January 6, 2017

Faithful Friday

Well, the week has finally come to a close, and that means that it is my last Friday before I begin work at GCU, Regent University, and Arizona State University. I am in a state of panic today, but only because I am feeling the door close to my rest and relaxation, to the safety and security of vacation, and with that closure, comes the feeling that I am about to be sent into the Lion’s Den, back into the grind, and out into the scary big UNKNOWN of the new semester. Yes, I am panicked, to say the least. Still, my confidence looms high as I trust in my Lord and my Savior, Jesus, the Christ. I stay firmly focused on His abilities and not my own, and in doing so, I am ready to take the next step of faith (that Spielberg “Leap from the lion’s head” in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). I am ready to charge on, not without a sense of concern, but rather with the word of the Lord firmly echoing in my head:

But Moses said to the people, "Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.” (Exodus 14:13-14 NASB)

I hear the voice of the Lord say to me, “Carol, do not be afraid. You’ve got this work! I am with you, and I will see you through these next days, weeks, and months. I will not leave you nor will I abandon you. Trust me!” My heart responds with a “Yes, Lord!” and then I take a deep breath and I walk on. Yes, I walk on. I must go through the “fire,” so to speak, in order to experience this new birth, this transformation, and in doing so, I will achieve what He has set before me. I will finish this program, graduate with honor and distinction, and I will receive my PhD degree. Furthermore, I will manage all the students and the classes the Lord has given to me. I will manage them well, and I will be successful in encouraging, motivating, and mentoring the students assigned to me. He is my God, and as such, I can do what He asks of me because with God, “Nothing is impossible.” If this is His will, and I believe it is so, then I will do His work, with His power and authority, and I will accomplish everything asked of me. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Selah!

Remaining Faithful

The key for today is to remain faithful. I am still working my way through my research, and today is the last day I can work on it until next week. In some ways, I am relieved to be finishing up this part of the project. In other ways, I realize that I still have so much work to do. I am not ready to finish! I need another week to be in really good shape. But, the month of work has come to an end, and I have to finish it. I also have other “work” to do and that means that I have to set this job aside and pick up this other work tomorrow and Sunday. I feel confident that if I can, no — when I finish — my tasks today, I will be able to spend all day tomorrow and Sunday working on my student prep so that come Monday, I am ready, so very ready to begin the semester with a bang!

I know that the Lord has this all in hand, and despite my unwillingness to rest this week, and the fact that I didn’t stick to my resolution and work until the wee hours to finish, I will complete everything I need to complete this good, good day. First, I know I must complete this work. It is the last day, and with that, I need to begin writing my chapter 4 on Tuesday. I cannot put this off any longer, and despite the boring aspects of the work, I have to finish it. I cannot do this job half-way; no, not at all. I must complete the work, and I must work as “unto the Lord.” Therefore, I know that today I will hunker down and “just do it,” I will just do it.

Be Bold. Be Courageous.

The word of the Lord is sure, it is sound, and it is sufficient to guide us and to help us to know that whatever situation we are in, that whatever circumstance we are involved in at present, whatever problem is trying, difficult or overly challenging — we can know for sure that there is a way out — or that there is a solution available to us. We simply must rest in faith, trust in the Lord, and allow His word to remind us that His grace is always sufficient to meet every need, every challenge we face.

I am reminded to be bold this good day. I am reminded to remain faithful, to be courageous, to be plucky, and to not give up. I am reminded that my Lord is with me, always with me, and as such, there is no task too tall, too wide, or too insurmountable for Him to complete. He is able to do everything, to care for everything that concerns me today. This means that my fear, my doubt, and my panic, while reasonable for my particular situation, is nothing compared to His marvelous and glorious power. Yes, He has overcome. He has the authority, the power, and the presence to achieve whatever He desires to achieve. You see, His power is not limited. My enemy wants me to think of His power this way, as an off-on switch, that can be toggled one way or another. But, my God is not variable. His word tells us that He is unchanging. He is not arbitrary. He plays no favorites, and He is impartial. This means that there is no turning or changing of color with God. What you see is what you get, so to speak, which simply says that if you believe His word, then you are believing in the awesome and mighty power and work of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You are placing your faith in the One who separated the waters of the Red Sea, who led the Israelites out of Egypt, and who vanquished the foreigners in the land. Moreover, you are placing your faith in the One who holds the keys to death and hell, and who has overcome the power of sin, broken its curse, and who is now seated at the right hand of God, the Father. You are placing your full-faith and confidence in Jesus, the risen and exalted Christ, and in doing so, you are saying that His power is immutable. Yes, within His very nature, His power is unchanging. He will never be anything other than the Lord — the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

In Closing

As I close this short blog post and begin to tackle my remaining day on my project, I realize that what the Lord has asked me to do — outside of the actual work — is to trust Him and rest in His abilities. He has loaded my life to such an extent that He has shown me the impossibility of my success — without His help. In this way, I am like the Israelites standing next to the sea and panicking as they saw the waters recede. They felt the heat of the enemy upon their necks, and they knew that in that moment, there was no way out. There was no escape. They had to go through the sea, but they had to wait for God to pull back the waters to do it. They could do nothing on their own, so their faith in God and in His abilities to control nature, were left hanging in the balance. They placed their trust in the Lord has they took that step of faith, as they stepped deep into the mud and the muck, only to find that that mud had turned to dry land.  Yes, their God had provided a way out, and not just an easy escape, but an escape that demonstrated the very power of the God they worshiped.

I am in a similar place. I am waiting on the Lord to provide a way out for me. I am waiting for the water to recede so I can walk through the parted seas and escape to the other side. My enemy is hard on my heels, and time is running out. I need Him to do this mighty work now, and I need to know that He has made a way for me. He has made a way for me. I am believing in faith that God will work out all the details, that He will provide a way, and that His way will meet my needs today, tomorrow, and every day henceforth. He is God, and I believe His power, His authority, and His presence (as in His presence in this world) is immutable. He will never change. The words says it this way:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8 BSB)

Yes, I believe He is the same God who saved His people from their enemy as they fled Egypt. He is the same God who died on the cross at Calvary, rose again, and lives forever more. And, I believe that He is the same God who has promised to never leave us, to never forsake us, and who has said clearly that He is coming again to vanquish the enemy once and for all, and as such, that when He returns He will usher in His new kingdom.

Jesus said in Revelation 22:12, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each person according to what he has done.” I believe He is coming again soon. And, until that time, it is up to me to remain faithful, to pay attention (be alert), and to work heartily “unto the Lord,” so that when He returns He will find me busy at His work. Yes, He will find me busy doing His work.

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