By Gladys McElmore
As we progress in various phases of our lives, we seek God’s advancement. God may let any of us hit rock bottom and land on our backs if that is the only way we are ready to look up to Him! So many times we may not seek God until we are in distress and falling behind in every respect. Why should we start looking up to God? Our society may be going down, falling behind and collapsing, but somehow we may not be looking up to Him. Our culture needs the penetration of God’s word when we are crying to the Lord and seeking Him. If we advance, we must remain faithful to God. Suppose others in our culture do not follow God’s commands? What about us? Let us continue to remain strong and do not lose courage, for there is some reward for our work as directed by God in 2 Chronicles 15:7. That is good news for us! We may have to stand alone if others do not accept God’s ways. We must remember to put God in front and center even if nobody follows our lead. Because God will take care of us, we as His believers must put Him first. We can always pray to God for our circumstances and put everything in His hands so that we can advance. Strong choices can be made to secure God’s favors for us. Joshua 24:15 emphatically resounds a vow to choose God for ourselves and our families.
Today, just as it was in Joshua’s time, Satan is roaming and wrecking havoc all around us. None of us can control what everybody else does, but it seems to be clear that we need to serve God. We are not perfect and we will continue to make mistakes and sometimes fall behind known expectations. If we fail or stumble, let’s pray for strength to help each other advance for the Lord’s work.
Sometimes in life we may question ourselves about the length of time that God is not sought in our decisions to advance ourselves. Perhaps God wants to know, “How long are we going to let Satan enslave us?” How long will we let Satan control our lives, prevent progress and destroy us? We can always glorify God through prayer like when Jesus taught His disciples as recorded in Matthew 6:9-13. From the KJV it is stated thusly, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Let us continue praying for God’s glory so that we will not fall behind as we continue our status being the salt of the earth and the light of the world metaphorically as it is written in Matthew 5.
Can we advance the kingdom and glorify God through good works? How valuable is fasting, worrying, or our generosity when our intentions are ungodly? All praise, honor and glory belong to God who helps us to impact our world with His righteousness. Fighting earthly battles alone will not get problems solved. To advance in the knowledge and love of God, we need His superpower to benefit from messages presented to us especially from the book of Acts. What do we need to do to grow spiritually? We can continue asking God to give us greater understanding and freedom to work for Him. We can also earnestly continue to develop messages for oral or written presentations of hope and assurance from the Bible to a despondent world. It is truly liberating to not only know the word of God, but to be assured that He is watching our advancements; He is personally watching us! Let us also continue praying for guidance and strength as we are not to feel small and helpless because God is still in complete control. We can always trust God to provide what we need, when we need it and to work out our lives in ways that are better than we ever imagined! Even the most blessed person can drift from God and make obvious decisions that cause human suffering. It is amazing how much God loves us!
It does not matter where we have come from or who we are now or even what we have done, Jesus came to seek and to save us to make all advancements possible. God does not play games with us. He undoubtedly is wondering how long will it take for us to look up to Him or to come to the ONE who is always available, but we cannot see Him until we look up!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.