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REAL LIFE FOR NOW MINISTRIES

GOD IS OUR RESCUER
…the Lord knows how to rescue the godly out of temptations and trials, and how to keep the ungodly under chastisement until the day of judgement and doom. (2Peter 2:9)

There are many examples, throughout the Bible, of God rescuing his faithful people. The apostle Paul related in 2Corinthians 1:8-10 that "we do not want you to be uninformed brethren, about the affliction and oppressing distress which befell us in the province of Asia, how we were so utterly and unbearably weighed down and crushed that we despaired even of life itself. (9)Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the very sentence of death, but that was to keep us from trusting in and depending on ourselves, instead of on God Who raises the dead. (10) For it is He Who rescued and saved us from such a perilous death, and He will still rescue and save us; in and on Him we have set our hope that He will again deliver us [from danger and destruction and draw us to Himself]."

What a powerful testimony from Paul and a demonstration of complete faith in God his Saviour. Equally, David demonstrated the same attitude and faith. In Psalms 116:1-8. In verse 2 & 3, "Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live. (3)The cords and sorrows of death were around me and the terrors of Sheol had laid hold of me; I suffered anguish and grief, (4) Then called I upon the name of the Lord: O Lord You save my life and deliver me…,and He helped and saved me." Interestingly, in both case examples, David and Paul learned from personal experience to rely on God. Indeed, God had allowed certain challenging experiences and trials to confront these faithful men in order to train them to rely completely on God for their salvation thereby completing their spiritual training.

Do we likewise rely on God for our salvation and deliverance through trials? Or, do we rely too much on ourselves or on men, such as, religious leaders to rescue us from times of distress? As we have seen from these scriptures we will be bitterly disappointed if we put our trust in ourselves or on people. People can no more rely on people to rescue them from death than they can on themselves. David wrote in Psalm 118:8 "It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man." According to David's own personal experiences and close shaves with death he could confidently write in verse17 "I shall not die but live, and shall declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the Lord." King David in Psalm 119:7 relates "I will praise and give thanks to You with uprightness of heart when I learn [by sanctified experiences] Your righteous judgements [Your decisions against and punishments for particular lines of thought and conduct]."

What are these sanctified experiences which David wrote about? What part can they play in our spiritual growth and training? In Hebrews 2:11 the apostle Paul wrote, "For both He Who sanctifies [making men holy] and those who are sanctified all have one [Father]." By this scripture we can conclude that certain chosen people of God have personal experiences which enable them to become holy or rise to a higher level of holiness. Indeed, Jesus prayed to his Father in John 17:17 "Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by Truth; Your Word is Truth." And in John 17:19 Jesus continues, "And for their sake and on their behalf I sanctify myself (dedicate, consecrate) that they also may be sanctified in the Truth". Therefore, from these scriptures we may glean that individuals may have holy experiences which transform them into spiritual completeness, For example, certain experiences in Life may teach us to become obedient to God's Word. We learn from experience how to rely on God and how to obey Him. Furthermore, we learn that what we read in the Bible is truth and our experiences affirm God's Word.

In Psalm 107:20, it is written about God, "He sends forth His word and heals them and rescues them from the pit and destruction." God, through Moses
( who was sent as a deliverer for God's chosen people, the Israelites), told the Israelites in Exodus 6:6 "…I am the Lord and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will free you from their bondage, and I will rescue you with an outstretched arm and by mighty acts of judgement." God is clearly a rescuer, as He indeed had rescued the Israelites from Egypt and their bondage.

Paul spoke of his personal experiences whereby he had faced many trials and close shaves with death through beatings, imprisonment and famine. Yet through all of these near death experiences God rescued Paul from the clutches of death. Paul wrote in Romans 7:24 & 25, "O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from this body of death? 25 O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord!" Paul could confidently attest to God's power to deliver faithful ones from peril as he had personally experienced God's deliverance. Anyone who knows the account of Paul's life is aware of the many experiences of persecution Paul had endured and had gone through by God's spirit which repeatedly strengthened him and rescued him from the shackles of death.

Therefore, what we learn from these men's testimonies is that God indeed is a rescuer Who delivers us from suffering, illness and all sorts of attacks perpetrated by the enemy, Satan. However, we need to learn by personal experience that God rescues His people from trouble. Trials become part of our spiritual training while God enables us to endure and develop inner strength, beyond what is normal, with the help of God's Holy Spirit. Only by developing a close relationship with God and Jesus, through prayer and faith, do we learn to depend on God for our salvation and deliverance from trial. God rescues His faithful people through sanctified experiences. Thus our faith is strengthened and our spiritual training is complete in our walk with God. Experiences in life can enable us to become Holy, sanctified, consecrated for God's Use and purpose. It is through these experiences that God's people are set apart from the world and identified as Christian witnesses.