Sunday June 14 2020

SUNDAY JUNE 14 2020

READY OR NOT

One aspect of the Exodus account of Israel’s leaving Egypt concerns the motivation and pattern of attack that Satan used against God’s chosen and by extension against we fellow heirs of salvation today. The Holy Spirit has much to say to us about our life long antagonist. We are not simply informed that he does attack us, but also we have been given our battle plans to withstand him. We are not only equipped with the armour and weapons of our warfare as outlined in Ephesians six, but we also are given insight into his motivation and his technical agenda. Before I delve into the manner of his strategies employed in the Exodus account let me do a little recap concerning his origin and his fall from his original designed purpose. I have addressed some of this in the past but it bears repeating. The Devil is mentioned as the spiritual influence behind the king of Babylon in Isaiah 14. This passage segues from a description of the earthly king of Babylon to the one behind the throne, Satan, the critique of whom is picked up in verse 11 of Isaiah 14.

“Thy pomp is brought down to sheol, and the noise of thy lutes: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! For thou has said in your heart, ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.’ Yet thou will be brought down to sheol, to the sides of the pit.” (KJV)

GOD continues His critique of Lucifer in Ezekiel 28 beginning at verse 12. Again the passage begins by referring to an earthly ruler but quickly segues to describe the spirit of the one behind the earthly prince. We read the following. “Son of man, take up a lamentation concerning  the king of Tyrus, and say to him, This is what the Sovereign LORD says: You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of GOD; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; [ the workmanship of thy tabrets – musical tambourines KJV.] on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guarding cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of GOD; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of GOD, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All the nations that knew you are appalled at you; you have come to an horrible end and will be no more.’” [The last two and a half verses are yet future.]

So, as a means of introduction let’s consider what these two passages reveal to us about our arch-enemy The Devil.

He is a ‘fallen angel’ most likely an archangel whose original name was Lucifer. In his original state he had been given a task, a calling, to be the “covering Cherub” (KJV) or guarding Cherub (NIV). He is a created being as GOD reminds us here twice in these passages. He is not a evil opposite of GOD! He was created by GOD and therefore falls far short of the glory and magnificent of GOD. These passages tell us that Lucifer was “blameless in all your ways,” and that he was the “seal of perfection” on the day of his creation. He was created the most beautiful creature, most wise creation and was morally sinless at his creation. He, as with all angels had free will. We humans also possess this unique characteristic. Lucifer was in the presence of GOD continually and it seems music was one of his ministries. This concept comes from the phrase concerning Tabrets in the KJV added in the above passage. We are also told that he was in Eden, the garden of GOD. In spite of all these giftings and beauty “wickedness was found IN HIM. His wickedness did not come from outside of him but rather welled up from within him. He became filled with violence and sinned. We also learn of the root cause of his sin – pride. His heart became proud – Why? – because of his beauty. His wisdom became corrupted – Why? – because of his splendor. He was expelled and will eventually be judged by the fire within himself and this will lead to his being made a spectacle for all to see.

As we have seen, the Devil has an unending hatred of us. Why does he hate us so? Consider his original position. He seems to be a rather central being in the heavens. His beauty, his wisdom, second to none. He probably lead worship before the throne of GOD. He walked freely among the fiery stones of heaven. And he was given an added title, an anointment from GOD to be the “covering Cherub, guardian Cherub.” Prior to the creation of the universe, what was it he was to cover or guard? All of creation was perfect and holy at this time. Then GOD speaks and the universe springs into existence. For five and a half days The Word carves out His creation. Then on the sixth day, later in the afternoon, the Word does something totally unique and personal. He kneels in the dust of a newly created Earth and fashions a man. He bends over this gathered dust and breathes over it and into it, and man became a living soul! This unappealing collection of dust was to become GOD’s crowning creation; was to become heir of all things! Here stands Lucifer, in all his beauty and wisdom and splendor, watching as the Creator envisions the elevation of this new ‘thing’ to greatness, a greatness even above his own. Why does Satan hate us so? Perhaps this is why. Pride in himself, because of his beauty, his splendor began to well up within. This feeble dust-creature was to be placed next to the Living GOD, perhaps closer than he himself – perhaps even between GOD and himself. ‘Well, we will see about that,’ he must have thought.

