Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rest Assured that God is Near This Year {Words of Life Wednesdays: Link-up}

{Join us below for Words of Life Wednesdays and link-up your post.
We'd love to hear how God's Word has been nourishing you.}


What if 2014 is the year? 

Really. What if? 


What if this is the last year you have here?

If this is it, how do you want to live your remaining days?


Does that make you want to live life full or tremble in fear?

We're 15 days in to 2014 and I can't seem to get that thought out of my head. I don't really mean it in a morbid kind of way, although I admit it might sound it. So let me give you a little background.

We were playing an enthusiastic game of Settlers of Catan with some friends within the first week of this year. After we all lost by the youngest player, we packed the game up and the adults sat back down at the table and stirred up conversation on life, church, family, and stuff of that sort. I don't exactly recall the topic on hand, but it was mentioned that someone knew someone who was not looking forward to this year for she was sure it would be her last. I assumed that meant she was quite young, but as it turned out she had lived a long life already.


I was a little surprised, to be honest. Before I thought, the words slipped out and I was speaking my raw opinion that if I was ever to live that long I think I should be more than glad to move on.

Then, I think of how I named my year, "With"


How many of us could say, "Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord."


So, what if 2014 was it for you?


I have a feeling many of us might fear it for there seems to be a lot of fear talk. I guess I assumed I was one of the few that struggled with fear, but from what I've been learning, if this is the year that so many are saying this is the year of no fear, then a whole lot of us must be struggling with a whole lot of fear.


An old Bible teacher of mine, then my boss, then my brother's father-in-law, is an excellent Bible teacher and preacher. He can crack the Bible open and exegete a passage like he's digging golden nuggets of truth right off the gilded page. I'll never forget how he said it when he was delivering a sermon on Jacob one Sunday morning a couple of years ago.  He preached it to make you want to plant your feet right into the truth of this: "The antidote to fear is the assurance of God's presence."


And I  keep preaching it to myself. Especially this year I've called "With'.


He is with me. I have no need to fear.


The Word who was with God, who is God, became flesh that He might dwell right among us.


I don't need to be controlled by fear, when I am assured that He is with me. When I believe this, I can be controlled by his love. When I am controlled by the love of Christ, I can live life to the fullest.


Like Jim Elliot, who was controlled by the love of God and obviously not fear. Although in his humanness, he must have known fear when faced by the Auca Indians, it was the love of God that compelled him to spread the glorious Gospel to the point of sacrificing his own life.



{If you are not familiar with the Auca Indians, take twenty minutes to be amazed at the grace of God. 
These five men were all killed on January 8th and buried 6 days later in 1956 by the Auca Indians,
who eventually came to know the love of Christ.}

{Email subscribers: follow the story here.}


We don't know what 2014 will bring. As the sun rises and sets each day perhaps you need to heed the advice of the missionary martyr: 


"Wherever you are, be all there. 
Live to the hilt of every situation you believe to be the will of God."
(J. Elliot)

We do not need to fear what may transpire this year, if we believe our Gentle Shepherd is lovingly leading us with Him. He goes before us. He is with us.

2014 is not only the year to refuse fear but to rest assured that He is near.





When death has lost its sting, what do we think we have to fear anyway?

Stop living in fear. 


Start believing He is near.



{"Pray Girls. I'm sure this is the day,"
The wives of the five missionary men that were martyred for the gospel
 by the Auca Indians poignantly share what it was like to walk on trusting. 
"He wants us to trust him."}

A Soft Gentle Voice

{Also linking with Coffee for your Heart}




14 comments:

  1. Stopping by from Jennifer Dukes Lee. I linked to your post and invite you to do the same at my link up. My post is actually similar to yours. I too have a word to represent 2014. Thanks for the link up, and glad I found your blog. :)

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    1. Thank you, Salina. I linked up—glad you came on over and joined in here.

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  2. Oh, Rebekah,
    Thank you so much for sharing the Auca Tribe story. I had never heard of them before, but I am motivated to look them up and learn more. Just more evidence that the Word of God never comes back void. He is SO good to all of His children, even these once God-less tribe, which by no fault of their own, they would have never been saved otherwise. This has inspired me to be more like these missionaries, to show God even if it means risking my own life. In my comfortable world, the biggest risk is sharing God at my workplace, and I do not fear being let go for the sake of spreading His Word. But it is very different to risk one's life. I have learned something significant today, and I have you to thank!

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    1. Yes, their story is incredible! I pray that you would be bold to share with confidence from the Lord.
      You are welcome.
      Blessings,
      Beatriz

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  3. This is such a great story! I grew up hearing about Nate Saint and Jim Elliot over and over through the years, and I've always been fascinated by it. Not just because they were killed for Christ, but because of the women that went back to the Waodani taking the children with them. I can't even fathom the depth of forgiveness and crazy, unyielding faith that would take! So inspiring, and so incredibly challenging. Thank you for sharing it -- you've reminded me to share the story with my kids again :-)

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    1. Mega,
      I too grew up with this amazing story. In fact, when I worked at a Missionary organization I was sorting through old letters when I came across a letter by Ed McCully. I am reminded of faith like Abraham's: "No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised."
      I, too showed the videos to my children. So impactful!

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  4. I love the story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, such an inspiration. I do think about that often and ask myself how would I live my life if these were my last days. It's haunting to think about isn't it?

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    1. It is worthwhile pondering, I think, to help us with perspective.

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  5. Rebekah, these same thoughts have been in my mind as of late. May we live each day fully to His glory. Thank you for sharing this. It meant more than you could know. Blessings!

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    1. I give thanks that it was a blessing. May He strengthen you to live each day to His glory.
      Because He Lives.

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  6. I linked up an older post again. I'm sensitive to making sure I link up a post that really speaks to how God's word has spoken to me since that is what your link up is. :)
    Beautiful post my friend. I love the quote you shared by J. Elliot. I think it reflects by desire to find the joy in the every day moments...to be fully present and see.
    So grateful for you.
    Beth

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for linking and joining in with verses that do indeed sustain you. I am thrilled to see you finding joy in His Word and in him and the many ways He blesses. God bless you.

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  7. I can tell I'm going to think on your word "With" and how you chose it on and off for the next couple of days. Very thought provoking for me. Thx for sharing!

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