January 11, 2016

Isaiah 43:1 But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

This dearly loved verse reminds me of how one little girl miss-heard the first part of the Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father who art in heaven, how do you know my name?” It is indeed amazing that the God who created us knows us by name, but He does. This verse is speaking of Israel as a nation, but it applies equally to each individual. God is infinite, but He is also intensely personal. That defies human logic, but it is marvelous indeed. Many people don’t understand that and see Him as distant and unapproachable, when nothing could be further from the truth. As Paul pointed out, quoting a Greek philosopher, we exist within God. (Acts 17:28) That’s a logical necessity, since He is infinite, but it plays tricks with our minds. Rather than obsess over it, we need to accept not only that there is nothing that is hidden from Him, but also that He cares. At one point the concept of a “Divine watchmaker” was popular, saying that God created the universe, “wound it up,” flung it out into space, and then basically forgot about it. This verse says that is false, and we had better remember that. As Peter said, we are to cast our cares on God because He cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7)

This is something I’ve been aware of for as long as I can remember, but that doesn’t mean I’ve always lived like it was real! In all sorts of situations I tend to feel like I’m on my own, when nothing could be further from the truth. He is always with me, as Jesus said explicitly. (John 14:8, Hebrews 13:5) The devil is out to steal, kill, and destroy all he can in my life, (John 10:10) but he can succeed in that only to the degree that I allow it by “stepping away from Christ,” so to speak. As long as I am abiding in Him I will enjoy the fellowship for which I was created, and His will will be done in and through me for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I’m sorry I need it so often! Thank you for this conference I’m attending right now, and for the fellowship with other pastors especially. I pray that everyone here would receive a special touch from You, being strengthened and encouraged. We are all aware of the spiritual barriers in this nation. May we receive Your wisdom and strength to be fully submitted to You, to stand fully against the devil, so that the gates of hell may indeed fall before us, for the liberation of millions, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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