Genesis 1.1-4 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
1 John 1.5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
God is pre-existent, from eternity past to eternity future. As humans, we cannot have a correct concept of eternity, not having been existent before we were born.
We cannot have a correct concept of light, either. God created the heaven and the earth, and there was darkness. He created light. It’s not that God created light for Himself, because He is light. No, God created light for us.
Maybe, when Adam and Eve were created, and perfect in the Garden, maybe they could see God’s light. Maybe their bodies were shimmering with light. Maybe that’s why, when they sinned, they were able to see that they were naked: their own light had darkened, and they were ashamed. And their eyes were darkened, and they couldn’t see God’s light any more.
God knew from eternity past that He would create us, and that we would sin. He knew that we would not be able to see His light, that we would need the light that He created for us.
He knew what we would need to live on earth, while we waited for eternity with Him. He provided everything.
All of creation cries out with God’s handiwork. All of this He did for us, an outpouring of His tenderloving care for us. It’s not just the light that He prepared. He also prepared a way for us to see His light again:
John 8.12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Jesus is our light (because He is God, and God is light) and our salvation.
Today may we celebrate the light God gives us through His Son, Jesus Christ. May we celebrate His light we have in our hearts through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Above all, may we celebrate God, Himself, Who is worthy of all praise and adoration!
I love how God reveals Himself to us. We are but poor, frail humans, with limited understanding. But God is abundant and gracious in His teachings, parables, examples, and love.
I was thinking about Jesus as He hung on the cross, with the two thieves next to Him. One of the thieves reviled Him; but the other thief asked Jesus to remember him. Jesus replied, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23.43) I’ve often wondered how that worked. I know that Jesus speaks only truth. I also know Jesus died that day, went to hell to pay for my sins, and rose again the third day. How could He be in paradise that day, but also go to hell? Of course, it’s because Jesus is God. God is always in paradise; and Jesus is God. The repentant thief could join God in paradise because he accepted that God had sent a Saviour in Jesus, and that He paid the price for his sins.
Like in Matthew 18.20: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Jesus spoke to them while in His physical body. When we pray in His name, He is not here physically, but His Spirit is here. Jesus and the Spirit and God are all the same. Here they are / here He is.
In John 8.56, Jesus told the Jews “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” The Jews didn’t get it: Jesus was too young to have known Abraham. But Abraham knew Jesus, and rejoiced for the day He would come because Abraham knew God. Jesus was right there: John 8.58: Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Jesus has been God, has been with God (and with the Holy Spirit) for eternity past, and will be for eternity future.
I get immeasurable comfort and peace from God, from knowing God, from reading His Word. And that’s what God wants for us – it’s why He offers it to us. Do you, too, delight to abide in the truth of God’s presence, His Word, His Trinity?
A few more Trinity verses (of the many that God gives us):
Hebrews 9.14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Ephesians 2.18 (speaking of Christ) For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
John 14.16 (Jesus is speaking) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
John 14.26 (Jesus is speaking) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you.
John 15.26 (Jesus is speaking) But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
Matthew 28.18, 19 (Jesus, after His resurrection) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
2 Corinthians 13.14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
1 John 3.21-24 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God, and we will receive from Him whatever we ask, because we keep His commandments and do what is pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and we should love one another just as He commanded us. Whoever keeps His commandments remains in God, and God in him. And by this we know that He remains in us: by the Spirit He has given us.
1 John 4.2 By this you will know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God
Jacob has often been given a bad reputation for his deception of Isaac. He is branded a liar and worse, while the Scriptures describe him very differently. To begin with, the Hebrew word translated “plain” in our text is tam, everywhere else rendered as “perfect” or “upright.”
The same word is used most often by God Himself of Job—a “perfect” and “upright” man (Job 1:8). All other references in the Bible where tam is used verify this upright and undefiled character. The deception is not rebuked by God, and Jacob is honored by God far more than Isaac. In fact, Jacob is renamed “Israel” by God—hardly a punishment for a bad life, but rather a recognition of a great life (Genesis 32:28).
