(2 Thessalonians 3:5)
If you haven’t been to the Praise His Holy Name page heading I greatly encourage to do so and go to the A to Z Praise List. You will have a much clearer understanding of this devotional after you have done so, and you will be blessed beyond measure!
When I taught discipleship classes this list was an integral part of our day. There are many ways to use this list, but the Holy Spirit would lead us each time and we would find ourselves drowning in the flow of Living Water!
Before I go on I’ll try to describe a few of the ways we used this list, but you will need to actually experience it yourself. Even though I could give numerous testimonies of the move of the Holy Spirit in us and through us, you must meet the Holy Spirit personally to understand this exceptional blessing that God wants to pour out upon you.
I know personally that it is often difficult to pray at times, either we don’t know the particular need or we don’t know God’s will in the matter. Using this list, you can begin to pray God’s character and blessing over others! I’ve learned over the years, I don’t need to be in on the personal details, I just need to be available to meet the Holy Spirit and join Him in interceding for Christ to be made abundant in others lives (Romans 8:26). In turn He has given me words of encouragement and direction to share with many who are struggling. No matter how often it occurs, I get so excited that our wonderful Lord would choose to use such a lowly vessel as I!
Often I would take this list and pick out the descriptions where I saw God working in my life and begin praising Him for His goodness. The opposite can also be used, select the descriptions where you are struggling and praise God that He has already granted them, according to His word, and ask that they begin to be manifested in your life. This, of course, means that we are to be ready to experience the struggles that go into being transformed! I have heard the Holy Spirit speak to me during these times and show me areas that need to be addressed that I was not even aware of. This is the love of our Father, that He cares so much for us that He won’t leave us where we are if we are willing to meet Him and become a true disciple. Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” (John 14:23) “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” (Luke 14:33)
So that night I heard the Spirit ask me what one word would I use to describe who God is to me right now and what He is doing in my life. Immediately the word “unwavering” came to my mind. Since that word is not actually used in scripture I began to think of the words that are used in scripture. The Spirit then challenged me to write down the words AND scriptures that revealed this truth.
So today I am going to share with you God’s Steadfast love. Why? Even when I am asking God a million questions and realizing how far I still am from His unfinished work, He never condemns me or criticizes or tells me how worthless I am. No, He continues to pour out His love as He continues to lead me on His path (Psalm 23:3; Proverbs 4:18), that is His steadfast love. He’s never in a hurry, nor is He impatient with me. He teaches, challenges, convicts and stretches me more than I ever imagined. Then He leads me beside the still waters and refreshes my soul. He then dines with me at a banqueting table overflowing with bountiful food for both my physical needs and my spiritual needs (Psalm 23). His banner over me is love (Song of Solomon 2:4). He assures me of His unwavering love and promises to protect me for all eternity (Hebrews 13:5).
Have you met my Lord? I pray you have, there is no one like Him! He is altogether lovely! His feet are like hinds feet (Psalm 18:33; Habakkuk 3:19) and He carries me to the high mountains and low valleys to minister beside Him to those who are hurting and in need of encouragement and His love.
Jesus is The Rock (I Corinthians 10:4; 2 Samuel 22:2-3,32,47; Deuteronomy 32:4; I Samuel 2:2; Psalm 18:1-2,30-31,46; 19:14; 31:3; 62:2,6-7; 71:3; 92:15; 94:22; 95:1; Isaiah 26:4; 44:8). “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25) I am reminded in this passage that even though I may “waiver” in the storm, Jesus Christ never does and as long as I am surrendered to Him, He will hold me upright in His firm hand to take me THROUGH IT. The Apostle Paul reminded us in his letter to the church at Thessalonica to keep our eyes on the only One who is able to carry us, “May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5)
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.” (Isaiah 28:16) Disturbed is a very interesting translation used which is sometimes unclear to us. The Lord was specifically speaking to Israel at this point but He was saying that the people would not come quickly to recognize Jesus as the Messiah but even though that was to be the case, that didn’t change the fact that He was the prophesied One and that He would be tested and tried and the cost would be His life. The life was in His blood that was shed for all of us and even knowing that His death would appear to be a failure to the masses, God’s plan was already laid before the foundation of the world! It was done, finished. Oh, the greatness of God’s steadfastness through the centuries! Oh, the greatness of this verse concerning God the Son! “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
How different God’s wisdom is from ours. Instead of having spiritual vision, we often are looking for the response or the immediate reward or confirmation. God knows the end from the beginning and I can rest in that truth. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;” (Isaiah 46:10) Did you catch that? Read it again! He will accomplish it! Are you willing to let Him?
