Listen to the great testimony of King David: "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; the God of my rock; in him will I trust" (2 Samuel 22:2).
The Hebrew word for "deliver" here suggests, "He rescued me out of swirling, swift waters when I was about to be carried away." David gives us a picture of a man about to be drowned -- and a hand reaches down and rescues him: "He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters" (verse 17).
Israels king described the problems of life as a current of swift water -- water meant by the enemy to sweep him under and carry him away in its powerful stream. David also described his troubles as if he were trapped in a mire, or mud, in which he was sinking.
He prayed: "Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me...."
"Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters" (Psalm 69: 1-3, 14).
I believe we today are living amid such troubles as David described! They are the fulfillment of a prophecy given in Revelation 12:17: "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
Satan is waging a war against the church in these last days -- and he is opening up the fountains of hell! His final weapon against us is a diabolic flood of troubles -- an on-rushing tidal wave of problems and overwhelming difficulties: "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood" (verse 15).
Never before has mankind seen such devastating floods! In the past year one of the mightiest empires in all of history -- one that threatened our countrys existence -- died before our very eyes. The Soviet Union fell -- without a shot being fired!
World changes are accelerating so fast no one can comprehend it all:
- Gorbachev was shoved out of office almost before he could resign. When the fallen Soviet leader went to clean out his desk, Yeltsin had already moved in!
- The Communist ruler of the Soviet Republic of Georgia suddenly was held up in a government building under siege.
- Civil wars have broken out all around. Yugoslavia is torn in two, with thousands being killed.
- The two Koreas -- divided for so long -- now talk about uniting!
- The United States is beginning trade relations with Viet Nam -- after so many of our soldiers died there!
- Millions are fleeing their homelands, seeking asylum, food, shelter and safety. Germany especially is being overrun with refugees. And homeless people sleep on the streets of London and Brussels, just like in New York. Yet they thought it could never happen in Europe!
Satan is creating havoc in this world as never before. But the Bible also makes it clear that it is God who is smiting the nations! A sword has gone out of His mouth, and He is judging cities and countries. He has torn down the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall, and soon Hell tear down Asias Bamboo Curtain as well.
Already, Cubans in Miami have set up a government-in-exile, awaiting Castros fall. Christian leaders foresee a great revival sweeping that country.
And right now, nearly all the republics of the former Soviet Union are throwing their doors wide open to God! Prisons, schools, radio and television are all open to the gospel. Russian leaders are begging for former drug addicts and alcoholics to come and preach Christ. These people are so hungry theyre making preachers out of any tourist who can share Jesus.
Yet while Russias doors are now open to God, America is taking further steps to push God completely out of our society!
America Is Sinking In A Mire!
Who would have believed our President would go to Japan to beg for help out of the economic mud slide were in? The current recession is unlike any of the past.
Recently, a newspaper in Elizabeth, New Jersey -- one of the oldest in America -- closed its doors. It had weathered over 200 years of recession, depression, turmoil, civil and world wars. But it could not survive what is happening now!
Beloved, America is under a dual outpouring! Our nation is under the judgment of an offended God -- and the church is drowning in a flood of troubles sent by a mad devil!
While God is judging Americas sins, Satan is pouring forth a torrent of problems, troubles and tribulations such as weve never experienced. He has turned hell upside down, like a boiling pot of filth, and is pouring it out upon our society.
Many teenagers have lost every trace of morality. They blaspheme, spewing out filthy language, vile curses and talk of violence. They have sex like alley cats and dogs. One report says over half of all high-school students are involved in pre-marital sex. And all the while, godless liberals applaud their wicked ways, passing out condoms -- and denying everything that is holy and speaks of God!
The devil has created a climate of overwhelming fear, unrest, darkness and foreboding. He wants to weary the saints and carry them away with his flood. Thats why we need to know God as our Deliverer! We need to be rescued by Him -- and we need it now. It cant wait!
Few of God's People, Now Or In The Past,
Have Trusted God As Their Deliverer.
David said of the godly man, "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord" (Psalm 112:7). Israel certainly never fixed their trust on God as their Deliverer. Just three days after God opened the Red Sea, Israel forgot about their miraculous deliverance when they began to thirst in the wilderness. Trusting turned to complaining!
