What is it that lets us know that God is always there? The answer is today’s topic.
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
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Watch the video of this teaching at https://www.celllifechurch.tv/god-is-always-there/
The other day I came across a great image on Facebook from Toby Mac that said, “Faith tells me no matter what lies ahead of me, God is already there.” That is so encouraging and helps remind us of some of the promises God has made to us. This led me to want to share about God’s presence, protection, and provision for all who love and worship Him. First, let’s talk about how God is always there by talking about his presence.
Presence – God Is Always There Leading Us
We read in Exodus the story of Israel’s escape from bondage and slavery in Egypt. Moses is leading the Israelites through the desert to the land promised to them through the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They wandered the desert for 40 years on their way to the land that flows with milk and honey. Let’s read Exodus 13:17-22.
(17) When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” (18) So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle. (19) Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.” (20) After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. (21) By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. (22) Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
Neither the pillar of cloud by day or pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. No one had to guess what direction they were going. No one had to question where Moses was taking them. Everyone could see the pillar in the sky and follow it.
God still leads us day in and day out. God still gives us signs to follow. He is constantly leading us through what we see and hear in others, experiences we have, and that small still voice in our hearts. We see and hear these signs by keeping our faith. Faith is defined in Hebrews 11:1 as the confidence in what is hoped for and evidence of what is not seen.
By continuing to read our Bibles and praying we can be in tune with God. We will see his signs for us. His voice will be heard in the deepest part of our hearts. It is this regular time with God that builds our faith and know that God is always there.
God was ever-present to the Israelites as they escaped Pharoah and the Egyptian army and led Israel through unknown land keeping them safe from anyone who would harm them. He will do the same with you.
Protection – God Is Always There Protecting Us
Throughout much of the Bible God is referred to as the Great Shepherd. A shepherd watches over their flock day and night. They are prepared to defend their flock against any threat. We read stories of a young David who fought off lions and bears to protect his sheep when he was a boy. He could use his sling and rocks as well as his shepherd’s staff to protect his flock. A shepherd could use his staff to fight off a predator and he could also use it to rescue a sheep who had fallen into a hole. The hook at the end could be used to lift a sheep out of a hole.
This is what is meant when we read in Psalm 23, “Your rod and Your staff comfort me.” Let’s read Psalm 23.
(6) A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. (2) He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, (3) he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. (4) Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (5) You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (6) Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Not only does God fight the battles before us, but he also assures us that no weapon formed against us will prosper. Let’s read Isaiah 54:17.
(17) no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD.
Nothing formed against you with plans to destroy your testimony of the goodness and grace of God will cause you harm. The enemy of our souls can not devise a plan or weapon that can destroy what God is doing in you and through you. God’s protection is always present and God is always there with his provision.
Provision – God Is Always There With With What You Need
We can often find ourselves worrying about having enough of the things we need to survive. Floods and drought wipe out crops and result in famines. Great storms blow through and destroy homes. Financial crises cause us to lose everything and be homeless. There is a lot that can cause us to worry about having enough and being prepared for things like this. But Jesus comforts us and it is recorded in Luke 12:22-31.
(22) Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. (23) For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. (24) Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! (25) Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? (26) Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? (27) “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. (28) If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! (29) And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. (30) For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. (31) But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
We do not need to worry about what we need. God is already providing it. He will give us all we need to not only survive but also thrive. All we need to do is follow Jesus and worship Him. Then we will hear his voice and he will show us what we need to do and when we need to do it.
We referenced the Israelites in Egypt and that they brought Joseph’s bones out of Egypt with them to bury in the promised land. The Israelites were not always slaves in Egypt. Joseph helped prevent Egypt from dying in a famine. He listened to the Lord and helped them grow and save a portion of their crops so when the famine came, they survived.
Don’t misunderstand Jesus’ teaching in Luke 12 and Matthew 6. We are not to just sit idly and expect everything to just fall in our lap. God created us to work. Adam and Eve were initially tasked with tending the garden of Eden. We were made to work. The key Jesus is trying to teach is to not worry about these things. Do what God leads you to do. God is always there to speak to you and guide you. Our job is to listen to his voice and do what he tells us, when he tells us, and how he tells us. Nothing more and nothing less. God is always there and will provide all we need to thrive in His name.
It is these promises we can build our faith on. These passages of scripture are just a few of the examples of God always being there for His people. Our faith is what keeps us focused on this. That graphic I spoke of at the beginning is so appropriate and a wonderful reminder that no matter where we are or what condition we find ourselves in, God is always there and in the position to lead us to where He wants us to not only survive but to thrive, in Jesus’ name.