Apples of Gold

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He will not fail thee

And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee, fear not, neither be dismayed.í

Deuteronomy 31:8

No matter what I may be feeling like, no matter my condition, these words have an impact upon my soul. They are words that I need to hear time and time again. Often when I have found myself Ďclingingí on, I have been greatly encouraged through these words. They have also provided a great blessing whenever I have attempted something new or have been travelling.

The borders of the new land were on the horizon. New challenges and a land of plenty lay before the children of Israel. For forty long and arduous years they had traversed the desert places. Godís promise was always before them, now it was time to inherit. The time of Godís favour, yea the set time had come.

We may wait long for promises to be fulfilled, and waiting is never easy. In fact it is probably the hardest task a Christian can be called to. It can be a very testing time. Long days and even longer nights often allow the mind and heart to wander. Thoughts of being forsaken, forgotten or even mistaken race through the mind. The Lord often seems to hide His face at such times, thus leaving us fearful and fretting.

Some may spend their days moaning and groaning to others. It helps get things off their chests - but what good does it do? Hearing a colleague moaning and complaining all day long is tedious and it is not a good witness. Wait on in silent hope my friend.

If we all remained in Primary School then we would make little advance in our education. Our learning would be stunted and we would remain as children in adult frames. So it is that faith, if it is left without hindrance or without testing will remain stunted and weak. When the time of testing comes it will crumble.

God does not want His church on earth to be weak, helpless and crumbling, though in many senses we are. He wants us to be strong in the graces He showers upon us. Every muscle in our body requires movement or exercise from time to time, for otherwise it will wither. Faith is no different. It may be a spiritual muscle but it requires exercise to become strong and useful.

It is just at times of severe testing that faith shows its true worth. When all around us may be collapsing in a heap of utter despair; faith, hope and love can lift our souls to view the horizon of light that lies beyond our present predicament.

The thought of a new challenge and new experiences can be daunting. If we travel our path by sight then it will not be long ere mountains rise up before us. But the just shall live by faith and faith must be exercised daily in order to make progress.

Joshua may have been shaking in his boots as he contemplated the task set before him. Moses had been a fine leader, so how was he going to fill the great manís boots? But each person has their own part to play, and it does not really matter what this man or woman has done in the past. Our Lord says to us, 'what is that to thee? Follow thou me.' If a duty or responsibility falls upon us then we must do it to the best of our ability. We are judged by God not by menís selfish standards.

It is all too easy for us to see the talents that other people possess. They are often talents that would make us believe that they were born for their present task. I find it very difficult - nay impossible to think of myself as talented in any way. In fact, there are many that I used to envy, but I don't envy them anymore. I am what I am, where I am and by Godís choosing, not mine.

Yes, I admit, I have fought against Him all of the way, yet such was His love for me that He never once gave up on me. I am fully persuaded that writing this post is exactly what the Lord wants me to be doing at this present time.

Satan has made mincemeat out of me on many an occasion. I had a greater fear of doing wrong than I had of doing right. I hope that makes sense - it shackled me in an unhealthy fear for days on end. It all boiled down to lack of trust and weak faith.

We learn by our mistakes and we also learn from those who have gone before us. Joshua was no different. He had walked side by side with his mentor throughout their wilderness trail, seeing the good as well as the not-so-good sides of Moses.

Joshua was not Moses!

We are not someone else. Joshua was different and so are we. What remains constant is God.

Joshua may have looked at his inadequacies and shrunk at the prospect of leading such a vast number into a new territory. We may also shrink from the task that faces us, thinking that it is beyond our capabilities. It is!

But, my friend does God ask you to do something that He does not think you well able to do?

It is time to trust Him.

If Joshua were to go forward in his own strength he would fail miserably. If we go forward in our own strength then we also shall fall flat on our faces. God knows our frame. He knows our fears and our anxieties and that is exactly why He had these words written. They were written for someone just like you. They were written for you!

You may be looking to God for great things to happen in your life. I rejoice with you, but I give you a little advice on such matters: try and find your God in the little things first. Try and find your God in all that happens to you today, in every little detail from a phone call to a knock at the door, to a chance meeting in the street, to a flippant remark, to a childís smile, to a gift received yea even to your next breath.

If you are able to find God in the little things then it will not be long before all these little things add up and become a mountain of myrrh to your soul. My friends look again at these words and see the enormity of the love that God has especially for you as you begin to realize that these particular words were written with you in mind.


Author: Iain Mackenzie  Edited by: Pastor Al Moak