“What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” Romans 8:31 (CSB)
At the beginning of the year, I pick a verse that I want to purposely focus on living out. Last year I chose Philippians 2:3 and learned how selfish I really am. I want to be right and noticed, even in the areas I didn’t realize were an issure. In my own personal conviction, I got rid of Facebook so not to have avenues that focus on bragging about myself and have tried to be quieter in my opinions that aren’t necessary — “tried” is the operative word. It has been eye-opening to see how simply letting go of my own desires and, in humility, serve others impacts my walk with God and the world around me. Believe me, I still have a long way to go!
This year I chose Zephaniah 3:17, which says, “The Lord your God is among you, a warrior who saves.He will rejoice over you with gladness.He will be quiet in his love. He will delight in you with singing” (CSB). For many, this can be a hard picture to imagine. On one hand, there is a mighty warrior who saves; yet on the other, this mighty warrior rejoices in us, is quiet in His love, and delights in us. For me, it’s not too hard to think of God as being mighty, but not very often do I think of God cradling me in His arms like a big Daddy and singing a lullaby over me as He delights in my presence. God, this mighty Warrior, leans in close and whispers His love song to me.
When I fully grasp the magnitude of this picture, I want nothing more than to be the treasure that God adores and to be obedient to Him. Jason, my husband, treats me as his treasure. I can tangibly see his love for me and physically hear him as he speaks his love over me. I don’t want to take advantage of how he treats me, and I want nothing more than to be that gift. It’s the same in my relationship with God, but I have to trust in the truth of those words when He feels distant and when storms rise around me. He is close as He fights my battles.
There are many things in our lives that can seem out of our control, and raising support can be one of them. Everything in life seems to hinge on finances. We need money for shelter, food and comfort. From my own experience, I’ve seen that financial problems can be one of the greatest strains on faith. We wonder if God really cares when we quit our job to pursue ministry, and then we face not having money to buy food or don’t know where we’re going to live. Where is God in the midst of this?
Western philosophy tells us that we’re a success when we get a good education and a good job, so we can live in a big house and have all the toys we want. We’ve indoctrinated some of that same philosophy into our churches and families. So when God takes everything from us in order for us to depend solely on Him, we can begin to think that something is wrong. We’re weak because we can’t provide the right things for our family. We’re beggars, because we have to rely on others to serve us. It’s humbling because it goes against every teaching of society, and sadly, even many Christians don’t get it.
However, Zephaniah 3:17 gives us the beautiful picture of God who wants us to curl up in His arms to hear His quiet voice while He fights for us. We don’t have to fear. He’s among us, fighting for us. That’s the focus we must have in a chaotic world that’s against us. When we fully trust that picture of God’s character, we can face the struggles and trials with new hope. The economics of eternity shatters society’s mirage of stability. God’s got it.
- What areas in your life seem out of control?
- What difference does it make knowing that God is fighting for you?
- Does it change your attitude when you think of God as a mighty warrior who rejoices over you, is quiet in His love and delights in you with singing?