Nevertheless, by many such deliverances, God brought His people through the horrible wilderness to the very brink of the Promised Land. Moses told them, "Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it... fear not, neither be discouraged" (Deuteronomy 1:21).
Yet in spite of all their great deliverances and victories, Israel refused to have a settled confidence in God. They said, "Why go in? Its hopeless. God brought us out here to be destroyed by our enemies!"
"Ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord... ye murmured... and said, Because the Lord hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us" (Deuteronomy 1:26-28).
But Moses cried out to them: "Dread not, neither be afraid of them. The Lord your God... shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes" (verses 29-30).
Moses reminded them that in every trial God had shown Himself to be their Deliverer. He had protected them from the plagues... brought them through the desert furnace... opened up the sea for them to walk through... led them by fire and a pillar of smoke... and given them food from the sky and water from a rock! And now, in this new crisis, they needed only to trust Him:
"In the wilderness... thou has seen how that the Lord thy God bear thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place" (verse 31).
Moses said, "Right up to this moment, God has never once failed you. Why wont you trust Him to deliver you? How many miracles must He perform before youll trust Him in your next crisis?"
As you read of Israels experience, you may wonder, "How can they suddenly doubt Him and complain, after all theyd seen?"
But ask yourself: Dont we react in the same way as Israel did? Indeed, we are no different! In fact, our sin is worse, because we have their example, plus centuries more of testimonies and a great cloud of witnesses. Moses could stand before the church today and say to us as well, "Yet in this thing ye did not believe the Lord your God, who went in the way before you" (verse 32).
Dear saint, in the trial youre going through right now, would Moses say of you, "Youve known Gods deliverances. Youve seen His power at work. Yet in your present trial you dont trust Him or see Him -- you dont believe in Him as your Deliverer!"
God Does Not Take Lightly Our Unwillingness
To Trust Him As Our Deliverer!
You may say, "God knows my weakness. He understands why I complain a little." But the Bible says this:
"And the Lord heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying, Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers, save Caleb... (and) Joshua" (verses 34-36, 38). Then God turned to the people and said, "Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies" (verse 42). God says, "If you will not trust Me as your Deliverer -- with your future, your family and all that concerns you -- then dont walk with Me another step! Your doubt and fear are an affront to Me, and I will not put up with it. Now, go your own way -- youre on your own. And dont even try to fight your enemies, because they will overwhelm you."
This is why many Christians go from one defeat to another. The enemy has the upper hand in their lives and homes, because they do not really trust God -- they dont know Him as Deliverer!
Does this describe you? Do you complain constantly? Do you worry night and day? Like the Israelites, do you say, "I have a right to be discouraged, because the future looks so hopeless!"
Such unbelief angers God -- and it opens the door to every enemy in hell! Listen to the horrible end of unbelievers:
"For indeed the hand of the Lord was against them, to destroy them from among the host, until they were consumed. So it came to pass, (that) all the men of war were consumed and dead from among the people" (Deuteronomy 2:15-18). God sent these unbelievers back into the wilderness -- until eventually they all died off!
You may say, "What kind of God are you talking about -- One who walks away from a people who wont believe Him? Thats Old Testament law. God is not that hard on doubters under grace."
Not true! The fact is, God cannot do anything for us, among us or with us if we will not trust Him. Trusting Him is the only way we can allow Him to be to us all that He says He is.
This is straight from the New Testament. The writer of Hebrews draws on this very experience of Moses and Israel:
"Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as... in the wilderness... I was grieved with that generation....) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God" (Hebrews 3:7-12).
Gods Word is clear:
Unbelief is a departure from God! Paul isnt talking about drug addiction or alcoholism -- Hes talking about unbelief! God says, "You depart from Me and become evil when you allow unbelief to control your mind and spirit!"
Hebrews proclaims Gods warning: "So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left to us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it (Hebrews 3:19, 4:1).
Paul offers another warning, using the same Old Testament example: "Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1 Corinthians 10:10-11).
I cant soften what the Word makes so clear: "Saints and brethren, in this day of grace -- beware, lest you develop an evil heart of unbelief! You no longer appropriate God as your Deliverer. When youre in trouble, you turn to others for help -- you try to dig yourself out of your problems. But you end up sinking deeper into the mire!"
