Thursday, December 30, 2004

Power to Help

Devotional date: Dec 30, 2004 Previous
By Mark Finley, On Solid Ground, 2003, RHPA

Be strong in battle! Even so God shall make you fall before the enemy; for God has power to help and to overthrow. 2 Chron. 25:8.

Ed was a Christian, but he had a serious smoking problem. He was addicted, smoking almost two packs a day for 20 years. One day Ed asked me for help to overcome smoking. I spent time with Ed, explaining how Jesus worked miracles throughout the New Testament. We talked about people whose cases appeared hopeless but who were miraculously healed.

I finally asked Ed to bring all of his cigarettes and lay them on the floor. We knelt together, and I encouraged Ed to offer a simple prayer in faith, believing that God would deliver him. His prayer, one of the weakest I have ever heard, went something like this. "Oh, dear Jesus, I can't quit. You know I can't quit. I am so weak, Lord. Tobacco has a grip on me and I can't give it up."

I couldn't take it anymore. I shook him as he prayed. I said, "Stop praying like that!" He looked up at me and said, "Pastor, what did you say?" I said, "Don't pray anymore. you're going to be worse after you pray than you were before." He'd never heard a preacher talk to him like that before. I said, "Look, you're convincing yourself that you can't quit smoking, but Jesus says in Matthew 7:7, 8, 'Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.'"

I told Ed, "Get down on your knees and tell God, " I know I'm weak, but you're strong, God. You've got almighty power. You touched blind eyes, and they were opened. You touched deaf ears, and they were unstopped. Lord, Your power is greater than tobacco.’

"Ed, your problem is that you think tobacco is greater than Jesus, but you need to tell Jesus you believe that His power is greater. Please pray your prayer over again right now."

He bowed his head and prayed, "Dear Jesus, I'm so weak, but You're strong. you're almighty. You can deliver me, Lord. I may have a craving, but you're greater than that craving. I may want to run out and get some tobacco, but you're greater than that, Lord. Please deliver me."

Ed was delivered by the grace of God! And you too can be delivered.

Is there some habit that enslaves you? Is there some sin that keeps you in bondage? Accept God's promises by faith. Believe that He has the power to deliver you. Surrender that specific sin to Jesus. Claim victory over it in Jesus’ all-powerful name and expect a miracle.

You can become a new you this new year, for God will find some way to deliver you from your enslaving habits.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Where are you going?

"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid:
for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; He also has
become my salvation." Isaiah 12:2

Two year old Max was securely buckled in his seat in Grandpa's
pickup truck. He was waiting for Dad and Grandpa to stop talking
so he could go for a ride. His mother poked her head in the
truck and said, "Where are you going, Max?" "Not know," he replied,
raising his little arms.
"What are you going to do?" she asked. "Not know," came the
answer again. "Well," she asked, "do you want to come back in the
house with me?"
"No!" came the quick reply as he settled himself more firmly,
waiting to begin his adventure.
Sometimes we don't know what lies ahead and there maybe some
uncertainty on how we should proceed. Little Max didn't know where
he was going or what he was going to do, but he trusted his
Grandpa and Dad completely. Max's confidence in Grandpa is the
kind of trust we need to have in our heavenly Father.
If you are in one of those periods of life when you don't know
what lies ahead, or you don't know what to do about some critical
issue, it might help to think about it that way. God wants you to
have the confidence in Him to say, like the prophet Isaiah, "I
will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord JEHOVAH is my


"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee:
because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever: for
the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength." Isaiah 26:3-4