Dear Church Family and Friends of Heritage,
For the last three years, I have spent time considering Providence and the need to be aware of it in our lives. I am convinced that God is the author and finisher of our faith and that our decision to cooperate with Providence as a corporate body causes our lives in God’s great scheme of things to have even greater value.
The Psalmist asked a question in chapter eleven, verse three, “If the foundations be destroyed what can the righteous do?” What are the foundations he is asking about and how can they be destroyed? Our lives, as believers are built on a sure foundation and not just fate or chance. Our lives are built on the Providence of God, and God is working in and through us to both to will and do of His own good pleasure. It would be easy for some, under the microscope of the psychological and spiritual warfare that is taking place worldwide, to question God’s Providence; but, I assure you, we belong to an unshakable kingdom which is built on an unshakable foundation.
What is Providence? God providing protective and spiritual care over mankind. The secular mindset is agnostic in its definition, in that God is thought to be just a spectator in heaven looking down, exercising no immediate control over what happens on earth. Christians, however, know that this is their Father’s world. “And we know, that for those who love God, all things work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose.” Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, concludes this with a passage the world would repudiate, “If God be for us, who can be against us.” Romans chapter 8.
“We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose (PROVIDENCE). For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren. And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being]. (PROVIDENCE). What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe if God is on our side?] He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, will He not also, with Him, freely and graciously give us all [other] things?” (PROVIDENCE).
I am convinced that in trying times people need to cling to the Word of God. It is because of this that I believe the hairs on my head are numbered. I was reminded of His providence one day when a sparrow flew in front of me as I was driving and did not live to sing another day. I also believe that all kingdoms of this earth are subordinate to His Kingdom. We have to look to the Bible to see the hand of Providence at work in the lives of the patriarchs, for instance in the life of Jacob. “It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt; but the God of your Fathers spoke to me last evening, saying, take heed that you speak not to Jacob either good or bad.” (Genesis 31:29.)
When you study the Word of God in the light of Providence, it will begin to leap off the page at you. Case in point... the first scripture is from the book of Genesis. The wicked brothers of Joseph, who had sold him into Egypt, are now in trouble in that very land. Their consciences accuse them: “And they said one to another, we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul when he besought us and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. And Reuben answered them, saying, ‘Spoke I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? Therefore, behold, also his blood is required.’ “ (Genesis 42:21, 22). This was the human side.
On the other hand listen to Joseph who was able to see things from the side of Providential governing: “I am Joseph, your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now, therefore, be not grieved or angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life, to preserve you a posterity in the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now, it was not you that sent me hither, but God. That is, you meant evil. God directed that action so as to change it into an issue that was not foreseen nor purposed by you.”
The other scripture is from the fourth chapter of Acts. These two will answer for a thousand. They equal in importance any in the Bible: “And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, ‘Lord, Thou art God, which hast made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of Thy servant, David, hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ. For of a truth, against Thy holy child Jesus, whom Thou has anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Isra- el, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done.’ ” (Acts 4:24-28.)
It is my desire to help you see your life through the un-blurred lens of providence. King David was able to do that and live to see another day. “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say: If it had not been the Lord who was on our side when men rose up against us, then they had swallowed us up quick when their wrath was kindled against us: then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul; then the proud waters had gone over our soul; blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we are escaped.” (Psalm 124:1-7).
Exodus 23:33 - Is this your testimony? If not, why not, and if not, it could be? “But, if you will indeed listen to and obey His voice and all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.” I am glad to announce what Jesus said, “Upon this rock, I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” This is our foundation and there is no other than that which is already laid, Jesus Christ the Righteous.”
It is times like these we need to hold on to God’s unchanging hand, fix our hopes on things eternal, and hold to God’s unchanging hand. HOLDING I AM HELD....I BELIEVE IN THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD WORKING IN ALL OF OUR LIVES FOR THE BENEFIT OF HIS UNSHAKABLE KINGDOM.
I BELIEVE IN YOU,
Pastor Cleddie Keith