Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

God's Intervention in Our Lives

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"'Man shall not live by bread alone, but every word proceeds from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4:4).

It is amazing to listen to many preachers on the radio or the television with false teachings such as speak believing in our Lord Jesus Christ means God will grant you wealth and prosperity in your life and protect you from diseases and tribulation but not believe or having doubt will result in a great curse following you.

In that they pick and choose verses from the Holy Bible that are agreeable with their teachings and misuse them for their own purpose. And they greatly emphasize the idea of prosperity that may be attracting many people who are desperate in their needs, looking for a survival plan, or looking to win the lottery.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:33-34).

Unfortunately, that is not the God we know and we love. Our God does not say follow me and I will make you a millionaire or your life will be free of pain and suffering, on the contrary our Lord Jesus Christ said in John 15:18, "If the world hate you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you." He did not call us His children to give us material blessings or benefits. If that was true people will be lining up to be Christians for the wealth and the benefits. But He only does it out of His love and grace for us.

As Christians we need to realize the wonderful things that God has done for us in order to obtain Salvation and have a chance for eternal life. And to know that bad things can happen to good people and suffering is part of living on earth and facing every day challenges.

Never settle for what you hear on television or listen on the radio but we need to arm ourselves with better understanding and knowledge about God’s ways and plans for us by reading His words and meditating on them and putting them to use.

"If you walk in My statues and keep My commandments, and perform them, then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruits" (Leviticus 26:3-4).

Life is full of battles and we all have to face them every single day. Some battles are healthy such as struggling with responsibilities, children’s schedules, career, etc. while others can be trials and tribulations due to illness, loss of some one, sin, etc.

One of the most wonderful stories in the Old Testament that I never cease to read over and over with joy is the Destruction of Jericho (Joshua chapter 6) and how despite of all odds that the wall was so impossible to bring down, attacking it simply would not be successful, and no logical human explanation to God’s plan. Miracles can happen. How?

God’s intervention...

"And the Lord said to Joshua: 'See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and mighty man of valor.

  • You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days.
  • And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams horns before the Ark.
  • But seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.
  • Then shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; Then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.'" (Joshua 6:2-5).

Here I wonder...

  • In Deuteronomy 10:16 - God called the Israelites stiff-necked people but we see that they obeyed God’s plan without any hesitation; no second plan.

  • How is our faith today? Are we able to follow direction without rushing to state our own? Would that make any sense?

  • Do we allow God to knock down a wall in our life? Or we are very stubborn?

What do we learn....

  • The Lord asked them first to be silent. If we can imagine millions of people and children walking around the wall in silence and wonder the meaning behind that, for when we silence ourselves before the Lord it allows us to hear His guidance through His Holy Spirit in us:
    • "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).
    • "Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God" (Ecclesiastes 5:2).
  • Joshua gave his instruction one day at a time to his people. And after first, second, third, fourth days had passed and nothing happened, I can imagine the Canaanites started looking down on the Israelite and making fun of them or may be saying harsh remarks. It would be so hard for a proud heart to be part of God’s followers (God bless them!).

  • God instructed them to march for seven days. Why? To teach us an important lesson that unless we practice our own struggle over and over and unless we continue to constantly obey, in spite of the outcome, we will not see success.

  • "By Faith the wall of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days" (Hebrews 11:30). In order for God to intervene in our lives and every day struggle to knock a wall down, we have to take steps of faith and trust and be willing to change our attitude, our stubbornness, and our behavior and become more perceptive to Him.

God is telling us....

  • Have faith in me: put God first and then victory will happen; God’s way

  • Show perseverance: do your part, for God is fully able to work without us but He loves to put our faith into practice

  • Show complete obedience: that allows us to demonstrate significant evidence of obedience to God and His word with no question asked and that required consistent, persistent obedience

Finally, the moment we start to give up control of the thing we did not have any control of from the beginning anyway and become one with our Creator is the moment we are ready to become real Christians and real children of God.

Written by
Nagwa Abdou

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