Perhaps as you read this, you realize you are no better in your faith than the worst sinner -- because your unbelief is exposed by your fear, anxiety and restlessness. Beloved, the evidence of complete trust is soul peace, bodily rest and sweet joy!
Trusting God For Deliverance Is
The Missing Ingredient In Worship.
Lately during our church services, the Spirit has urged me to offer up this heartcry: "Oh God, lead us into pure worship that is pleasing to You. Show us what true worship is -- not just what man says it is. Bring forth a pure, holy worship in Your church!
The Lord answered me by speaking this truth to my heart: "There can be no true worship without trusting Me as Deliverer!"
Indeed, this is the missing ingredient in all worship. Worship is not full and pleasing to the Lord if we praise Him only with our lips and mouth. We may lift our hands, weep with desire and raise our voices in thanksgiving. Yet this means nothing to God if we walk out of His house and face the world trembling and fearful!
How is that some Christians go through life always joyful, even in trials? They never appear troubled. They never complain. Instead, they are happy and restful in spite of any sufferings in their life. Are they naive? Are they just good-natured or optimistic? Not at all! Joshua and Caleb lived that way!
You may know a Christian who goes about his job at rest in his soul. He doesnt have his Bible open all the time; he doesnt always praise God aloud. Yet he has more influence on the people around him than anyone. It is because in his heart, he is worshipping God. He is at rest because he has committed all to his Father -- and he trusts wholly in Him.
Scripture says when a great army came against Jehoshaphat, he "fell before the Lord, worshipping the Lord" (2 Chronicles 20:18). Yet falling down isnt what made Jehoshaphat a worshiper. Rather, it was something settled in his heart: He had committed himself to believing God as Israels Deliverer!
Jehoshaphat said, "In the natural, we have no chance against this enemy. But I believe God for our deliverance! I trust You, O God!"
"Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God" (verse 20).
"He Delivered Me, Because He Delighted In Me"
"In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God.... He delivered me, because he delighted in me" (2 Samuel 22:7, 20).
Davids words hit me hard. The meaning in this verse is: "God takes great delight in rescuing me. It gives Him great pleasure when I trust Him to pull me out of the mire!"
Many Christians try to please God by doing everything their own way. They take pride in doing without, or in not doing certain things. They get caught in a legalistic bondage -- believing if they just pray so many hours or read so many Scriptures, God will be pleased with them. They set standards for themselves that arent even Scriptural. And when they dont reach them, they become discouraged and say, "Whats the use?"
Beloved, you are Gods child -- He loves you! And if youve given Christ your heart and trust fully in Him, then He delights in you! "Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent" (John 6:29).
There is happiness for those who have cast all their care upon the Lord: "Who so trusteth in the Lord, happy is he" (Proverbs 16:20). You should have a happy, joyful abandonment in your worship. And this comes only from a settled knowledge that your trust puts into motion all of Gods delivering power!
As you read this, do you really believe God is delighting in you? that you bring joy to His heart? Settle it now, once and for all: He loves you!
The Time Has Come For You To Be Delivered
From The Sin That So Easily Besets You!
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1).
This is your year to be delivered from that sin! Im not talking about a New Years resolution. Im talking about getting serious about the one thing in your life that never gets dealt with.
What keeps coming up, year after year? You love God, but something keeps hounding you, and you know it stands in the way of your walk with the Lord.
Do you have an uncontrollable temper? Does a spirit of anger come upon you? Do you turn red and begin to curse -- you, a born-again Christian? Do you spew forth words of hate, venom and bitterness -- or, God forbid -- you strike at your husband or wife, or even you children?
Beloved, it is not just your flesh that drives you to strike or rail. No -- it is a spirit straight out of the pits of hell: "Wrath is fierce, and anger is a flood" (Proverbs 27:4, NAS).
This is a demonic spirit that keeps coming back! You may do well for a month or two. Your family may forgive you and think everythings okay. Then, suddenly, this thing comes back upon you because youve let down the standard!
