January 18

Exodus 4-6, Psalm 18

Many question the whole arena of faith, saying that they would believe if they saw a miracle or evidence of God's sovereign hand directly in their lives. On Sunday, January 14th, my son, Michael, along with 4 others experienced God miraculously while on a boat in Fort Lauderdale. Going towards the dock area at a good speed, they lost power steering. The last thing they remember as they all ducked before impact was a large cement pillar like structure which they were heading directly for. The other objects near their path was the land and large boats. When the driver ducked and took his hands off the wheel, my son said that's when God took control of the vessel. The boat hit an open area under the dock which sawed off the top of their boat which slowed it down, eventually with a boat resting on top of theirs. Of the 5, one had a minor scratch on the head, no other injuries. The first responders said they had never witnessed anything like this. This should have resulted in death or severe injury to all on board. My son realized it was God's sovereign hand that saved him on Sunday.

In the life of Moses we see God's sovereign hand in unmistakable ways. In Exodus 3, we see Moses get his calling from the Angel of the Lord from the midst of a burning bush that was not consumed. When Moses questions his ability to sway the Israelites we witness God supernaturally offering a number of miraculous signs: the rod which turned into a serpent in Exodus 4:2-4, his hand which became leprous then restored in 4:6-8, and promised if that didn't convince them He would turn water into blood in 4:9. The initial attempt by Moses goes very badly for the people as Pharoah intensifies their burden and they subsequently turn on Moses. In Exodus 5:22-23, he brings the issue to God, which is where we should always turn, "...Why is it you have sent me? For since I came to Pharoah to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all." Moses was obviously called by God, but it is easy to get discouraged when we don't get the results that we expect. Notice God's response to Moses in Exodus 6:6-8, " Therefore say to the children of Israel: 'I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burden of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the Lord'." We have heard of the seven "I Am" statements by Jesus in the gospel of John. These are the seven "I will" statements by God.

God's sovereign hand has never been gone from His people. But He will never override our free will. Our relationship with Him is even more personal now than it was then. What we possess that they didn't is the Holy Spirit actually residing within us. We read in 1 Corinthians 6:19, "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?" Because of this we read in Hebrews 4:16, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Like Moses, we who are filled with the Holy Spirit are called to serve Him. We may not get our marching orders from a burning bush, but we are all given our commissions. When we step out in faith, like Moses, we may confront many obstacles, But, since we are called, we should not be deterred, but continue steadfastly according to that call. May we realize that the true power behind us is not ourselves, but God's sovereign hand. My son witnessed a miracle firsthand, this may not be the case for us. But may we realize that if we empty ourselves and become willing vessels we will see God work powerfully in our lives.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster