Good morning my sisters-
On Sunday, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Churches were filled with people glorifying God's name. Although the US has all the freedoms, including those that are of a religious nature, people don't always hold by them. They would rather play golf, spend time sleeping in or doing other fun activities. There's also a huge movement to believe in nothing here, which is why the US is not doing well all around.
Religious freedom is a gift. I can get on my computer and write a blog on Christ. His name is not banned. I have the opportunity to love people that are different than myself and still be bold enough to say Jesus is the only way to God. I can wear a t-shirt that proclaims the resurrection, run in a race that benefits homeless children and take a Bible to the streets. I'm free. But there are millions of people who have to meet in alleys or secret places because their faith makes them persecuted, but they still worship and read and pray! They are the ones that truly believe that Christ was here and that He rose again. Those are the sheep that by faith they were saved and their salvation matters. They are the dedicated men and women that reach out to the lost in a country that despises the name of Jesus Christ. They are who I pray for!
God knows what He is doing even if we don't. There is so much we will never know. We think we have all the intelligence but we don't. Even the smartest among us is no match for our God. I was reminded yesterday that God called the Israelites to stand still and in the same breath move forward. That's what God told Moses. How do we stand still and move forward? I asked myself that same thing yesterday. Standing still is a word picture that really means stand in my peace and know I'm near. Moving forward is a direction. It's hard for us to move forward when we are afraid. Fear keeps us standing still but not in Jesus. That kind of standing still is a feeling and it normally manifests itself with no action at all. We stand still in fear and nothing gets accomplished. Yet God told Moses to have His people stand still, raise His staff and move forward and He would do the rest. Can you feel Moses quaking at that command? Of course you can because it's easier for mankind to stand still and do nothing than to cross the mighty waters of apprehension and move forward in faith.
My prayer on Sunday that was mankind would know that He had risen. Christ sacrificed His life and had to stand still and move forward at the same time. When His hour was near He told His disciples exactly what to expect. And when the hour came, like all men, He cried out to His Father and asked, "Why have You forsaken me." It didn't stop Him. He fulfilled the prophesy as was written. He never stopped. He moved toward the goal, believing, trusting and following. His goal wasn't to sleep in or even to question the Father. His goal was to believe and to move forward.
I leave you with two Scriptures today. I sent one to my son yesterday and this one I found just for you. They both are reminders of God's great power and the fulfillment of His promises. This life will continue to hold many pitfalls but through faith we can climb the mountains and watch our Father work!
About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ). When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. (Matthew 27:46-50 NIV)
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. (Exodus 14:13-16 NIV)
Did Elijah come? Yes, He did. He delivered Jesus to His rightful place and He delivered the Israelites from Egypt. In both passages, people were scared and yet, they moved. Jesus became our Savior and the Israelites were freed from slavery. The promises were fulfilled and we are all better for it. The stories remind us that being a Christian is not about going to church on Sunday; it's about living a life for God.
May you be blessed today as you meditate on these powerful words. I pray these for all of us and will continue to stand firm that Jesus is our Savior.