Just the Facts, Ma’am?

Hebrews 13:5 NIV   . . . because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Haven’t I heard this forever?  Haven’t I said it over and over again – to myself and to others?  Only now am I beginning to grasp the fullness of the promise in these few words.  Only now do I sense the power in my Daddy’s words to me – and to you.  Of all things, it was the line, “Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts,” from the old Dragnet TV show that opened my eyes wider.

This line was used on the show by the investigators when questioning some emotional female following a crime.  Predictably, she would provide way more information about people, events, and feelings than was needed, and the professionals had to corral her ramblings by calling for just the facts.

This phrase came back to me in prayer, and I saw this as a major ploy of our enemy.  He pushes believers in Christ Jesus to focus on and speak about only the facts of our current situation.  The tougher the situation, the easier it is to do.  Let’s face it.  Some of the facts can be pretty overpowering and all-consuming, whether it’s pain, disease, lack of money, heartache, overwhelming fear, broken relationships, etc.  The bigger the issue(s), and the more time they require in our day, the more likely we are to speak only the facts – those natural things we see, hear, and feel.

These are the times, however, it is absolutely vital to choose what God says instead.  It is Truth.  God and His Truth supersede any fact we will ever face.  For instance, the verse from Hebrews 13 is an all-encompassing promise from our Abba Daddy – good for any situation and circumstance we face.  Simply, He has promised never to leave or forsake us.  It’s not maybe and it’s not for someday.  It’s an ongoing promise for us who are in Christ.  Now.  And tomorrow.  And every tomorrow to come.

This promise is not given by a human who is prone to break promises.  This is from God: El Shaddai, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Shalom, Emmanuel . . .  He, the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent One, has declared (and He will not lie!) that He will never leave or forsake us.  Will all our troubles disappear when we understand?  No.  But the more we grasp His Truth – beyond all the natural facts – the less power the troubles wield in our lives.

It’s time for us to receive the simplicity and the fullness of our wonderful Father’s promise to us and to declare, “Just the Truth.  Just the Truth.”

The passage in the Amplified version brings out Daddy’s promise even more clearly.  Underlined portions are for emphasis.

Hebrews 13:5 AMP   Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]  [Josh 1:5.] 

God is Working in My Heart

When I wrote the last post, I had no idea there would be a part 2, but here it is, only a few days later.  The fear that I was so relieved to step away from last week, when the Lord made it so clear that He is working in the midst of this economic crisis, had returned.  With every news announcement and so many personal conversations, I was becoming increasingly more anxious about what is happening.  This time, it seemed like it was much more personal, while before the fear was more for the nation as a whole.  Much as I tried to remind myself of what He had shown me last week, I wasn’t staying above the fears.  Enter the wonderful Holy Spirit!

As I sat down to read the Bible, I was led to Hebrews 12, and continued through chapter 13, as well.  When I came to 13:5, I knew why He had me in this passage.  ”Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support.  [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)!  [Assuredly not!]”  My first response was, “Wow!”  Obviously, the Lord didn’t think we would get it with just a single statement of His promise of provision, so He declared it repeatedly and in various ways so that we might actually believe Him.  My faith needed more than just reading it silently would do, so I declared this Word out loud for myself and my family.  (Romans 10:17)

Then the real work began.  The Lord pointed out the beginning of the verse, highlighting in my heart the part about being free from the love of money and being satisfied with what I have now.  This tied right in to the verse from Matthew 6 where Jesus said we cannot serve God and mammon.  I have been so quick to declare the Lord is my Provider, and the Lord is my Source – and He is.  But I’ve done that with such assurance, not because of His Word of promise, but because we had some money saved.  I was deceived into thinking that my trust was in the Lord, when it was really in the bank and the investment firms, and wall street, etc.  Somehow, once the provision from God has come into our possession, my trust moved over to the provision, rather than remaining with the Provider.  It was easy to stay in this deception, declaring that everything was going to be provided by God, as long as there were no problems with our mammon.  Once it began rapidly to drop in value, the deception was exposed, and it was so ugly!

Now that you’ve seen the ugliness that the devil was using to try to bring destruction in my life, I want to share a couple of things that the Lord is revealing that prove He is turning it for good.  The first one is that my husband said he was convicted that very day, as well.  Believe it or not, that really excites me, because it shows God is doing a similar work in each of us at the same time.  I also have a sense that God is going to show Himself strong to us in ways we couldn’t imagine before, when we had our eyes on the mammon.

I also see that this was a trap so very easy to step into.  While we have been thankful for the finances the Lord has brought to us, somehow we forgot it was from Him once we had it in hand.  We also forgot about the times we had so much less, and how He brought what was needed every time.  In planning for the future, we forgot to be satisfied with His daily provision and His promise never to leave us helpless or forsake us or let us down or relax His hold on us.  Our eyes moved from Him to His blessings, instead.  It is so clear in Matthew 6:33 that we are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, because all the things we really need He will provide.  Our eyes are to be so fixed on Him and on seeking Him that none of the things He has provided hold sway over us, whether much or little, growing or shrinking.

I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit loves me enough to remind me of this.  I don’t want anything else to have His rightful place in my heart, or to trust in what I have physically, because I know that it won’t last.  With everything in me, I want to trust my awesome God so totally that I stay in the peace that passes all understanding, rejoicing from the very depths of my heart, regardless of what goes on around me.  I know He is faithful to His Word – even to working it in me by His Spirit.  I can trust Him, even when I don’t understand.  All praise and glory to His name!