The sin of Isaac and Esau is infinitely greater. Esau has “sold” and “despised” the birthright (Genesis 25:33-34). Isaac would have given that blessing to Esau (Genesis 27:1-4) in spite of God’s plan (Genesis 25:23). The intention of Jacob and Rebecca was to prevent a horrible disobedience and catastrophe.
Jacob’s action gave him no temporal advantage and was taken at great personal risk. Jacob spent 20 years in exile and servitude to his wicked uncle Laban, 14 of them for Rachel and Leah (Genesis 29:20-29). While there, he endured the awful trickery of Laban, but God gave him 12 sons and at least one daughter (Genesis 29:31–30:24).
God’s intervention and Jacob’s careful attention to detail brought wealth and a growing confidence that God had turned his life around, providing the leadership his family needed to leave suddenly and go with confidence back to the land of Abraham (Genesis 31), having received personal assurance from God (Genesis 32:24-30).
May we all have the reputation of a “plain” life. HMM III
I am in Zechariah as I continue my reading through the minor prophets. I am daily amazed and blessed at what God gives us through all the books of His Word – and at what He gives me, personally.
In Zechariah chapter 7, God reminds His people of their hard, selfish hearts, the reason they were carried away captive. Even in their captivity, as they walked through the rituals, their hearts were not bowed in humble adoration before their great God. He renews His call to heed His prophets, to walk in His ways with His heart (v 9, 10). But they would not hear.
It is the same with us, with all people: we cannot have a heart for God unless we have God’s heart – His Holy Spirit within us to love as He loves.
1 John 4.19 We love Him, because He first loved us.
Prayer is of the utmost importance! We must be on our knees daily before God Almighty, bowing before Him with obedient hearts, interceding for ourselves, our loved ones, our communities, our church (the Body of Christ), our nation, and the world.
Churches are suffering. Some suffer persecution in their righteousness. Some suffer from lack of knowledge and wrong teaching, moving away from God’s Word and falsely interpreting. Lord, forgive us, teach us, move us by Your Holy Spirit to do what is right in Your Eyes. Humble our hearts, and may we bow before You, our Living Word and Savior.
Here are some ways we can pray for our church:
May God give unto us the Spirit of Wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of our understanding being enlightened; that we may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power (Ephesians 1.17-19)
God put a hedge of protection around our church and its people, protect from division and evil
May God count us worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in us, and us in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1.11, 12)
May we be deeply rooted in God’s Word, daily reading and meditating upon His Scripture. Lord, create a gnawing hunger in us for Your Word.
May families have a deep trust in God’s ways and His Word, firmly believing what God tells us. May we ever fully obey Him.
May we train up our children, and parent unto salvation, providing Godly examples with joy
May husbands and wives be faithful and true to God; and therefore faithful and true one to another
May we edify one another in the Spirit
May our church be obedient ambassadors of God in our community, rightly representing Jesus Christ, fully displaying our joy and peace
May God bring all those He wishes to our church; may He give them special promptings and grace to attend
May we be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that we might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light (Colossians 1.9-12)
May our church people welcome and embrace one another – those we know, and visitors
God prepare the hearts of all who attend services, meetings, and group events. Especially anoint the preacher / teacher; prepare the hearts of the listeners so that Your Word penetrates deep into our hearts and changes our lives.
God loves a cheerful giver. May we give generously from the abundance God gives us: in time, love, material resources, from hearts filled with the Holy Spirit.
May our worship together reflect the moving of God’s Holy Spirit.
May our singing and our prayers come from hearts of true worship and praise.
May we ever worship and work in a Spirit of unity and cooperation. We serve One Lord: One Spirit lives and moves and has His Being in all of us.
May the Lord prepare the hearts of those whom He calls for special leadership. Lord, call your workers, for the harvest is plenteous
Because we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2.10), may we be tuned to God’s guidance and direction as we have our conversation and daily walk.
May we fellowship in the ministering to the saints (2 Corinthians 8.4); fellowship in the gospel (Philippians 1.7); fellowship in the Spirit (Philippians 2.1); and fellowship in His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death (Philippians 3.10).