The Bible has much to say about pride. Proverbs 16:18 instructs us: “pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

This tells us that it is pride that begins a journey spiralling down to self-destruction, and pride is most often expressed by a haughty spirit that contributes to the downward plunge to a bitter fall. It seems that GOD hates most the sin of pride, perhaps in part since it was the first sin – the precursor to all other sins. Scripture clearly demonstrates the dangers of pride through an array of verses. Consider, if you will, the following “flow chart” I gleaned from Scripture, beginning with the gifts that GOD gives a person. Here in the Ezekiel 28 passage we saw some of the gifts given to Lucifer. He was gifted with beauty and splendor and wisdom. He was accorded an anointing and a high calling. He was given a place of prominence and importance. He was given authority over many others. But often, upon looking in the mirror, pride slips within as outlined in Isaiah 14 here. We have been given many gifts from the hand of the Lord. We have the gifts of the Spirit, the gift of salvation, the gift of inheritance, and on and on. Many of us have been given a place of prominence, a place of importance; many have been given authority over others. As Sergeant Phil Esterhaus from Hill Street Blues fame was fond of saying, “Let’s be careful out there.” Let’s not get carried away with ourselves. Remember we are but dust that has been showered with the blessings of our Lord. This pride that so easily slips within leads to self-destruction as in Jer. 49:16. “The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you . . .I will bring you down declares the LORD.” Pride sets us up for the next step downward – self destruction.

As the beautiful ones of our day, gaze at their reflections in the mirror, pride arises because of their appearance and this starts their journey to self destruction for in their pondering of their pleasant forms self-righteousness begins to take root. Luke 18:11-12 says, “The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.” Can’t you just see them – the Hollywoodites, pruning themselves before their mirrors? Pray for me folks. It irks me that I should be praying for the beautiful ones. I have no difficulty praying for the needy among us, the hurting, the victims of injustice and racism, but when it comes to those who seem to ‘have it all,’ well, that’s a different story. Lord, teach us to pray. Forgive my self-righteousness, my pride, let me have your heart even for the beautiful privileged ones.

Once self-righteousness becomes a way of life the next step down is that this hardens the mind. Daniel 5:20 is insightful. “But when his heart was lifted up and his mind hardened in pride, he was disposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him.” Self-righteousness leads to the hardening of the mind. And this in turn hinders progress as per Proverbs 26:12. “See a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Pride leads to self-destruction which begins with self-righteousness that hardens the mind and hinders progress. One’s progress becomes hindered in that it keeps one from approaching God. Ps. 10:4 reminds us, “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” What a terrible place in which to be found. In a dry and thirsty land without direction. “My thoughts are stayed upon Thee, O Lord.”

Without the where-with-all to approach God the only result is Spiritual decay. Hosea 7:10: “The pride of Israel testifies to his face: and they do not return to the LORD, their God, nor seek him for all this.” The pulling away from God results in spiritual decay which is followed closely by the rejection of God’s word. Jer. 43:2 tells us this. “Then spoke Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, ‘Thou speaks falsely: the LORD, our GOD has not sent thee to say, go not into Egypt to sojourn there.’” The proud men rejected the spoken word of the LORD via Jeremiah. Once our mind becomes hardened, this hinders our approaching near to the Lord which results in spiritual decay and leads us to reject His word.

The downward cycle continues as wickedness is produced within us as per our Ezekiel 28 verse above. And once this wickedness begins to form this then causes strife. Proverbs 13:10 puts it this way. “Where there is strife there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” (NIV)

Strife then of course, leads to violence, again outlined in Ezekiel 28.

What then follows is not pretty. Violence causes us to be distanced from God, expelled from His presence and judgment invariably follows.

The plunge due to pride is chilling.

Quite the journey! Pride to self destruction, to self righteousness, to hardening of the mind, to hindering progress, to hindering our coming to God, to spiritual decay, to rejection of God’s word, to wickedness within, to strife, on to violence, eventually to expulsion from God’s presence, to judgment from within, ending in a bitter spectacle.  Is it any wonder that our living GOD desires to rid us of any iota of pride?

Pro. 6:16-17 – “These six things does the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination to him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brethren.”

Ps. 101:5 – “Whoso privately slanders his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that has a high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.”