Perhaps youre not seeking God -- youre into pornography or your TV, opening up to your mind a flood of filth. The enemy sees this -- and he sweeps you up in a flood of anger! Suddenly youre out of control. When its over, youre sorry -- but youre still smitten!"
Jesus says a person "smites" because he does not believe the Lord is coming soon to judge: "If that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow servants... the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he lookest not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 24:48-51).
You must hear what Jesus prophesies:
You have lost your expectation of His coming! You are in terrible danger -- for Jesus Himself promises that you have an appointed date with tragedy! The Lord will say, "Hypocrite! You sit in My presence and say you love Me -- yet you allow this spirit to continue to rule you. You wont deal with it!"
Dear saint, this is your year for deliverance! It is your day, your very hour for deliverance! All you have to do is acknowledge your sin and say, "Yes, thats me! I humble myself before You, O God. I hate it -- I despise it. God, deliver me!"
But perhaps your struggle is not with anger. Rather, youre plagued by a spirit of jealousy.
"Who is able to stand against envy?" (Proverbs 27:4). Jealousy in a believer, especially in a Christian marriage, is one of the most tragic, life-destroying sins of all. God calls jealousy a "rage" (Proverbs 6:34). This means "a disease of madness," an uncontrollable inner storm.
"Jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement (deadly) flame" (Song of Solomon 8:6). God says if youre a jealous person, then you are cruel -- and you have a "deadly flame" that will kill your relationships!
Jealousy is never "love on the defense" or "love offered." Scripture says love "is not jealous" (1 Corinthians 13:4, NAS). No -- jealousy is the opposite of trust. It is a disease out of hell, one that Satan himself has. James says, "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work" (James 3:16).
Jealousy makes you ugly and mean-spirited. Worst of all, it is not dealt with -- if you do not trust God to pluck it out by the roots and deliver you -- it will give birth to the very thing it fears: fornification, adultery, lust!
The Bible says: "Envy (is) the rottenness of the bones" (Proverbs 14:30). Jealousy is a hidden rot of passion in the depth of your being. And because you know your own heart, you accuse others of what you know youre capable of. Jealousy really reveals this: "I dont trust myself!"
You cannot be delivered from jealousy until you recognize it for the horrible sin it is! Paul says those who were turned over to reprobate minds were "full of envy" (Romans 1:29). If this sin isnt dealt a deadly blow, it will open your heart to all kinds of demonic activity! Youve got to confess, "Yes, thats true of me. But I believe my God is a deliverer. He can deliver me!
How do you settle the matter? First, God has not called us to put our trust in people. Instead, we are to trust Christ in one another! Dont put your trust in your husband and wife -- but instead, trust Jesus in them. Jesus would say, "If I cant keep him or her, what chance do you have? Commit them to Me!"
There is One Final Besetting Sin I Wish
to Share With You: Financial Fear!
If "fear hath torment," then this is one of the most tormenting fears in the world today. So many "what ifs" face us all: "What if I lose my job? my apartment? What if I cant pay the bills? What will we eat? How will we be clothed? Where will we live?
Jesus said, "Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?... For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:31-33).
Consider this scenario:
About one million men -- along with two million women, children and grandparents -- are left in a dry, desolate wilderness. There is no supermarket within a hundred miles.
Babies are hungry, children are crying, grandparents are weak. There is nothing but sand, sun and wind all around them -- nothing at all to support them!
Was Moses crazy when he led Israel into such a wilderness? Thats what Pharaoh had to be thinking. But did God fail Israel? No! He delivered them by miracles! Miracle angel food... miracle water... miracle guidance... miracle protection!
Beloved, God isnt limited by what happens on Wall Street. He looks only at our heart. And Hes saying, "Do you believe Im your Deliverer -- that I can set you free and see you through?
It doesnt matter if the whole economy caves in. God promises, "youre not going to beg for bread." If He has to cause a potato truck to break down in front of your house, He will provide for you!
Do you believe He is your Deliverer? Is there something you need to be delivered of today, this very moment? Then say this right now: "I commit myself to appropriate God as my Deliverer. I dont want just the doctrine of it. I want the practice of it, the experience of it!"
This is the year God wants to raise up a holy remnant who refuse to worry or fret -- who will thrust their entire future into Gods hands!
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