This series idea sparked from reading a verse in 2 Samuel which says, ‘Lord Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you.’ So your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you.’ (2 Samuel 7v27). The context behind this verse, is God’s promises to David have been revealed. The Lord promises to establish a house for David. That house and the kingdom through David and his descendants will endure forever before the Lord. The beautiful process that follows after this revelation to David, is that he goes and sits in the Lord’s presence and prays over all that he has been told. He prays the promises over his life and trusts in the Lord that what he has promised will come into fruition. This passage struck me in its power; that David took those promises and faithfully trusted them. I came to think about my own walk with the Lord. The word of God is full of his promises. I came to realise, that as much as I may know these promises; do I allow them to have authority over my life. Do I believe these as absolute truths? I know that God’s word never fails, I have read it and I have seen it throughout the years of my life. Honestly, how much do I truly trust God’s promises? This series is about getting back to the promises of God. To know the promises of God and to let them have authority over our life again. I pray that we, like David, will learn to pray promises over our life knowing that God will never fail us. In the good and the bad, his word and his faithfulness will not be shaken. That we will learn to live a life of freedom, knowing that everything has already been accomplished through the Lord.
‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you.’ (Deuteronomy 31v6)
The first promise, like all of God’s promises, is one that has been established since the beginning of creation and will always be true. I believe it is a promise that dictates how we choose to live our lives. I know when I have chosen to believe that God is not with me, my way of thinking and living has been quite reckless and all over the place. I let my emotions and my fears guide me. Whereas, when I firmly believe that the Lord is with me through it all. My life is a more at peace. I choose to be supported and to trust in the Lord, through all my highs and lows. For this blog, I want to go through scripture from the Old and the New Testament and look at how this promise flowed through people’s lives. We see lives that were all different and where the Lord was with them in different ways. I hope that focusing on scripture, will help us to realise how true to his promises God is. That he will never leave us or forsake us and that he is with us in the highs and the lows.
I spent some time flicking through the Bible to see different instances of this promise being fulfilled. I am not going to go chronologically through every single account of the promise; I will highlight a few. I wanted to start at the beginning of Genesis, to highlight something important. ‘Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of day.’ God has always been a part of his creation, the scene in the garden intimately depicts this. The Lord walked through all he had created and personally knew the people he had created. He was not a distant and separated God. The promise of God never leaving nor forsaking us, has always been a part of his plan. The events that follow this verse are that of Adam and Eve being banished from the garden of Eden. Nevertheless, throughout the book of Genesis was see how closely God walked with those who were faithful and righteous in his sight. From reading scripture, it was not God’s intention to be separated from his creation. Due to our disobedience and our choice to choose other things rather than God. It led to a separation. However, God teaches us time and time again, when we make the choice to be faithful to him, he will be with us through it all.
One of my favourite accounts which highlights this promise, is through the life of Joseph. From his earlier years he was someone who had this gift of dreams which led him to being despised and neglected by his brothers. Their envy allowed them to sell their own brother into slavery. We see Joseph enter into to land of Egypt, which was completely foreign to him. We follow his ups and downs but ultimately, we see him flourish and save the land of Egypt and the surrounding nations. One of the truths that flows through and is highlighted a number of times is ‘The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of the Egyptian Master’ (Genesis 39v2,39v21,). We see through the life of Joseph how the Lord did not leave him. It did not mean that because the Lord was with Joseph that his life was easy and full of amazing highs. Definitely not. Joseph went through abandonment, slavery, imprisonment to highlight a few. Through all he endured, there was purpose in the making. The Lord was able to use all the trials to bring beauty, hope and restoration. At the end of all Joseph endured, he was able to say, ‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.’ (Genesis 50v20). The life of Joseph shows how with God by our side, we can look above our circumstances and see a better hope of what is to come. To not be dismayed but to have the courage to walk through life.
Following on, a few other old testament figures who accomplished great triumphs by allowing the Lord to lead them through their life. When Moses was called to go and bring the people out of Egypt, the Lord promised him. ‘“I will be with you. And this will be a sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.’ (Exodus 3v12). Another key figure was David, a faithful servant of the Lord. ‘In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him.’, (1 Samuel 18v14). These are two prominent figures throughout scripture. I am inspired by them because of how they inquired of the Lord. They kept in constant communication with the Lord in all they did. They knew what it meant to have the Lord by their side so they could trust him and listen for his guidance. To put some light on David, he was a fantastic leader. He cared and looked after his men. His faithfulness is noted because he was a man after God’s own heart. In his life, he did make some mistakes. Regardless, he never lost sight of who God was and his relationship with the Lord. To know the Lord by their side meant that they never had to feel like they were on their own, that the decisions were all in their hands. They inquired of the Lord, listened and walked faithfully forward. It was not into easy situations; they knew that the battle was the Lord’s and that the victory was the Lord’s.