Pro. 21:4 – “A high look and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.”

Now, we are told that Lucifer was in Eden, the garden of GOD. There were only four persons in the garden; Eve, Adam, GOD and the serpent.

We have come to believe that the serpent was The Devil. In fact, the fallen Lucifer had indwelt this ‘beast of the field,’ for the purpose of deceiving Eve. This beast of the field probably did not look like a serpent. It was probably some four-legged creature of high cunning and subtly that was used by the Devil. Remember folks, this is just my opinion, I’m not trying to create theology here. The fact that the serpent was cursed to crawl on its belly suggests that before the curse it walked upon the field. Why am I going into all this? Lucifer most likely was already in a fallen state before this encounter with Adam and Eve. His heavenly privileges were now limited but he was yet to be cast out entirely. That will come much later. The point is, however, he is a defeated foe. Our Kinsman Redeemer will crush his head and suffer a ‘bite’ on His heal as a result of this crushing. It is interesting to note that the temptation offered Adam and Eve were right out of the desires of the Devil’s own heart. It was he that desired to be “as the most high.” This was his sin, his desire, his perversion. And it is this perversion that he is wanting to place within Adam and Eve. He was wanting to transfer his own filth and rebellion onto Adam and Eve. Isn’t this the way it ‘feels’ when we encounter a near approach of evil? Someone who is controlled or imbued by a foul spirit just seems to send out vibes. Our skin crawls, and our spirit just knows. This is how the foul spirits of The Devil operate. They seek to transfer their own perversions and corruptions, and filthiness onto us. Satan tried this with Adam and Eve and this process continues today. This is a teaching lesson for us. The stuff that seems to try to come upon us is NOT FROM WITHIN US! It does not come from the indwelling Spirit of Grace. The Devil wants us to believe a lie. The attacks are from without. So, The Devil tries to impart pride to us. This was all part and parcel of the very first assault against the human race. 1 John 2:16 – “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” And we know who controls this world-system. Remember friends, Satan is a defeated foe; his future has been spoken by the One who spoke into existence everything! He is destined, absolutely destined, for the pit. And he wants to drag as many as possible down with him down into the pit. Forgive me for once more quoting my favourite poet, Bob Dylan. This comes from one of his earliest songs during his rebellious phase – “It’s Alright Ma, (I’m only bleeding.)”  Speaking of a person he says,

          “[he] cares not to come up any higher, but rather get you down          in the hole that he’s in.”

Satan has never desired to change. We know angels cannot repent but even if Satan wanted to, he would never dream of coming up higher morally. He wants to come higher to be as GOD, but holiness is an attribute he has never desired. All he wants now is to drag us down with himself. Don’t let him! He’s a looser and you are not!

I started this message by wanting to reveal from the Exodus, the devices the enemy uses against us. Forgive the rather long rabbit trail but it seemed necessary to give some background regarding our adversary. Onward to Exodus.

We have reviewed the five “I wills,” of Isaiah 14. There are six “I wills” involving Pharaoh’s coming after the Hebrews. These are actually 6 character flaws of Satan. Here is the passage, Ex. 15:9, the song of Moses.

“The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust will be satisfied upon them: I will draw my sword, my hand will destroy them.”

Here is a listing of some words used in the above passage.

  • I will pursue = to be behind and to run after.
  • Overtake = to take hold upon
  • Divide the spoil = to divide and plunder
  • Lust will be satisfied = the inner self, the soul, will be full
  • Draw my sword = to empty out, to lay waste to
  • Destroy = to dispossess, to disinherit
  • And from the previous chapter 14 verse 9: to draw nigh = means up close and personal.

What do we learn of his tactics from this?

Satan may try to pursue you, to run after you. 1 Peter 5:8 reminds us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.” But he will fail in his efforts for Ps. 23 reminds us that “Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life . . .” So you can be confident that between his pursuing, and us, stands goodness and mercy blocking the way, just as the pillar of fire and column of smoke bared the Egyptians.

Satan may endeavour to overtake us but we are certain according to Deut. 28:2 “And all these blessings shall come upon you, and overtake you, if you will hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy GOD.” Take the time to read the list of blessings in Deut. 28.