God has given us, individually, unique and valuable gifts. We are each precious in His sight. As we learn our gifts, may we desire to use them to serve God and, by serving Him, serve one another, thus functioning as His Body
May we praise God and garner favor with all the people; and may the Lord add to our church daily those who are being saved (Acts 2.47).
May we have a heart for missions, praying and giving to the need.
May we be a lighthouse in our community, a beacon of hope
We give the running of the building, and the business of monetary and work operations into God’s hands. May we be faithful stewards in handling the gifts He provides. Our building and grounds are God’s; we ask His protection, His wisdom in maintaining, and His provision in caring for physical structures.
May we ever give thanks and show appreciation to those who work to serve
May we humble ourselves under the mighty Hand of God, confessing our sins and repenting of our fleshly ways. May we speak, honor and obey God alone.
May we be ever forgiving one to another, lest Satan should get an advantage of us; may we not be ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2.10, 11)
Prepare us for persecution: may we be hiding God’s Word in our hearts, memorizing and rightly dividing the Word of Truth, ready to give an answer as God provides
May we live in an attitude of holiness
May we ever give God blessing and glory and wisdom, and thanksgiving and honor and power and might (Revelations 7.12)
God has given me a burden of confession. It started when He laid this on my heart:
Sometimes, when I want something that I know I shouldn’t, I don’t want to cry to God for deliverance from temptation. “I want it, I’ll have it,” is what goes through my mind (either subconsciously or right in the front of my brain). This mostly concerns food, but to what other areas of my life does this apply?
This is a serious sin, Lord. Thank you for showing me. I confess. May I always run to You.
Since that day, this post has been bubbling and burning in me, to write about sin and confession and repentance.
In the Old Testament, God gives us a picture of living in sin, right from the time of Adam and Eve. He shows how sin leads us into bondage and darkness, when the Israelites were in Egypt. Also throughout the Old Testament, God gives us a promise of salvation. God saved His people from bondage, and brought them out of Egypt. But once in that Promised Land, they needed to fight and destroy the enemy so that they could live in peace. God didn’t just wipe out the enemy for them; they had to “work out their own salvation,” so to speak. They had to continually be on guard, keep up the defenses, and be ready to fight. Sometimes they gave up. Sometimes they didn’t care.
God chose David to be a victorious warrior, to take back the ground God meant for them to have. He and his son, Solomon, set the kingdom up to live in peace. Sadly, Solomon did not keep up the defenses, primarily the defense tool of honoring God and obeying Him.
Salvation gives us peace, a relationship with God. Our responsibility is to follow and obey Him. Sin puts up a wall, prevents us from receiving His blessings (we give ground to satan, Ephesians 4.27). When we confess sin, it’s not that we tear down that wall or take back that ground; it’s that we confess we can’t, and ask God to deliver us.
Our responsibility is to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2.12). We are to draw near to God, cleanse our hands, and purify our hearts (James 4.8). When we confess, purify our hearts, and walk in full obedience to God, we cannot even imagine the blessings He has in store for us.
1 Corinthians 2.9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Fall on your face before God Almighty, and ask Him to reveal your sin to you, that you can confess to Him, and receive His forgiveness:
Psalms 139.23, 24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting
Did I fail God in any areas of personal conduct?
Did I miss an opportunity / did I avoid doing something I should have?
Was I honest in my dealings with others?
Did I depend on myself or on God?
Were my thoughts pleasing to God?
Was I wasteful with my time / money / home / people / food / family / friends / other relationships or resources?
Did I honor God with my actions?
Did I steal?
Name / reputation
Did I cause, condone, or promote bitterness or strife for those in my life?
Home, local, state, nation, world
Confessions: Digging Deeper
Do I deal with strongholds in my heart? Are they generational? Did I inherit them, or invite them of my own accord? Strongholds may include:
Do I call out to God when faced with temptation, or do I decide that I want to give in and do it / take it?
Psalms 107.13 Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. 14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. 15 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
When you confess your sin, when you receive the forgiveness God so freely gives, be sure to fill your heart with God and His Word.