Let us jump into the New Testament and the first verse I want to stop at is found at the end of Matthew. ‘and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the end of this age.’, (Matthew 28v20). This is a promise that Jesus makes to his disciples before his ascension. These are the disciples who had walked with Jesus through his ministry. They were now being commissioned to go and share the good news throughout all the nations. The accounts of their ministry fill the rest of the New Testament. Jesus promises them that he will be with them to the end of this age, he will not leave them or forsake them. Through all the persecution they would later endure, he would be with them. They will be filled with the Holy Spirit, who would guide them in all knowledge and wisdom, and they will ultimately lead many to redemption.They trusted in all the Lord had said and faithfully walked forward, their lives had many hardships but there was great joy too. They allowed the Holy Spirit to guide them just as Jesus had promised them.
In Hebrews the reader is reminded to keep their faith firmly planted in the Lord, for the worldly things are easier to grasp but can never bring fulfilment. ‘Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said. “Never will I leave you; nor will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence. “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”, (Hebrews 13v5-6). This verse highlights how it is important to speak with confidence over the promises we have been given. That when the world is throwing every temptation and trial in our face, that we remember to whom we belong and where our help comes from. That we must remember that we do not do life alone. It can be easy to set our eyes and mind of the things that give temporary pleasure and security. However, when we trust that the Lord is by our side; the appeal of the world does not seem as tempting. We are able to ask for discernment and wisdom for all that we are facing. We can ask to be humbled where we may have exalted ourselves. We can be set free from that which has imprisoned and hurt us. There is much more to life, when we realise how much can be accomplished when we walk with the Lord. That even when we are hurt, ignored or even persecuted for our faith. We have many examples of those who have gone before us, who have walked faithfully and securely with the Lord. That even in the lowest lows, the Lord was able to bring beauty and hope through that situation.
It is our choice, what we choose to trust in. We can choose to trust in money, in ourselves, in the opinions of others, etc. In contrast, we can choose to trust in the Lord who promised that he would never leave us or forsake us. Who has always been a part of his creation and who knows us all intimately by name! We can have a sure foundation. If we were to ever lose everything, we know now we would be able to trust in the Lord’s protection and guidance. That through every storm it can be weathered together with the Lord. I am learning it is far better to trust in the Lord, who has promised to never leave me nor forsake me. Rather, than to keep trying to do everything by my own strength and in my own wisdom. I can learn to trust myself more, when I know it is the Lord guiding my life. A Lord who knows all of me and wants what is best for me. For I know that God loves me, he chooses even in all my weakness to walk alongside me. To show me a better way.
Sometimes we need to simply utter this simple prayer, Lord help me! To let go and surrender everything before him. As soon as we reach out to him, the Lord is right by our side leading us forward. Do not get caught up in thinking you have to be someone or something, before you come before the Lord. The best way the Lord leads, is by us faithfully walking forward in life and trusting him the whole way. It is not the easiest way to live, it takes a lot of surrendering. However, the Lord has a lot of grace, even when you see that you have being doing life in your own strength ( that is still something I do, thankfully I have people who remind me where my help comes from). There is freedom and life when we walk with the Lord. It will not be an easy path but there will be beautiful fruits that will be produced along the way.
‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you.’ (Deuteronomy 31v6).It is a beautiful promise that I hope we will not lost sight of. I pray that we would learn to surrender more, knowing he is a God who never breaks his promises and will never leave us or forsake us. If you are doubting at all, that your past mistakes do not count you worthy of walking with the Lord. Remember this truth from Romans, ‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’, (Romans 8v38v39). This is one relationship you can fully place your trust in. For we all have a life to live, is it not better to do it trusting and having the Lord by your side?
I leave you with the words from one of my favourite psalms at the moment, it reminds me of how loved and cared for I am by the Lord. How thankful I am and should always be, that he is by my side.
‘The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at their proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfils the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.’ (Psalm 147v13-19)
I pray that you will encounter more of the Lord this week, even in the mundane days. That the Lord will lift you up in hope and trust in him. That you would allow him to walk with you through all your days..
May God bless you all, love Victoria. xx