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For I Am Your God

But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33:11 I was flipping the stations in my car yesterday when a talk show host caught my attention for a minute. It wasn’t long into that minute that I heard his declaration that our country was in great peril of dissolving if the upcoming elections don’t go the way he believes they must. Oh how such certain peril, communicated with passionate urgency and panic, is really effective in making a listener scared and equally convinced that an impending doom lurks around the corner if people don’t act/think/speak/believe a certain way. “Your children will never be lost from God’s grip if you…”, “Our country will decay at mach speed unless we…”, “God cannot bless you if you don’t…” Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21 For good or for evil, a person’s plans can never interfere with God’s purposes. Evil intentions, ignorance or just foolishness cannot thwart God’s plans as if His power is in any way limited by man’s sin or blindness or rebellion. I guess this is why it makes me so mad when I hear even preachers start throwing out threats to their congregation as if the future of the country or their individual family rests on their “doing it just right”. Hope, peace and well being then become rooted in the man’s will rather than in God’s alone. The central character in that story becomes the creation rather than the creator. But it is not just radio talk show hosts or preacher’s with Gospel amnesia who preach fear to our hearts instead of pointing our confidence and faith to the One who is in control of all thing. My own voice is quick to preach “doom, doom”. It comes in the late hours of the night when my imagination is the most morbid. It is in those moments when I am sure I have lost my children’s affections forever because I was so preoccupied all day or because “I always…” or “we never…”. (Always and never are very important words for my fearful voice – they are the most extreme and insurmountable.) Then there is my fear of regret (sort of like borrowed fear of something that is only remotely possible) and breath stealing, “What have I done!?” The power behind all these fears, from the politicians and preachers to the condemning voice in my head is the absolute absence of a compassionate, long suffering, strong and powerful, good, wise and sovereign God. I can only freak out if He ceases to exist or has abandoned His throne and has left me as “captain of my own vessel”. And if that is the case, I promise that whoever our next president is will have nothing to do with the world’s demise. I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mere mortals, human beings who are but grass, that you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretches out the heavens and who lays the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction? For where is the wrath of the oppressor? The cowering prisoners will soon be set free; they will not die in their dungeon, nor will they lack bread. For I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD Almighty is his name. I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand— I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’” Is. 51:12-16 Of course I immediately think of scary, dictator-like people when God tells me not to be afraid of “mere mortals”, but guess who else He means? Me! I don’t have to be afraid of me as if God has dominion over every single thing in all of creation except for me when I don’t act properly or wisely or righteously or humbly or lovingly or…Yes, I don’t even have to submit to my late night panics that I have ruined my children or my family or my own future by this or that because God is reigning over all of His creation, even me, and His purposes will always and forever prevail.

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