The angels warned Lot to get out of the city before God destroyed it. Although Lot heard what the angels said, he still had to make a decision. Either he would choose to stay or choose to leave.
The scripture tells us that Lot lingered, which means he stayed in that place or in that condition longer than he should have. God told him that his time in that city was up, but he wouldn’t leave. He wouldn’t let it go. He thought he had a little more time. (The word, linger, also means to remain present while gradually dying).
Because of the prayer of the righteous (Abraham), God showed mercy and saved them. He used angels to take Abraham and his family by their hands to bring them out of what should have destroyed them.
There are some things that we have been in for far too long and we need God’s help because we don’t have as much time as we think we do.
May God be merciful to you today. May the same angels that God used to deliver Lot and his family, be released in your life. May they take you by your hand and pull you out of what should be behind you so that you may see what is before you. May they pull you out of your past and bring you into your future. And may God heal and deliver you from the thing that you keep looking back at – the past hurts, past relationships, past disappointments, and past mistakes – so that it will not destroy you.
And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take your wife, and your two daughters, which are here; lest you be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth and set him outside the city. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for your life; look not behind you, neither stay in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest you be consumed (Genesis 19:15-17).
One day, the angel appeared to Manoah’s wife. Before he announced what God was going to do for her, he told her about herself. You are barren (Judges 13:3). God wanted her to know that He knew her condition and that He had forgotten about her. The scriptures doesn’t mention whether it was her desire to have children or if she and her husband had prayed for a child. All I know is that God saw a need. He (Samson) shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines (vs 5).
To conceive a child seemed impossible. Manoah and his wife had tried for years, but what had been impossible with man was about to become possible with God. He was going to make it happen. There was a problem and God was going to create the solution for that problem.
The angel gave Samson’s mother two promises. First, he promised her that she would conceive. Then, he promised her that she would bear a son. Not everyone that becomes pregnant gives birth, but she was going to do both.
There is a need and the people in your home, on your job and in your community need someone who will pray on their behalf. They need someone who will choose to live holy. And God needs someone who will be consistent, faithful and who will do what He tells them to do.
The angel told Manoah’s wife what not to touch, eat or drink because of what she was carrying inside of her. I don’t think we carefully consider what we are carrying inside of us (the Spirit of God, the word of God, etc). If we did, we would make better choices.
But for the next nine months, she gave up some things. She put away some things. She stopped doing certain things so that the needs of the people would be met. You see, God wasn’t just giving her a son, but He was giving a deliverer to a people that He loved and called His Son (Exodus 4:22).
My prayer for every person who is reading this is that you will not MIS-carry, be MIS-led or MISS what God has for you or what He wants to do through you for His people.
The children of Israel cried to God because they were tired of their condition. They cried because they wanted to be free. All they knew was sorrow, but they longed to know joy. They wanted to be delivered, but the thing they wanted to be free from would not let them go.
When God sent Moses to deliver His people, Moses didn’t address Pharaoh one time and then they were set free. He had to keep speaking and commanding Pharaoh to let them go before deliverance took place. No, it wasn’t easy, but just because something seems hard, doesn’t mean it is impossible.
Pharaoh knew that his time was up so he used tactics such as not supplying the straw Israel needed to build bricks, but still expecting them to make the same number of bricks. He wanted to discourage them. He wanted them to give up because he knew their deliverance was near.
Israel is my son, even my firstborn. Let my son go that he may serve Me (Exodus 4:22). When God had enough, He had enough. Because Pharaoh refused to let His firstborn go, God took his firstborn son. What held Israel in bondage for over 400 years finally let them go, but it took a strong hand (Deuteronomy 26:8).
As long as the children of Israel did what he wanted them to do, it was fine, but the moment they decided they no longer wanted to serve him, Pharaoh wanted to destroy them. So, Pharaoh gathered his army and chased them. The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust be satisfied upon them. I will draw my sword. My hand shall destroy them (Exodus15:9).
