by Dori Cass
I have known Jesus Christ for 32 years. In those years I've accumulated a record of experiences. I have experienced answers to prayer; witnessed healing of various sorts and watched God prove to me that what he says in his word is true today!
I am one who would say...God amazes me! You cannot outdo Him! He overwhelms me! He provides and answers to the finest detail....and then some. Praise God! Look at what he has done!
So why do I doubt him? Why do I wonder? If God is so amazing and overwhelms me with his ways, why do I fight him? Why don't I trust and obey completely? Why don't I pursue him first and most?
I've wondered the same about his people Israel. When Moses arose and led God's people Israel out of slavery, his people witnessed some of the greatest revelations of God's ability. God foretold what he would do to bring his people to freedom. Ten plagues were set upon Egypt and each one came to pass just as it was foretold, proving that God is not a liar but a keeper of his word.
In the forty years the Hebrews were in the desert, God revealed himself before their very eyes! He was tangible! They saw him in a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day. God parted the red sea and they walked between two walls of water! He provided for them in sweetening bitter water, quail, manna that fell from heaven, water from a rock and rising against the Amalekites defeating them. And yet they did not trust God or obey him.
The reason they remained in the wilderness for a length of forty years was due to their attitude and unbelief. They lacked a heart of gratitude for what God had done for them and lacked faith in Gods divine providence. During those wandering years God took that time to teach them of his power. He tested their obedience giving them instructions to see if they would follow his word. And though God had shown himself to being as large as a tornado and as bright as a towering inferno by night, they were so stiff necked they refused to follow! But do not miss this. God also proved that his love for his people was more stubborn as he never abandoned them. At every stage of the journey God demonstrated his covenant love and commitment to his people.
And so I've wondered. With a visible, powerful God in their very midst, why did they doubt? Why did they refuse to accept God as all powerful? Why did they insist on doing it their way? I think most of us would agree we are all dumbfounded by this lack of faith. I have not seen God as a pillar of fire or a cloud funnel but I CAN testify to the following:
GOD IS A HEALING GOD! During a prayer service years ago I witnessed God heal a fragment of disc in my husbands back. One moment the bump was there for me to find and feel in his back and the next – gone. No more pain. God still heals today.
GOD IS THE KEEPER OF HIS WORD! A man with the gift of prophecy visited our church. God would point him to various people and this man was able to see into someone's past and future as directed by God. I was blessed to be called on and a word was given to me, He saw me surrounded by young women and that I was feeding them not with food though I would have food but with the word of God. I was stupefied at that point by this word because at that time I was involved in Boy Scouts with my son. Ten years later I joined youth staff which launched me into a special season of my life ministering one on one to a group of girls who came to my home each week. Some of those relationships remain today as I continue to speak into the lives of these now grown women. And here I am now writing for a magazine for women. God is not a liar.
GOD IS OUR PROVIDER! During what we refer to as our storm of '96 – my husband lost his job and we made just enough income to pay our rent but nothing else. In that year of drought, we ate better than we could provide for ourselves. Food arrived in miraculous ways! We had purposely not advertised our predicament because I wanted to see the very hand of God move. And it did. Bags of groceries arrived on our doorstep, in our car, through the mail even. There were desperate moments when utilities were turned off but just as quickly money arrived to turn them back on!
GOD IS SPECIFIC! During this same drought someone brought in bags of groceries and as I put them away I noticed that we had all we could need or want but interestingly enough there was no meat. We had hamburger helper with no hamburger. Odd that I noticed this until the following week when a relative from another state arrived for an overnight stay bringing with her a marine cooler full of beef. God had told her to butcher one of her cows and bring us some meat! Who but GOD could arrange such a transaction?
GOD RAISES THE DEAD! I have not witnessed life returning to a dead body but I have watched God sustain life. I have witnessed God take hold of a life that was dead and a marriage that was gone and resurrect it. I remember the overwhelming hopelessness I felt as I surveyed the land that was my marriage. A tornado of issues had devastated the landscape of my marriage and heart to the point that when I looked at my husband I felt nothing. My last hope was turning to God and relying upon him. I stayed to give it one last try. I don't quite know what happened exactly but over the course of time there was a little spark. A flicker of life. It was as though one blade of grass pushed through the devastated ground. This continued to happen over the months to follow until I found myself in love again with my husband. And there are many more testimonies I could share!
What about in your own life? Where did God meet you? What prayers has he answered for you? See I came to know many years ago that God admonishes us to remember. Remember Gods commands (Deuteronomy 6). Remember his works (1 Chronicles). Remember the days of old where God met you before ( Deut. 32). Remember the works he hath done (1 Chron. 16). People of biblical times were impressed upon to remember so much that they built altars with rocks to signify the place where God met them and answered their hearts cry! Write them on your doorposts, tie them around your wrists! REMEMBER!
And perhaps that is why we doubt. We forget how powerful God has been. We allow the reality of his power to be erased by the dominions of hell. Perhaps that is why we get so busy and why there is so much to make us busy. Perhaps that is why God allowed his people to remain in the desert for 40 years. They were there and he had their undivided attention. When the pathway is straight we continue walking...but when we trip over a rock, it halts us in our tracks! He wants our undivided attention and desires teachable hearts.
He stayed with them for 40 years humbling them and revealing to them the inner workings and striving of their human heart which always leads us away from God. Deuteronomy 8:3 says, “He humbled you causing you to hunger, then feeding you with manna which neither you nor your ancestors had known to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God!
Years and chapters later we hear Jesus reiterating what should be the cornerstone of our very life! In Matthew 4:4 – “Jesus answered, For it is written, man shall not live by bread alone but byevery word that comes from the mouth of God.” I would almost add, and by every deed ever done by God.
If we never forgot, we would never doubt God. We would never let our experiences with him lose their glory! When troubles come our way we would grab hold of our faith and point it with vigor toward the mountain in our path and cast it down. We would give him the first of our day instead of the leftovers. We would remember it is best to be sustained by God rather than to be self-sustained. We would remember we have the option between struggling to exist and living. We would remember how we need him and want him to be the center point of our life and our priorities would prove that.
We say what we believe, but we do what we value.
Lord, help us to be a people who remember your glory. Help us Father to remember your stubborn love – to remember every time you have answered our cries for help and intercession. Help our lives reflect what our spirits say...my life is in you! Help me to clear my life of the clutter! Lord help my unbelief! Give me a teachable, repentant heart O Lord! Help me to put you first and to obey every word and directive given by you. In Jesus powerful name, Amen!