This year our devotionals have highlighted truths that Biblical characters have proclaimed about God. As we wrap up this theme over the summer, I want to add my own pieces – sharing some of the things that God has taught or reaffirmed to me this year about His character. Today I want to thank Him for keeping me.
Culture would teach us that we are masters of our own destiny and that we decide our own fate. Our success and failure is in our own hands. That sounds great on the surface, but believing that everything is up to us is also an awesome responsibility. My young niece expressed this to my brother a few months ago, “I want to follow God”, she said, “but I’m scared that I won’t.” Have you ever felt this way?
Looking back, I can identify so many times that I could have gone off the rails and left my faith behind. The potential was there, but God is keeping me. He is teaching me through His word. He brings people into my life to expose some of the lies I may be tempted to believe and remind me of the truth; friends and pastors and authors. He orchestrates circumstances to remind me that I need Him. God has been doing this with his people throughout time.
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:22-26)
In one of David’s last speeches he prays, “O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you. Grant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, performing all, and that he may build the palace for which I have made provision.” (1 Chronicles 29:18-19)
In Psalms we read, “But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:12-14). The Lord will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121:7-8)
Paul affirms this too. He tells the Corinthian church, “Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:7-9)
God calls us to obedience, but he knows how weak and susceptible we are. He knows that we need His help to even want to obey “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.“ (Philippians 2:13). So, I continue asking Him to keep me, to keep my husband and my kids, my extended family and my friends.
To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (Jude 1:24-25)
Pastor of Women