The Lord divided the sea with His strength (Psalm 74:13). The waters were a wall to Israel on the right and on the left so that they could walk on dry ground. But when the Egyptians went after them, those same walls fell on them. He took the wheels off their chariots and destroyed Pharaoh’s chariots, horseman and all of his army. Not one of them survived.
The reason why Pharaoh wanted to keep Israel in bondage was because he was afraid of them. He knew what they would do to him if they were free. And he (Pharaoh) said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come on, let us deal wisely with them lest they multiply and it come to pass when there fall out any war, they join also unto our enemies and fight against us and so get them up out of the land (Exodus 1:9-10).
Today, God calls you what he called the children of Israel. You are His son, you are His daughter and enough is enough. Some say they’ve been called to preach, some say they’ve been called to teach, but we have all been called to freedom (Galatians 5:13). God just doesn’t want us to be saved, but He wants us to be free so that we may serve Him with our whole heart. He wants you to be free from sin, fear, shame and free to worship, praise, laugh.
Your adversary is afraid of you because you are a threat to him. He sets traps and builds strongholds to keep you distracted, to keep you from becoming who God called you to be. He wants you to serve sin and to please your flesh so that you will never please God. He knows he has lost, but he wants you to think he’s winning.
It will take a strong hand, but he will let you go and every spirit that should not be in you, will come out of you and will enter you no more (Mark 9:25). Nothing could hold Jesus in the grave and nothing will be able to hold you – not past hurts, disappointment, shame, unforgiveness, or past sins. God wants us to be free from every weight, distraction, hindrance and from the sin that easily trips us up so that we not only run the race, but we finish the race.
Deliver us, Lord.
plan: a decision to do something; to devise a way to overcome difficulties; a step-by-step method
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11, KJV).
He doesn’t think about you the way you think about yourself nor does He regret the decision He made concerning you.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).
When God devised a plan, He included you in it. He didn’t leave you out of His plan.
And, what is His plan?
His plan is to save you.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).
His plan is to deliver you.
Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father (Galatians 1:3-4).
His plan is to heal you.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).
His plan is to fill you with His Spirit.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6).
Be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)
His plan is to use you to bring others to Him.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
Your adversary is always trying to put what’s behind you, in front of you. He wants you to focus on the past, but God doesn’t care about your past. He cares about your future.
There is so much that God wants to do through you, but there is so much He wants to do in you – first.
Don’t worry about your plans (that didn’t work out), for His plan is better.
His plan is not to harm you, but His plan is to bless you.
Follow His plan.
Trust the plan.
Sometimes we treat God like He’s dead – like He doesn’t see us or know us or hear us.
God is not like Baal whose prophets called upon him from morning to noon, but he didn’t answer. The prophets cried loud and then louder. They even cut themselves with knives and lancets, but there was still no answer because Baal has no voice.
He is not like idols that have mouths that cannot speak, eyes that cannot see, ears that cannot hear, noses that cannot smell, hands that cannot handle or feet that cannot walk. In the Old Testament, they had to carry their idols because they couldn’t walk, but it has been God that has been carrying you.
You are not praying to a god that cannot save. You are not praying to a god that cannot deliver you.
When God led the Israelites through the wilderness, there were fiery serpents, scorpions and drought there, but He protected them, fed them manna and brought forth water out of a hard rock.
God knows what He is doing. His way is perfect.
He is not in the hinder part of the ship, sleeping on a pillow. He never sleeps or slumbers. He is watching over you.
God is not a man, He is not like man and He does not lie.
God knows the plan He has for you, but you must trust His plan.
When you prayed, your words were heard. You must believe those things you say will come to pass. You must believe that you will receive.
The word of God is alive and working.
God is alive and He is working…
He is not dead.
[Scripture references: I Kings 18:20-29; Psalm 115:5-7; Jeremiah 10:5; Isaiah 45:20; Isaiah 46:7; Psalm 121:4; Numbers 23:19; Psalm 18:30; Mark 11:23-24; John 5:17; Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 40:8]