Who do you say that I am?
This was the question that Jesus posed to Peter. And, scripture promises us that someday we will each have to answer that question. While we each need to arrive at that answer for ourselves, it helps to know who we are dealing with. I have been blessed to know some very faith-filled women who, when troubles come, they just "give it to God." For about 5 years I questioned just exactly how they did that. What I have realized is that I didn't know Him, only of Him.
Hebrews 11:6 says that "Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
I was in a Bible study called "Lord, Teach Me to Pray", by Kay Arthur. She spends a portion of it teaching the names of God as the people in the Bible knew Him. Some of the names that have meant alot to me are Jehovah-jireh: The Lord Will Provide, Jehovah-shalom: The Lord Is Peace, Jehovah-rapha: The Lord Who Heals, and El-Shaddai: The All-Sufficient One. This is the aspect of God I would like to focus on, His All-Sufficiency, El Shaddai.
I was thinking about sinning awhile back, not about committing any particular one, but about why I sin. I think it is because I forgot that God is El Shaddai. I sin because a present situation is not meeting my needs, and in my pride or desperation, I decide that I am the only one who can fix it. I rob God of his El-Shaddai-ness. In Philippians 4:19 Paul writes that "God will fully satisfy all of his needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus." If I could share one message with everyone I meet about God, that is what I would want them to know about Him.
Imagine the scene from Luke 4:16-21: Jesus has returned to his hometown after performing many miracles in the surrounding towns.
16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
18 “ The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Can you imagine hearing those words, and understanding them? Do we really understand what that means to us in our lives, right now?
It means that El-Shaddai, our All Sufficient One, is more than fully capable of meeting our needs, and in fact, came for that purpose. In 1 Peter 5:7 we are told to cast all our anxiety upon Him, because He cares for us. He cares for us. The God of the Universe, in whom all things were created, cares for you. We do not have to sin to meet our needs. We need to bring them to Him.
So, for the woman who needs to find someone, anyone, to sleep with just so she isn't alone, God longs, longs to hold you. He gave His Son to make it possible for you to come to Him when you are lonely.
For the woman who drinks not because she is thirsty but because she is empty, God longs to fill you with His Holy Spirit. He gave His Son so that His Holy Spirit could dwell in you forever.
For the woman searching for meaning, God longs to tell you that the search is over.
The prophet Ezekiel spoke of Christ's rescue mission in chapter 34. Verse 16 says "I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak." This verse gives me goosebumps, because I have been the strayed, the lost, and the injured. He sent someone for me.
Think for a moment, what matters are you taking into your own hands? What is holding you captive? What is breaking your heart today? Have your blind eyes been opened? Are you trying to handle it on your own, or have you brought it to Your El-Shaddai, Your All Sufficient God to handle for you?
This is the acceptable year of the Lord, sisters, and He has come to set you free.