Matthew 12.43 – 45 43 When an unclean spirit comes out of a man, it passes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ On its return, it finds the house vacant, swept clean, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and dwell there; and the final plight of that man is worse than the first. So will it be with this wicked generation.”
Tearing Down Strongholds:
We have no power to take back the ground that satan has claimed in us. Cry out to God, confess, give it over to Him (humble yourself / surrender 1 Peter 5.6). If you or a family member are under the power of sin:
① In Jesus’ name, bind satan (Mark 3.27, Matthew 16.15-19)
② Pray a hedge of thorns around yourself/loved one (Hosea 2.6, 7)
③ Cast down false reasonings (2 Corinthians 10.3, 4)
④ Conquer every wrong thought (Romans 12.2, 1 Corinthians 2.14-16).
When you have confessed, repented, and received forgiveness, be sure you receive His forgiveness and don’t take up the guilt of your sin again. God has removed your sin. Let it be removed and remain removed.
Psalms 103.11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him
Pull down false reasonings with God’s Truth.
Do not let sin entangle you:
Hebrews 12.1 Therefore we also, having such a great cloud of witnesses encompassing us, having laid aside every weight and the sin easily entangling, should run with endurance the race lying before us
Confess and be accountable to a reliable person. (James 5.16) Do you and / or your church need to have a communal time of open confession? God gives us the gift of relationships for so many reasons: one of which is to be accountable to each other, and support and edify one another, in the love that His Holy Spirit pours out upon / within / and through us.
Read your Bible. All the epistles teach us how to live in the Promised Land, how to fight and be ready. That Promised Land is the Kingdom of God, of which Jesus speaks so often. Read the gospels.
I’ve been wading through the book of Micah, and am still on Chapter 1. Verses 9 – 16 contain several metaphors, similes, onomatopoeias, and paronomasias (play on words), and led me to dig a little deeper. Yeah, God is deep; deeper than any of us can ever be.
Micah 1.12 (For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem.) made sense to me. I looked up Maroth, and it means bitterness. They are waiting for relief, but God sends only evil.
It’s interesting that, whenever hardship, evil, disaster hits, we wait for relief; we pray for things to get better, back to “normal.” But our expectations are skewed.
Unbelievers may think they can work their way out, that none of this was deserved and, if there was a God, He should be cursed.
Believers can pray and hope for eternal relief / joy; but in this sinful world, we may not expect things to “get better.” Indeed, we have no right to expect things to get better: although we have every right (and we are passionately invited) to pray about every and all situation/s.
Whatever that situation is, we know that our relief, our hope comes from the Lord (Psalms 62, for example).
God has His own thoughts and plans.
Jeremiah 29.11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.
Isaiah 55.8, 9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
We must consider what our expectations are: are they realistic and Biblical? Pray to God about expectations, and ask Him to place them where they belong.
Isaiah 26.3, 4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
John 3.8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
When we think of the Holy Spirit being like the wind, we like to think of that wind as a balmy breeze that kisses our shoulders. And maybe sometimes He is.
But winds can also be hurricanes, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and derechos. Those are destructive winds.
Sometimes God must destroy things in our lives. Sometimes His Spirit works through health; or other people; or nature. Whatever the conduit, God works in our lives to conform us to the image of His son, Jesus. And when He needs to whittle away something we love, it hurts.
Things we love: our private time, working on our projects, television, money, power, gossip, choosing our own schedule, our families, our pets, choosing our own friends; sometimes we love the wrong things; sometimes we love the right things / people, but we turn them into an idol that we love more than God. (Please note, I am not in any way implying that when loved ones die, it is because we idolized them or loved in the wrong way. God has reasons I cannot imagine – Isaiah 55.9, but they are all because He loves us.)
Those things we love or idolize have got to go, and it hurts when God hints at putting those things to death. It hurts even more when He brings about circumstances (winds) that push us into a corner and make us choose.
It’s better to put things to death of our own accord. Sometimes Love Looks Like Death. It is an act of worship and love when we sacrifice our worldly loves for whatever else God has in mind for us.
