Are You On God's Timetable?

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"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging" (Ps. 46:1-3).

We should begin every day by reminding ourselves of this "never" word from God. We will not fear, no matter how bad the news or how dire the world may seem, since God is still in control.

To live in fear is as much a disobedience to God as stealing or lying. The same God who said not to covet also declared that we are never to fear.

God can not only protect us from danger but also rescue us from the nagging fear of what might happen to us. That kind of anxiety creates spiritual chaos in us, robbing us of joy and peace.

Break through into a new confidence in God that dethrones fear and keeps it from ruling our lives. As we walk by faith and not by sight, we can rest in the words of Jesus, "'Don't be afraid; just believe'" (Mark 5:36).

FOLLOWING DIVINE DIRECTIONS While making it clear that we must never be afraid, Moses conveyed another of God's imperatives to the people: "'Stand firm and you will see the deliverance [of] the Lord'" (Ex. 14:13).

God's people must always stand firm in faith no matter what happens around them. The basic truth of salvation is that "'the righteous will live by faith'" (Gal. 3:11).

This same faith should characterize our daily life in Christ. Faith brings stability in times of uncertainty while unbelief causes vacillation.

Always walk by faith in the Lord and be courageous in God. "Trying harder" to do the right thing is not what's needed. Instead, we must have faith in what God can and will do for us.

When the Israelites were pinned between the Red Sea and Pharaoh's army, God said to stand firm in faith (see Ex. 14:13). Pharaoh's chariots came thundering down on a people who had absolutely no military experience, yet God said to trust Him to handle the situation.

This "always" word from God was written for our instruction and encouragement today as we face a post-9/11 world filled with nuclear and biological terror. We must stand firm, be strong in the Lord, and face the future with courage.

Consider the alternative: "'If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all'" (Is. 7:9). If your trust in God falters, you are flirting with disaster.

No matter what or who threatens us, we must seek the face of God and look to Him in faith. Don't lose your confidence when others who once clung to Christ fall away. If we shrink back in unbelief, God will not be pleased with us (see Heb. 10:38).

Backed up against the sea with the enemy pursuing, Moses gave an unusual command: "'The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still'" (Ex. 14:14). That day, God's people had to let Him do the work while quietly observing His hand of power.

When it comes to being led by the Lord, there are no simple formulas that apply to every situation. We need to learn to follow God's leading day by day.

When Moses directed the Israelites to stand still and observe the power of God, he was not laying down a principle to be obeyed in all situations. In fact, in the centuries that followed, it was the armies of Israel that God used to overcome the enemies who threatened His people.

In the same way that God instructed Moses to direct the people to stand still, the Spirit of God is able to lead us in every new situation we face. Such cases do not call for simple commands but subtler directions that only the Spirit can impart (see Acts 16:6-10).

Without being Spirit-led, we cannot possibly live victoriously for Christ. Breakthrough timing is all about knowing the exact will of God at a given moment.

God has sent the Holy Spirit to guide our steps in the paths He has marked out for us. We are not talking about resolving moral questions, but about making important decisions at life's crossroads.

GOD WILL UNFOLD HIS PLAN In the case of the Israelites, each new battle meant discovering what God's strategy for them might be. The Lord's direction for them at the Red Sea was His plan for victory at that particular time; the battle for Jericho would yield a different military strategy.

It is the same for us today. God the Holy Spirit will show us the best path to follow if we are willing to be led by Him.

Nothing produces spiritual results like being led by the Spirit. Sometimes even the best of activities must come to a halt at the command of God so a critical deed can be accomplished.

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