Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
This morning as I woke up I got on my computer to send out this daily email. But this morning I actually checked out the news; my eyes glanced over the words Typhoon. It's another disaster that has occurred in this world; lives lost and families separated.
One of the images was what seemed like, a young mother; she is gripping her child with interlaced fingers, guaranteeing that nothing is going to cause her arms to let go. She has created a secure grip not only to insure herself but to protect the child she is holding as well. She is not standing in the midst of a nice hotel room, she's not even in the center of her home. Actually her feet are touching dirt; flip flops and pair of shorts and a t-shirt. A few salvaged items, a blanket and probably whatever they were able to escape with. Others are in worst shape; laying down in dirt that has been shifted as the water swept through their village. No home, no possessions. As I read Romans 8 this morning, it became an image, a visual aid as this verse came to life. We don't go through Typhoons or earthquakes or any other disasters on a daily basis, but in this fallen world there are many enemies and disaster type events that indeed are trying to separate us from God.
The Bible says we have an advocate, a helper who teaches us all things and points us back to Jesus (John 14:26). Well, in the midst of my disaster, of my crisis, what is Jesus saying? Has your leader or mentor been stripped from you and fear is trying to negotiate your future? The Bible says, Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6. These folks had alot of wavering going on; their hearts were going to capsize and give up. The Lord spoke through Moses and made sure that they understood the pre-qualifications if you will to the promise; " and you must do all that I have commanded" ver 5. My paraphrase, I got you, I will be with you. My hand is leading and covering you, but you must obey. Neither the present or the future will separate us.
I remember when I first got saved. I began to have vary strange and demonic like dreams. I really did not understand all that was happening to me; I do remember fighting in my dreams. I was not fighting physically, but there was a strong presence of "evil" that I could feel and images that I could see. I did not understand spiritual warfare; I did not even know what I was supposed to do. In the midst of my dream that was as real as you and I, I called on the Name of Jesus, that was the only thing I knew to do. I did not know Scripture well; actually the only Scripture I knew was what I was taught in the Catholic Church "The Our Father" prayer that we find in Matthew 6. I began to pray in my dream until I woke up. God was teaching me that he was and is my help; that his Name is Mighty, He is my Deliverer! Neither angels nor demons can separate me from Christ.
How about death? The Bible says, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24 So, when death comes to visit, he sends a procession of agents ahead of it; fear, doubt, pain, confusion; all with the intention to discourage us from believing the promise of God. I have crossed over, Hallelujah. The Bible says that death has been swallowed up. The one who paid the ransom is the one who grips me; he is the one who welcomes me home. Neither death nor life can separate us from the love of God!
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35 See, God holds us in a tight grip. The seal on the tomb, the death to his physically body could not keep him from rising. Try if you will and seal the tomb. Crucify him and kill the flesh. Try and strip him of his identity, but he knows who he is. The purposes of the Father, the plan to call us back to himself will be done. For it is not his will, but the Father's will that will be accomplished. Done; "It is finished" John 19:30. Death swallowed, our shame covered. How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1.
The International Space Center has produced an image that shows the disaster hovering over the region of the Philippines. The Lord saw the pending disaster as we disobeyed in the garden. He has made provision; he has sent the Lamb of God, born in a manger, the begotten of the Father, to redeemed us. The Son leaves the presence of the Father; he walks on earth; defiled ground if you will. He allows himself to be tortured, humiliated, beaten by the hands of sinners. He overcomes the grave, he goes back to the Father and is interceding for us; he send the Holy Spirit to remind us of all this. So, what is God saying? What shall separate us from his love? Nothing, absolutely nothing; he has us in his grip! Praise the Living God!