Monday, February 22, 2016

Strongholds of God

"I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, and I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations,”  (Isaiah 42:6)
When life takes an unexpected turn where do you go to find help?  When the woes of family, marriage, children, friends, enemies, finances and life in general pound at your hearts door, where do you go?  Is there a place where you and I can run to in troubled times?  Is there a shelter from the storms of life that will hold and protect us? 
Through the voice of Nahum the prophet we hear our God calling to us, "The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him." Nahum 1:7
What is a Stronghold?
Stronghold: (1) A fortified place or a fortress. (2) A place of survival or refuge.  God is our stronghold!  He is that place of shelter and rest we seek in times of trouble.  He is our place of refuge and survival.  He is our God!
We are fully aware as believers that are not immune from the hardships and trying times of life.  We are assured that, as Christians, following Christ will bring some troubling times.  There is no exemption status for hurting and suffering in this life.  We all face it. That is why we need the stronghold of God!  That's why we sing "In times like these you need a Savior."
A young child will wander a short distance from a parent, as long as they can still see their parent.  Keeping the parent within the range of their vision makes them feel safe and secure.  They will glance back over their shoulder to make sure the parent is still watching them and as long as they can still see them, it gives the child the security to go further.
God has provided for each of His children strongholds that will keep and hold us in our day of trouble.  Some of the strongholds I speak of are those of the Word ... Love ... Prayer ... Praise... Thanksgiving … and Forgiveness.  Resting in these strongholds as we face the storms life brings will not only help us to endure but cause us to flourish in our God.
The apostle Paul speaks of our stronghold in God.  We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  2 Corinthians 4:8-11 
God is Watching Us - Can you guide with your eyes?  If you think the answer is no, then just watch a mother from the choir loft communicating with her child in the congregation.  The child may glance away to try to avoid the mother’s eyes, but they will look back to see if she is still watching.  With only her eyes the mother can command a great number of actions or messages.
The first stronghold we need to rest in is the "Watchfulness of God."  A song made popular by Bette Midler reminds us... "God is watching us, God is watching us, God is watching us from a distance."  And the old familiar gospel song also reminds us ... "His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me."  Job proclaims that it is God who carefully watches all his paths. (Job 33:11b)  The Psalmist reminds us that the LORD watches over the strangers, fatherless, widows, you and me.  Yes God is watching us.
Scripture to Claim:

The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.
 Psalms 34:15 

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