Job 1.18, 19 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house: And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
Job’s children were killed by a wind. I can’t even imagine how that hurt [just the day before, he had offered burnt offerings to God for each of them, in case “my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts” (v5)].
Job’s response is written for us in verses 20 – 22:
Job 1.20 – 22Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
God has a kingdom for us, and it is a kingdom worth dying for, that He may live within us. May we take Job’s example to heart. Let it hurt. Grieve. Worship God.
Job 13.15, 16 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.
I wrote previously about my new excitement about my prayer journal. I’m still excited about it, and use it and add to it. If you don’t use a prayer journal, please consider starting one: it will change your prayer life, and your connection with God Almighty.
Use the above link to join the FREE intercessory prayer journal workshop on Tuesday, August 24th, hosted by AJ (arabahjoy.com) and Jen Evangelista. If you sign up, you will be eligible to watch the replay, in case you can’t make the original.
The invitation invites you to join them as they cover:
01 How an intercessory prayer journal can help you consistently pray for others
02 How to pray Scripture by identifying prayer points in a passage. (Hint: You’ll be able to start using these tips to improve your prayer life immediately!)
03 Simple ways to beautify your prayer journal using color, lettering, and other elements – no experience or art skills necessary 🙂 And much more!
Jonah 2.8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
What a lot of meat to chew on in this verse! This is a reminder of the Israelites in 2 Kings: they knew God, they knew His commandments, they knew He loved them and had saved them; and yet, they chose to follow the heathen practices of their neighbors. God called those ways vanity:
2 Kings 17.14 – 16a Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God. And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them. And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God.
In Jeremiah 10, God points out the foolishness (vanity) of preparing their own idols from wood or silver, and then worshiping / receiving instruction from them. And then, Jeremiah 16 portrays the wonder of the people that God would pronounce this great evil against them: “What is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?” (v10)
We simply cannot expect the blessings and mercies of God when we are disobedient. He told us so in in the whole Old Testament, especially in Deuteronomy (and especially Chapter 28).
We are without excuse:
Romans 1.19 – 21 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
God has made Himself clearly plain:
Psalms 98.2 The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.
Christians are called by God’s grace, and given His Holy Spirit – divine wisdom. We can live day – by – day for His blessings. We can pray that we see His blessings.
Beloved, we cannot imagine the blessings God has for us when we obey!
2 Corinthians 2.9 But as it is written [in Isaiah 64.4], Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
His blessings are so magnanimous and beautiful that we cannot even imagine them!
May we pray fervently “unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3.20) that we will read His Word, and obey Him Who loves us so deeply and widely!
In that belly of the fish, Jonah recognized that God’s ways are not his ways, and that he forsook the mercies of God by following the vanity of lies he preferred.
How often do we do this? We feel that tap on the shoulder that this activity or person is not what the Lord intends for us; we feel that caution, and we know it’s from God that we should not enter into what is ahead of us.
We will never know the blessings we forsake when we go our own way. We think we can imagine the blessings of following our ways, and it looks good – enticing. Even in the details, we may think this little thing is not going to make any difference. We cannot imagine the peace God will give us when we obey. We think that it will be worth it to go ahead with this sin this time.
And we forsake our own mercies.
But God always blesses obedience! When we weigh our options, we cannot imagine any kind of blessing by rejecting this thing we love; we can only feel how good it would be to follow the sin. But we can listen to and obey that still small voice, that one Who tells us to walk to the right or to the left.
Isaiah 30.20, 21 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
When we recognize this, when we run to God in the face of sin, we run blindly. But when we run to Him anyway, this is FAITH. God will increase this faith, and He will BLESS you!
Isaiah 55.6 – 12 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Jonah 2.9 tells of Jonah’s final, encompassing confession: “Salvation is of the Lord.” He humbled himself, and gave himself up to whatever God wanted for him.
God directed the fish to vomit Jonah out upon the dry land (v 10). Note that Jonah still could not save himself – God did not direct Jonah to crawl out of the fish. Jonah’s tribulation and deliverance were completely under God’s control.
So are ours. Submit to God.
James 4.7 – 10 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.