KNOW WHERE TO GO

When you need specific help, you need to know where to go.

Recent events in the Ukraine have reminded me of many lessons I’ve learned. One of the chief among them is that just because someone SAYS a way is safe doesn’t make it safe. I’m privileged to be part of a number of secure message channels because the CEEC.CHURCH is helping move funds, food, medical supplies and similar items in the Ukrainian war crisis; and connecting people with resources to people in need. As I’ve monitored information transferring back and forth as cities have come under attack, escape routes are often discussed and reported upon.

Time and again, Russia has announced evacuation corridors from cities they are about to attack. These routes promise safe passage out of the city for a specific time period, so that civilians, elderly and the infirm can escape before the main attack begins. But all war is based upon deception. When the people begin to flee, the very routes that promised safety become target zones of people who by definition are unable to fight back effectively. The death and devastation are immense. These people are soft targets.

Here’s the deception that makes the attack work – Russia sometimes allows people through. And so the drive to survive makes the risk seem worthwhile. There’s more deception, of course. The claims that it was local Ukrainian troops firing upon their own people, or a wayward Russian commander who ordered the attack for reasons that vary like the hands of a clock. Always different.

The answer, of course, is to know where to go. There are always multiple routes being planned, many obscure and off the beaten path. But you have to know where to go.

Today’s verse is the victorious proclamation that MY HELP COMES FROM THE LORD, THE MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH.

God provides us help in the time of life’s battles, even the ones with real bullets.

He opens the way when there seems to be no way, and then He leads us in the way He has set for us. His word is a bright torch shining upon the path we need to walk. His Spirit speaks with specific wisdom directing us.

And though we could wish that He is always directing us in a way of escape, sometimes He does not intend that His servants escape. There are often times when the call of God keeps His servants in the midst of the battle. Sometimes they are there to minister to the injured and the dying, caring for the wounded. They may be there to help someone hold the pieces of their broken heart after losing a loved one. They may even be there to fight, for some battles MUST be fought.

We are not given promises of absolute safety in the midst of any battle we face. We are given absolute promises of His presence, His power and His provision as we face them. He gives us His word that He will never leave us or forsake us. He has committed that, regardless of the battle before us, He will be standing beside us. Never alone. Never abandoned.

The Lord God, the maker of heaven and earth has an army of angels at His command. And if His plan is to send angelic warriors to your defense you won’t be the first person to hear the sound of marching in the treetops above your head.

After King David had established his kingdom in Jerusalem, the army of the Philistines rose up against him. Vastly outnumbered, David knew it was not a battle he could win alone. (If only we were so wise. Facing battles alone is a prelude to defeat.) So David asked the LORD for the battle plan. God answered him and instructed him not to march straight up against the Philistine army, but to circle around behind them and attack them in front of a large forest of balsam trees.

How would David know when he was to begin his attack? God told him something fascinating. He said, “As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, move quickly, because this will mean that the LORD has marched out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” God had sent an army of angels to do battle for David. That day, the Philistine army was routed. they got chased from Jerusalem to Gezer, a distance of over twenty-five miles.

MY HELP COMES FROM THE LORD, THE MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH

You and I will face many battles in life. These battles could come in the form of a family crisis, a financial challenge, a medical need or any of hundreds of other possibilities. When the battle crests the horizon, you need to know where to go.

General platitudes of encouragement are not the answer. Specific wisdom and targeted insight are what is needed. You need to know where to go for help – REAL HELP.

Where do you turn? Don’t say, “My help comes from my vast experience” or “My help comes from my friends.” Don’t rely upon your bank account, your job or your education. All of these paths may SEEM like evacuation corridors when you are about to come under attack. But the enemy is a liar! He’s hoping you will be relying upon yourself, your resources, your wisdom. You’re a soft target. He knows he can beat you!

But there is an enemy that he has never beaten, even when it looked like he did. The cross looked like a slaughter, but it was actually a sacrifice; it was the prelude to the greatest victory ever won. The tomb is empty and the final victory has already been earned.

There’s only ONE PLACE to turn for help when failure is not an option. Whether we are on the verge of a battle or in the midst of one, there’s only ONE source of help that has never, ever failed.

You have to know where to go.

MY HELP COMES FROM THE LORD, THE MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH

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