He may also try to divide and conquer. But we can call upon these passages. John 17:11,21 and 22. “. . . That they may be one as we are one. That they may also be one in us. That they may be one even as we are one.”

Satan will attempt to divide, but God has promise to make us one – one in Him and one in the Father and one with each other. “A three cord weave is hard to break.”

Satan desires to be satisfied and his lust made full in our destruction. However, God’s word says otherwise.

 John 15:11: “These things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you and that your joy may be full.”

1 Peter 1:8: “Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see Him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:”

1 John 1:4: “And these things I write unto you, that your joy may be full.”

And again in 2 John1:12: “. . . that your joy may be full.”

Satan wants to fill his lust at our expense whereas we are filled with the goodness of Jesus. Praise GOD!

Then, Satan desires to empty us out to lay waste to us whereas with the LORD we have the following promises that can steel us against the attack of our adversary. 1 Cor. 2:9: “But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for them that love him.” Whereas Pharaoh, inspired by Satan, desired to empty out the Hebrews, God tells us that He is a God who fills up – fills up with overflowing, over-abundant blessings.

And though Satan strives to dispossess us, to disinherit us he is impotent to do so. For God has promised the following as an inheritance.

Matt. 25:34, we will inherit the kingdom. Luke 18:18 we will inherit eternal life. 1Peter 3:9, we will inherit the blessing, and in Revelation 21:7 we will inherit all things!

Satan threatens to rip us away from our inheritance. This will never happen as we stand in the assurance of the finished work of Jesus on the cross and in the assurance the victory is already set. Satan’s plan is to divide us, but God’s answer is to divide the seas of impasse that hinder our coming to Him.

As pharaoh drew nigh to the Hebrews certain of destroying them, remember James 4:8 where it says, “Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you . . .”

So for every threat of the enemy, God has His counter. In deflecting every aspect of pharaoh’s assault, God demonstrated three unchangeable attributes. A study of the word usage in the Exodus passage we visited reveals three phrases that describe how God overcame the assaults of our enemy. They are by, His glorious holiness, by His fearful praises, and by His doing wonders. If God be for us who can be against us? (Rom. 8:31)

As I draw this message to a close I would like to address one further point. We talk and hear much about temptation and that at times the temptations seem so difficult to overcome. Let me share a thought on this from Jonathan Cahn’s book, The Book of Mysteries. His comments given on day 38 of this daily study concern “The Door of Evil.”

Let me quote.

“How do you deal with temptation?” he asked.

“You resist it.”

“Yes,” he said. “But how?”

“The Book of Proverbs reveals how to deal with the temptation of sexual sin, the seduction of an adulteress. It is written: ‘Keep your way far from her. And do not come near to the door of her house.’ You see, the best way to deal with temptation is to not deal with it.”

“I don’t understand.”

“If you keep yourself away from the temptation, there’s less chance you’ll be dealing with it. But the Scriptures goes farther than that. Listen again. It says, ‘Keep your way far from her. And do not come near to the door of her house.’ This is an even greater key. It reveals that it’s not enough to stay away from temptation – you must make it your aim to stay away from the door of the temptation. Think about it; which is more alluring, a person trying to seduce you or a door?” So, instead of dealing with the person, or the substance, or the situation of danger, deal with the door. Deal with the door and you’ll avoid the temptation.”

The door of course is the entrance point. Rather than coming face-to-face with the temptation, deal with it at the door. That’s the place of escape. 1 Cor. 10:13: “There is no temptation taken you but such is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will, with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

The way of escape provided may very well be ‘at the door.’

I can remember my mother telling me something similar. I mentioned one day that a young girl from school was pregnant. My mom asked how did this happen? I replied that she and her boy friend were in the backseat of his dad’s car at the drive-in and one thing led to another. My mom replied, “Why were they in the back seat! Why were they alone in his dad’s car? Why did they go to the drive-in by themselves? Why did they not go to a regular cinema with friends?” I can look back now and see the wisdom of her words. There were many ‘doors,’ many opportunities they had to avoid the temptation! “Oh, it just happened.” No! It doesn’t just happen. Avoid the door, and avoid the temptation.

In closing, let be end by including a song I wrote decades ago. There was a game we played when we were young where we would hide our eyes behind a tree and count out while the others went and hid. At the end of the counting the seeker would cry out, “Ready or not here I come.” Do you remember? Here’s my song, Ready or Not.

