“In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Yes, the Lord is for me; He will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me.” Psalm 118:6-7
They warned him. “If you show up to speak, radicals are planning to stone you.”
Bill Bright had an impossible choice to make. Show up, share the gospel, get stoned or not show up, not get stoned and not share the gospel. What would you have done? It’s hard for most of us to know. My dad did what I saw him do countless times over the years; he prayed and asked God for guidance.
God told him to go… so he went.
As he stood to speak the agitators began to heckle him. Even knowing that many clutched rocks intended for him, he was filled with peace. Taking a deep breath my dad began to sing. His off-key voice filled air and pierced the hearts of stone with fear. Others in the crowd joined in singing the simple praise chorus. Suddenly, a percussion of rocks hitting the ground mixed with the melody. Now empty handed, the rock throwers fled the room. Dad told me later that the enemy cannot stand when God’s people praise Him.
I’ve never forgotten that powerful example. Every day you and I have a choice to make. The enemy of our souls is ready to throw every rock in his vast but limited arsenal. Bill Bright showed us what to do:
Seek God’s guidance. Dad turned his focus to his Savior and asked Him for direction. Bill Bright didn’t knee jerk into a decision. There are times when God directs us to walk away. Other times the Holy Spirit leads us into the line of fire. We are not wise enough in our own understanding to know which is the best course of action.
He kept his focus on God. Once the decision was made, he kept his eyes on the Creator not on the enemy. Too often we let our eyes wander from the Lord as we follow through on His direction. Praising God is a powerful way to train our focus on the Savior. It is also a powerful weapon against the enemy. There is a reason God’s Word encourages us to keep praise “continually on our lips”! (Psalm 34:1)
We are in unprecedented times. Will God’s people seek His guidance and then boldly follow through, fixing their eyes on Jesus – the Author and Perfecter of their faith?
I don’t know what His plan for you today might entail, but I do know He has a plan. You may be confined to your home, but the Holy Spirit is not. God didn’t say ‘Ooops! I didn’t see that pandemic coming!” He is in control. He has a plan for you and if you will seek Him and focus on Him you will see Him work in ways you never imagined.
Your view of God really matters…
What is God asking you to do today? It is really easy to focus on the world around us rather than the One who made the world. Don’t let the enemy of your peace and joy succeed in capturing your attention.
When you are afraid, sing praise to the One who has you in the palm of His hand. Worship the Holy One who is more powerful than any virus, government, economy or fear. He doesn’t promise that the stones will never fly. Stephen’s experience was very different from Bill Bright’s (Acts 7:54-60). But even so, Stephen kept his eyes on the Lord. God gave him strength and peace even as he was being stoned and Stephen saw Heaven just before he walked into it.
Read God’s Word Today…
Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.”
GOD, because You are all-powerful and in total control I will listen to Your voice and do what You ask.
©2020 Bright Media Foundation