but now I’m going to be a DIVORCED woman!  My life is over – I have no hope of ever fulfilling my destiny and it’s all my fault.”

As I lay there in agony, I felt the gentle, tender presence of God literally surround me, as if the Father Himself came and knelt down beside me.  Leaning down, He whispered into my ear. 

“I am not a man, that I should lie, nor a son of man, that I should change My mind. Do I speak and then not act? Do I promise and not fulfill?”  (Numbers 23:19)

In that moment, something miraculous happened and the pain, shame, humiliation and despair rolled off me.  When I stood up, I was a different woman. I’m not saying that I never suffered again or faced moments of discouragement or despair, but something was sealed inside my spirit, an understanding that my destiny and the fulfillment of God’s word in my life, doesn’t depend as much on who I am, as it does on who He is.

When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, "I will surely bless you and give you many descendants."   And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.  Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument.  Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.  (Hebrews 6:13-20)

Above all else, God is a “man of His word”. When He swore His covenant with Abraham, He sealed it by two things which are unchangeable and in which it is impossible for God to lie – His character (His very nature) and His word.

Hundreds of years later, Balaam, an oracle of questionable allegiance, was hired by Balak, an enemy of Israel, for the sole purpose of using his “gift” to curse Israel. But God had made a covenant with Israel and even though they were unfaithful to Him and had wavered in unbelief (Numbers 13), God still remained true to His word.  He commanded Balaam: “You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed."  (Numbers 22:12)

In fact, not only was Balaam prevented from cursing Israel, God actually compelled him to speak blessing over them. Now Balak was not very happy at this turn of events and told Balaam that unless he had something bad to say, better not to say anything at all.  But Balaam could not stop. 

“God has commanded me to bless them and because He has blessed them it cannot be reversed.” (Numbers 23:20)

What an amazing testimony to the power of God’s faithfulness and His determination to honour what He has promised.

Another time, God showed the prophet Jeremiah a vision of an almond tree.  Then God asked him, “What do you see?”  Jeremiah answered, “The branch of an almond tree.”  The words for “almond tree” and “watching” are very similar in Hebrew and so the Lord replied, "You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that My word is fulfilled."  (Jeremiah 1:12)

When we come to the revelation that God is even more invested than we are in seeing His promises to us fulfilled, we can enter into the rest of not trying to fulfill the promises of God by our own labours.  That doesn’t mean that we become passive; we are actively listening for whatever the Spirit is saying and bringing ourselves into obedient alignment with His word. But we no longer have to carry the burden of fulfillment on our shoulders.  We can leave it where it rightly belongs - with the Lord.  And when the enemy comes with his accusing voice, telling us how we are disqualified because of our mistakes or weaknesses, we don’t have to argue or fight to prove our worthiness. We can choose to rest in the truth that we are simply jars of clay through which God has chosen to pour an ever-increasing measure of the knowledge of His glory, so that the all-surpassing greatness of power that is displayed in our lives will be seen to be of God and not of us! (2 Corinthians 4:6-7)

If this resonates with your heart and you would like to enter into this deeper level of rest, then let’s pray this prayer together.  “Lord, I ask you today to help me to anchor my soul to the hope that comes from a greater revelation of Your unchanging nature and Your faithfulness. Forgive me for the times that I have wrongly taken the burden of fulfillment on my own shoulders or believed the enemy’s lies that my mistakes were greater than Your power to watch over and perform Your word.  Lord I choose to close the door to unbelief by declaring that You are not a man that You should lie nor the son of man that You should change Your mind. Whatever You say, You do and whatever You promise, You fulfill.  Amen!”

On behalf of the Awaken Team

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