  1. Midnight came calling, darkness came crawling

          Put on your armour, then he can’t harm you.

          Don’t get caught, ready or not.

  1. Blackness surrounds; evil abounds,

          Pick up your sword, the Word of the Lord,

          Don’t get caught, ready or not.

  1. Temptations cry, give us a try

          Pick up your shield, no need to yield.

          Don’t get caught, ready or not.

  1. Shadows enclose, evils impose.

          But all’s been done, the victory’s been won.

          Don’t get caught, ready or not!

James 4:5, “Submit yourself therefore to God, resist the Devil and he will flee from you.”

Our ultimate responsibility having made ourselves ready and alert is to heed the instructions of Ephesians 6. Having done all – stand. This sentiment is reflected in the cry of Moses as he is crowded about by the Hebrews at the edge of the Red Sea. “Be still and see the salvation of the LORD.” We serve a mighty GOD who is more than able, more than sufficient to defend His own. We are the people, the sheep, of His pasture. He will never leave nor forsake us. He knows how to deliver us from whatever besets us. He does however, ask us to “watch and pray that you come not into temptation.” Make your stand at the door for most often it is there that the Lord will provide “a way we may escape.” Remember it was at the door that the children of Israel found safety and victory as the angel of death passed by. May the Lord grant you strength for the day and peace for your journey. Amen.

 

 

Pastoral Prayer

We praise You Almighty God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, You are the Everlasting God. You do not faint or grow weary. Your Power is beyond measure and Your understanding is unsearchable. Hallelujah!

Thank You Lord that whenever we feel faint or grow weary that You give power to us and multiply strength to us because we wait upon You and we keep our eyes upon You. We earnestly seek You and expect You to come and provide according to Your  Word.  (Isaiah 40:28-31)

Thank You Lord, that You chose Abraham and his children to become the nation that is Your portion and has brought The Light of Life into the world. Thank You Lord, that You have chosen us as well to be Your people. Thank You that by faith in Jesus, our Saviour, we are grafted into the olive tree that is Israel. (Romans 11:17)

As we hear the message that Pastor Bob has brought to us today we are tempted to be overtaken by fear because the devil is real and he is indeed our enemy. But Lord, You have said “Do not fear. I am with you. I have chosen you and I take you by the right hand.” (Isaiah 41:8,10,13) You have also said, “nothing can separate us from Your Love,” and You have equipped us to be “more than conquerors, able to gain a surpassing victory”. (Romans 8:35-39) Hallelujah!

The devil seems like a roaring lion, he tries to scare us and make us shrink back in fear, but he has no teeth. Help us to remember that Lord. HE HAS NO TEETH! He has no power over us – we are the children of the Most High God, maker of Heaven and Earth; we are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb; our Redeemer lives; You have placed all things under the feet of Jesus; Jesus has granted us authority over the devil and his minions; and You are our Helper! Hallelujah!

Thank You Lord for teaching us that as we submit to You, the devil flees. So we are going to make him flee right now by wielding the Sword of the Spirit (AMPC): (please read aloud so the devil can hear J)

