The writer of Psalm 103:1-5 stated, “Bless the LORD, 0 my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, 0 my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crown-eth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
By Rufus M. Parker
Often, when we begin on a new journey, it seems as though everything is going to be all right and go all right for us, but then a storm hits. Like the four lepers in II Kings 7, we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place. “They said one to another, Why sit we here until we die? If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die. And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there” (II Kings 7:3-5). When they made a move, God also moved for them. Sometimes God is just waiting to see what we are going to do with the promises He has given unto us. Scripture says, “When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do” (John 6:5-6). Jesus already knows what He’s going to do; He’s just waiting to see what we are going to do. While everyone in the city from the king to the people had lost their hope, the lepers saw another option. Isn’t it amazing how God works on behalf of those who do not lose their faith? Just an encouraging word to someone can cause them to gain strength to continue on. But notice the lepers first entered into an agreement. There is always strength in unity. If you want God to work on your behalf, keep the unity. I believe the reason the United Pentecostal Church International has been so blessed by the Lord is because the first word in our title is “United.” “U”-n-I together edifying and evangelizing, while discipling and developing men and women for the kingdom of God.
Elijah, after a showdown with the 450 false prophets of Baal, proved that God was mighty. However, as soon as Jezebel said she was going to kill him, he allowed his location and his situation to affect his consecration to God, and he asked to die. How is it that we can see the hand of God operating in the big things but not in the little? The children of Israel allowed their location to affect their consecration to God when they were in the wilderness. You see, when you are in the wilderness, everything looks dim and barren. Moses told the children of Israel that they were in the wilderness because God wanted to humble them, prove them, to see what was in their hearts, to let them know that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, and as a father chastens his children so God chastened them (Deuteronomy 8:2-5). If the children of Israel had just maintained their focus, they would have been all right. But they allowed a few rebels to discourage them and turn their hearts away from God. You cannot allow others to affect your consecration to God. Job did not allow his situation to affect his consecration to God. If anybody had a right to walk away and not worship God, it was Job. He did not let the situation affect him.