“I WILL GO BEFORE YOU!”
The peace of the Lord to you! Today, God has given me a word of encouragement for you or someone that you know. In the journey of life, there are many uncertainties. We wonder if we will be received well in the places we are going, we wonder if our expectations will be met, we worry that trouble may meet us at some point and get the better of us. But God brings us a word of comfort and assurance on this today.
“I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars.” – Isaiah 45:2 (NASB)
I don’t know about you but this promise is what I’d call a game changer. The devil may think he’s having an upper hand in your situation, but now, here comes the word, God Himself, for God is His word! I’d say things are about to turn in your favour!God's promises to you are game changers that can turn your life around. Click To Tweet
I’d balk at going anywhere alone no matter how fantastic it is touted to be. But I’d be willing to go even where things might not be rosy if I knew that God would be going with me. And see how powerful the promise is: levelling the rough places and shattering formidable barricades! It doesn’t matter how high the barricades are either. The rendering of the same verse in another translation shows God’s got you covered!
“I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.” – (NIV)God will make the rough places smooth and level barricades for you. Click To Tweet
The surprising thing is that God originally made this promise to Cyrus, a pagan king He wanted to use to free His people, Israel, from captivity in Babylon and to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Now if God was willing to throw His weight behind an idol worshipper (Isaiah 45:1-4) and equip him to do His will, how much more will He do for you, His child redeemed by the precious blood of His Son, Jesus!
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” – Romans 8:32 (KJV)
The Lord made a similar promise to the children of Israel when they were in the wilderness. Travelling through the desert is a daunting experience even in this modern age. You can imagine how much more dreadful it would have been thousands of years ago. But God had accompanied them in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21).
However, the most critical part of their journey was still ahead of them: entering and possessing the land of Canaan. To do that, they had to conquer and destroy seven nations of heavily armed giants with fortified cities and renowned battle skills. Naturally, the Israelites were quaking in their boots. Enter the word through the servant of God, Moses!
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” – Deut 31:8 (NLT)
I want us to see this in one more translation:
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – (NIV)
There it is! Right in the middle! The expression that packs so much strength into a failing heart, the expression that feels like cold water to my weary soul whenever I come across it: My heavenly Father will never leave me nor forsake me. Hmmm! This calls for a deep inhalation, an inhalation of peace, of power and boldness!Your heavenly Father will never leave you nor forsake you. Click To Tweet
Before the time God gave this word to the Israelites shortly before Moses handed over office to Joshua, He had in a similar vein told Moses to tell the Israelites He would lead them out of slavery in Egypt and take them to possess the land of Canaan.
“… I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.” – Exodus 3:8 (ESV)
Unfortunately, this word didn’t do much good to the Israelites to whom it was spoken when it mattered most. That was when they were on the verge of entering Canaan for the first time after leaving Egypt. They held on to their fear and told God they’d rather take their chances with the Egyptians than confront the Canaanites. They chose to return to servitude in a foreign land rather than becoming masters in their own land: a land flowing with milk and honey.
But God told them that option wasn’t on the table. Result? Those who trusted God defeated the Canaanites eventually and inherited the promised land. And they were a grand total of two old-timers, namely, Joshua and Caleb, along with a whole new generation born during their forty-year wanderings through the desert (the punishment God imposed for their disobedience). The rest got what they told God they preferred: dying in the desert instead of fighting the dreaded Canaanites.God will usually give you what you confess: His promises or your fears. Click To Tweet
That will not be our portion in Jesus’ name. We will trust the Lord. We will confess what He says, no matter how contrary the circumstances around us may be. And we will see Him smoothen the crooked and rough places. We will see Him clear gigantic obstacles and we will enter into His rest to the praise of His glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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