  • The Lord is our Rock, our Fortress, and our Deliverer. He is our God, our keen (enthusiastic, eager) and firm Strength. We trust in You Lord and take Refuge in You. You are our Shield and the Horn of our Salvation. You are our High Tower. – Psalm 18:2
  • Lord, You are our Stay and Support. You bring us forth into a large place because You are pleased with us and delight in us . – Psalm 18:18b,19
  • Lord, You cause our lamp to be lighted and to shine. You illumine our darkness. – Psalm 18:28
  • For by You, O Lord, We can run through a troop, and by You, our God, We can leap over a wall and over every hindrance in our path. – Psalm 18:29
  • As for You Lord, Your Way is Perfect. Your Word is tested and tried, You are a Shield to all of us who take refuge in You. Our trust is in You Lord. – Psalm 18:30
  • Lord, You make our feet like hinds feet [able to stand firmly or make progress on the dangerous heights of testing and trouble]. You Lord, set us securely upon our High Places. – Psalm 18:33
  • Lord, You are the One who teaches our hands to war so that our arms can bend a bow of bronze – with You Lord, all things are possible. – Psalm 18:34, Matthew 19:26
  • Lord, You give us the Shield of Your Salvation and Your Right Hand has held us up. – Psalm 18:34
  • We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us . [We are ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses inner strength into us . .  .]. – Philippians 4:13
  • No weapon formed against us shall prosper, this is our heritage as servants of the Lord. – Isaiah 54:17
  • Yet in the midst of every form of persecution or suffering, We are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing Victory through Jesus who loves us – nothing can separate us from Your Love Lord. – Romans 8:37
  • We take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say “The Lord is our Helper.” [Therefore We will not fear, dread, or be terrified.] – Hebrews 13:6
  • O Lord, listen to our cry for help. Lead us in Your Righteousness – make Straight Your Way before us. Lord, We take refuge in You. So, We will sing for joy and be glad. We love Your Name O Lord, spread Your protection over us that We may rejoice in You. – Psalm 5:2,8,11
  • For surely O Lord, You have made us Righteous and You surround us with Your Favour as with a shield. – Psalm 5:12
  • O Lord, We will be still before You and wait patiently for You. We will not fret. Our hope is in You Lord – We will inherit the land (maintain our God-given authority). – Psalm 37:7, 9b
  • O Lord, let those who come against us fall into the net they have cast for us . Their power will be broken . . . because You Lord uphold the Righteous. – Psalm 37:14,15,17
  • We trust in You Lord. You are our God. Our times are in Your hands. May all who exalt themselves over us be clothed with shame and disgrace. Contend for us O Lord my God. Vindicate us in Your Righteousness. Your Unfailing Love surrounds us. We will be strong and take heart because our hope is in You. – Psalm 31:14; 35:26, 23; 32:10; 31:24
  • The Angel of the Lord encamps all around us and delivers us. He turns back every evil plan of the enemy for our ruin. – Psalm 34:7; 35:4-5
  • Many are the afflictions of the Righteous, but You Lord deliver us out of them all. – Psalm 34:19
  • The eyes of the Lord are on us and His ears are open to our every The Lord is always thinking about us and is especially near when our hearts are breaking. The Lord delights in our well-being. – Psalm 34:15; 139:17; 34:18; 35:27b
  • We will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy Lord, and in Your steadfast Love. You have seen our affliction and taken notice of our life’s distresses. – Psalm 31:7
  • Every valley shall be lifted up and filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The crooked places shall be made straight and level, and the rough places a plain. You will do this for us because You love us and You are the Almighty God. – Isaiah 40:4
  • Thank You Lord Jesus that You will clothe me in white garments as we learn to be more than Conquerors and are Victorious. You will keep our names in the Book of Life. You will acknowledge us as Yours before Your Father and before His angels. – Revelation 3:5
  • The Lord is our Strength and our Song. He is our Saviour, Deliverer and Healer. We shall not die but live and proclaim the wonderful works of the Lord. – Psalm 118:14, 17
  • El Shaddai (the Almighty God) is wonderful in Counsel and excellent in guidance. By the Lord’s wise counsel we can wage war. – Isaiah 28:29; Proverbs 24:6a
  • We will have Victory wherever we go. – 2 Samuel 8:6b,14b

 

Thank You Lord, that as we confess Your Word, the devil, indeed, flees. Thank You Lord, that as we confess Your Word, our faith is solidified because You have said “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”. (Romans 10:17)

 

Father, we submit to Your Word, Your will and Your ways. We choose to obey You Lord. Thank You that the blessings of Deuteronomy 28 are ours as well: we shall be blessed; every need shall be met; our enemies shall be defeated before us; we shall prosper and be successful; You will make us the head and not the tail; and You will establish us as a holy people.  Hallelujah! To God be the Glory!

 

Thank You Lord that You are guarding us and protecting us from every plague and pestilence as we rely on You and make You our refuge. Thank You that You give your angels charge over us.  (Psalm 91) Father we pray for wise leadership in our country and others around the world. Father we pray for food and shelter for Your people around the world. Show each one of us how we can help in practical ways as we pray. Thank You Father for doctors and nurses who continue to serve in spite of the dangers they face daily.

Continue to pray for each other and especially remember Bette, Dave, Jade, and Ardy as they mourn the passing of Mary.

We offer our praise and prayers in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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