Sunday, September 6, 2015, 6:39 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Blessed Are You.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 14:24-27 (NASB).
The Lord of hosts has sworn saying, “Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand, to break Assyria in My land, and I will trample him on My mountains. Then his yoke will be removed from them and his burden removed from their shoulder. This is the plan devised against the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out against all the nations. For the Lord of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?”
As He Intended
Our God and Lord Jesus Christ is far above all rule and authority, power and dominion. God the Father has placed all things under Jesus’ feet. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. In everything he has the supremacy. Amen! He is the ruler of God’s creation; the head over every power and authority; and all angels, authorities and powers are in submission to him. Praise God! In that we can rest secure, knowing that God rules supreme over all. [Eph. 1:15-23; Col. 1:15-20; Rev. 3:14; Col. 2:9-10; 1 Pet. 3:21-22.]
God had everything planned out for how things were going to go even before he created the world; even before he created the angels in heaven. He knew when he created Lucifer that he would rebel against God, along with many other angels, and that he would become the tempter of God’s people, their arch enemy, and that he would roam throughout the world seeking whom he may devour. God could have destroyed him as soon as he rebelled, but he allowed him to exist, even knowing full well what Satan would do. As well, he gave Adam and Eve the choice to follow him or to disobey him. When they sinned against him, he banished them from the garden, and he put a curse on them and on the earth. He thus allowed evil to exist in the world, and for Satan to come after his people.
Throughout history God has allowed evil kings and authorities to exist, who are instruments of Satan. Not only that, but scripture teaches that God is the one who places kings and rulers in place, so he puts evil rulers over his people at times, too, and for his purposes. In fact, he uses evil rulers, at times, as his divine instruments of judgment against his wayward people. As it was in the days of old, so it is again in these last days before Christ’s return. The dragon (Satan), the beast and the false prophet serve God’s purposes as divine instruments of judgment against God’s people, and against the people of the earth. God’s purposes in this, throughout history, has always been to bring his adulterous people back to him, to revive and renew them in their faith, and to restore them to fellowship with him.
Yet, he also purposes that once he is finished with the instruments of judgment he uses against his people, that he will judge those who have oppressed his people, and he will remove from his people the yoke of oppression their enemies have placed upon them. I believe in these last days that this will happen when Jesus Christ comes to judge the earth and to deliver his people, the bride of Christ, the saints of God, his church, from this wicked earth and from all the suffering that they have had to endure at the hand of Satan and all his cohorts. So, our suffering is temporary. One day we will be set free of all this and we will be with our Lord in our eternal home, if we have trusted in Jesus to be our Savior.
As well, God planned that Jesus Christ, God the Son, would become the Savior of the world, to deliver us out of Satan’s hands, and to free us to walk daily in Christ’s righteousness. This salvation is not on a physical level, but on a spiritual level. God does not remove us from the earth, when we are saved through faith in Jesus, or deliver us from ever being tempted of Satan, or keep us from going through difficult times, or prevent us from being mistreated, hated, persecuted and perhaps even put to death for our testimonies for Jesus Christ and for his gospel. In fact, he promises us we will have to go through these things. Yet, this salvation frees us from the punishment and the control of sin and Satan over our lives, gives us new lives in Christ Jesus, and frees us to walk daily in the Spirit and no longer according to our sinful flesh. This salvation fills us and empowers us with the Spirit of God, and gives us all we need to withstand difficulties and persecutions, to flee temptation, to resist Satan, and to follow our Lord Jesus in surrender to his will for our lives.
As humans, we will all suffer temptation to sin. As those who live in flesh bodies, we will also suffer sickness, pain, and sadness. A couple of days ago I ran my left foot into a metal bed railing and it hurt like crazy, and it is still in pain, and my far left toe is all black and blue, so it hurts to stand or walk on it for any length of time. I can’t wear shoes right now. In other words, we will all suffer pain just as a natural course of everyday life. People we love will get sick or injured, and some of them will die. Some death is expected, while other deaths are not anticipated, but are sudden and even horrific or extremely tragic in nature. People will not like us, usually because we are different from them, whether because of skin color, nationality, social status, financial status, religious beliefs, or whatever. Some people will suffer abandonment, and/or will be the victims of spousal unfaithfulness and/or abuse. Others will be severely persecuted because of their faith in and testimonies for Jesus Christ.
In all of this, though, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are to consider ourselves blessed that we are suffering for the sake of the name of Jesus, and we should rejoice in our sufferings, and not let them govern how we live, act and respond, but we should allow the Holy Spirit within us to govern our actions and reactions to poor treatment or difficult times. We need to allow the Lord to walk us through the pain and not get stuck in it to where we can’t function, we get depressed, we withdraw, retreat, and especially to where we might fall back into sin. We need to be victorious through God who loves us, and keep going forward in his strength, wisdom and love. We need to forgive those who have hurt us or who are presently coming against us, and we must rely upon our Lord to lead and guide us as to how we should respond, what we should say or do, and how best to love those who mistreat us, use us, abuse us, abandon us, and/or who reject us because we follow Jesus Christ.
The Burden Removed
As has been mentioned here already, there are two different kinds of deliverance God promises to all those who put their faith and trust in him as their Lord and Savior. He promises first of all that by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, we can be set free from the yoke of slavery to sin and to Satan, and can be set free to live to righteousness. Part of this deliverance is also the promise that we will not spend eternity in punishment in hell for our sin, for Jesus paid the price for our sin so we could go free, but we will be with our God in glory for eternity because we believe in Jesus and in what he did in dying on the cross for our sins. One day we will no longer suffer pain, sorrow, sickness, persecution or the temptation of sin, but all that will be gone. By his grace we have been set free!
The other kind of deliverance from a yoke, is a physical deliverance from physical (human) enemies who hate, persecute, oppress, mistreat, bind, or enslave us. Many followers of Jesus Christ throughout the earth are presently being persecuted and killed for their testimonies for Jesus Christ and for his gospel of salvation, while others are being held captive through manipulation, deception, and trickery, and are thus being rendered useless for God’s kingdom work, because they have believed the lies of Satan. God will one day judge our persecutors, and he will deliver his people out of their hands. For those who have believed Satan’s lies, and have fallen prey to deception, he will open many of their eyes, and will turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, either through a revival of his wayward church, and/or through redeeming those who are lost in darkness. For his faithful followers, who are being persecuted because they stand on the Word of God, do not deny the name of Jesus, and because they obey Christ’s commandments, this will mean physical deliverance out of their enemies’ hands one day. We have this hope as a sure thing, because our God is faithful to all he promises. Amen!
Blessed Are You / An Original Work / August 29, 2012
Based off Luke 6:20-49 NIV 1984
“Blessed are you;
Blessed are you who are poor
For God’s kingdom is yours.
Blessed are you;
Blessed are you who are hungry,
You’ll be satisfied.
Blessed are you;
Blessed are you who weep now,
For you will laugh with joy.
Blessed are you;
Blessed are you when men hate
And reject you because of Christ.”
“Rejoice in that;
Rejoice in that day and
Leap for joy; great your reward.
But I tell you;
But I tell you to love those
Who hate you; do them good.
Pray for those who;
Pray for those who treat you wrong
And say kind things of them.
Do to others;
Do to others as you would have
Them do; have them do to you.”
“If you love those;
If you love those who love you,
What praise is there for you?
Because Christ is;
Because Christ is kind,
Be merciful, just like He is.
Forgive others their offense
Against you; be ye kind.
Hear My words and;
Hear My words and put them
Into practice, then you’ll be fulfilled.”