Before thee

And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people. (Exodus 13:21-22, KJV)

The LORD  thy God, he will go over before thee, and he will destroy these nations from before thee… (Deuteronomy 31:3, KJV)

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. (Deuteronomy 31:6, NLT)

These passages of scripture speak of the time when God’s people, Israel, were led through the wilderness and ultimately into their promised land. They speak of very important events in history. Today, I ask you to permit me to speak of things that may seem trivial in light of these events, but that demonstrate another facet of our God.

Just yesterday I met with someone to exchange a damaged part on a product I had purchased. The person who sold me the product discussed it with the company and they were very willing to make things right, but instead of wanting to deal with it in the easiest way possible, they were asking me to do things in a much more difficult way to receive my exchange. The person that had sold me the product (a Christian) suggested I pray that the company would agree to do things the easiest way possible for me (the customer).

I calmly thanked the LORD that because of Him, I had favor.

The company said that if they did things my way, they couldn’t guarantee the new part would fit and work properly with the rest of the item. Actually, they seemed very sure it wouldn’t.  Once again, I thanked the LORD that this was no surprise to Him and that His blessing had already gone before me to bring me favor and to pick out just the right replacement part that would fit and work properly.

He knew what was coming and I trusted that He had already worked it out for me.

Sure enough, the company agreed to give me a replacement part. And sure enough it fit just right and worked perfectly.

We see in scriptures the Lord going before His people and leading them in the way they should go. I rely heavily on Him for His leading. But we must not stop short of seeing all that He is doing on our behalf when we trust Him.

He not only went before Israel, to lead them. He went before them and was taking care of things even before they got there.

I’ve shared this before with at least two people involved in difficult court cases. In both cases after prayer they found that they had favor with the court and things ended up working out to their benefit in the case.

So whether the situations you face are trivial or major, know this. The LORD your God is going before you to lead you and to work things out on your behalf. Simply follow Him and trust Him.

The Heart

I had an interesting experience today as I ministered to a man who had just had heart surgery. As I visited him in the ICU he began to share some things with me that he had seen on the news that had upset him. As he spoke of these things I noticed on the monitor that his blood pressure began to rise. The monitor began to beep as his blood pressure rose. I shared some scriptures that brought him peace and as I shared the scriptures his blood pressure began to drop.

A few minutes later he began to relate to me another thing he had seen on t.v. that had upset him. Once again his blood pressure began to rise, but then he shared how the Lord had helped him deal with what he had seen. As he shared about the goodness of God, his blood pressure began to drop once again.

Right there in the ICU the Lord brought this scripture to my remembrance.

David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of this Philistine… (1 Samuel 17:32, Amplified)

David was speaking here of Goliath who had come out for forty days and had intimidated the armies of Israel with his threats and taunts. It says in verse eleven that “When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid” (KJV).

The news today is full of words that could cause a person to be dismayed and greatly afraid. However, just like David, we don’t have to be afraid. Just like David our hearts don’t have to fail us and we can help others who find themselves dismayed and greatly afraid.

What did David know that gave him such confidence when others feared?

He knew he had a covenant with God and that God was on his side (1 Samuel 17:26, David refers to this ‘uncircumcised’ Philistine; circumcision was the sign of the covenant).

The name David means ‘Beloved’. He knew he was loved. Perfected love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). Also God’s covenant is based on hesed which is His unfailing love and David knew this (Psalm 23:6, Amplified – “Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life…”; the words unfailing love in that translation come from the Hebrew word hesed which was simply translated mercy in the King James).

He knew God. He had a relationship with Him from all his time of fellowship with God as he tended the sheep in the fields and from his love and knowledge of God’s Word.

I shared these things with that man in ICU and his blood pressure continued to drop as he heard these truths. I also shared these two scriptures with him.

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Peter 5:7, KJV)

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8, KJV)

We too have a covenant with God through Jesus (Hebrews 8:6). We too are loved of God (1 John 4:19). We too now have fellowship with him by His Spirit and His Word (1 John 1:3). We too can have confidence and fear not!

And one last scripture to keep in mind.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine… (Proverbs 17:22, KJV)

A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22, Amplified)


His Nature

When people ask me what I love about my husband, there are many things that come to mind. He is a good, kind, honorable and godly man. He is a good provider and a really good cook! There are just so many things to love about him. That’s why it’s so funny to me that when people ask me about him, one of the first things that comes to my mind is the fact that he likes animals.

He has fun with our three chihuahuas. He likes to watch the squirrel on the squirrel feeder and the squirrel on my bird feeder. He can hardly resist our four pound chihuahua’s requests to sit in his lap.

Have you ever known someone and cared for them, loved them and then find out a new little aspect about them and find that you love them even more? I read a scripture today that did just that where the Lord was concerned.

It was a simple little scripture. A scripture that doesn’t seem that important in the grand scheme of things. But this moring it endeared the Lord to me even more. It is Proverbs 12:10 in the New Living Translation.

The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel.

As I read this, I thought about why the godly would care for their animals and I realized it’s because God cares for animals. I know the Bible tells us this in other verses throughout the Bible, but it just really struck me this morning that God likes animals.

It affected my heart in the same way it affects my heart when I see my husband petting a little four pound chihuahua or enjoying a squirrel hanging upside down eating. I know it’s silly, but I felt my love for God increase simply because I realized He likes animals too.

A similar scripture came up in my heart yesterday as I was driving down a busy highway. I saw a dog on the side of the road. My heart went out to him. I didn’t want him to get hurt or killed in traffic. I was able to pray in faith for him because it says in Psalm 36:6, “O LORD, thou preservest man and beast” (KJV).

Here are a few more scriptures on His caring for animals.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them… (Matthew 6:25-26, KJV)

Are not two little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s… notice. (Matthew 10:29, Amplified)

Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? (Luke 12:6, KJV)

My main point today is seeing how God feels about animals, but I highly recommend reading on in these scripture passages to find out how much more He cares about you.

So from now on, as my husband and I watch the squirrel hang upside down eating, I will think about the fact that we are not alone as we watch. And we are not alone in enjoying and caring for animals. Just another beautiful facet of a most extraordinary being, our God.