Are you wanting to soar like the eagle? Can you imagine how it would be to soar like the eagle? Trust Him! “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) Beloved, there are no shortcuts. Nothing is hidden from the eyes of the Lord. No thought, no action. He knows our hesitations, our questions, but He also knows the desires He has placed within us! (Psalm 139:2-3) He will reveal the desires and plans He has for you through the power of the Holy Spirit! He loves me that much to be steadfast and unwavering in guiding me in His path to accomplish His will. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) What is His purpose? “...to become conformed to the image of His Son... ” (Romans 8:29) What is His image? The fruit of the Spirit! “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23) This was the plan from the beginning of time! Think about it, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27) This steadfast plan was accomplished at the cross and so that there was a new creation that would fulfill His steadfast plan to be like His Son.
God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19). What He has said He will do, He will do! “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;” (Isaiah 46:10) (I just had to repeat it so that we understand our lives are not our own!) Again, the Lord spoke to Isaiah saying, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
I would like to take a minute here for us to stop and digest these last two passages. The context of the whole in scripture is God’s declaring the work of His hand, the salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. That is all good! The Lord had just revealed the Suffering Servant and what He would endure in order to accomplish God’s perfect plan. There would be much suffering for both the Messiah and the children of Israel. Then in chapter 55 the unfolding of the great mercy of the Lord begins to unfold. We sometimes get so caught up in the promises and blessings to come that we miss some of the wisdom God wants us to hear. I pray that the Holy Spirit will have the freedom to speak to you today.
I don’t think anyone would disagree that God’s ways are much different than our ways. At least in theory we don’t. But when things aren’t going the way we want them to, we immediately blame the devil. Unless we have veered off the path that God has us on, we are not in communication with God when we do that. Our flesh kicks in and the blame game begins. Instead, when things aren’t looking the way “we think” they should look, STOP AND PRAY! Have a conversation with the Holy Spirit. Our path will never be straight from A-Z because we have to be built up in the strength, wisdom and power of the Lord in order to be able to stand in the blessings! So His path is always going to be much more difficult or different than our expectations. Here is another reason I am so thankful for His faithfulness and steadfastness!
Verse 11 expounds the authority of the Lord! His Word is never meaningless. He doesn’t talk just to hear Himself talk. No, every Word that comes out of His mouth holds great weight. We need the Holy Spirit to discern that Word and give us understanding and guidance. We can’t rely on past experiences, it will always be fresh and relevant to our current situation. This applies to us personally and to the whole body of Christ. It applies to individuals and it applies to nations. With that said, have you ever heard God speak of judgment? Of course we have! The sin of the children of Israel was great and they suffered much because of their sin and disobedience, God’s Word never came back empty, it accomplished what He set out to do. Take a look at Hebrews 3:18-19 for an example of God’s Word being accomplished but not in the way man’s wisdom would think it would be accomplished. “And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.” (Hebrews 3:18-19)
In our personal lives, He has said that we will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ (for believers) and we will be held accountable for every word spoken, every action, every deed, everything we have not repented of and turned away from. God’s Word is our “Standard” (a “standard” is a banner that declares a truth), and He is the One who holds us accountable. We will be judged according to all that is written in His Word. His Word is steadfast. He doesn’t make the rules for my walk any different than the rules He makes for yours. Our paths may be different because of the giftings and His plan for us, but His Word remains the same and we are held accountable according to the same standard. I now ask you to take some time personally with the Lord and allow Him to show you how you are doing on this amazing journey we are on. I know, the road is rough and things are looking pretty bleak, but this earth is not our home and we are looking for the eternal kingdom not built by human hands! “for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:10)
God is sovereign, what could be more steadfast than a sovereign God who created me, molds me, teaches me, corrects me, guides me, and prays for me? WOW! He loves me so much that He went to the cross to be crucified just to make me His! I am so thankful and rejoice in the following scripture that should make us consider His deity and what that REALLY means to each of us personally. No one can live out your calling, and you can’t live in someone else’s plan. Do you really believe this verse and love Him so much that you “fear to hurt the One you love”? “It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. and He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread.” (Isaiah 8:13)
Even Jesus “feared” His Father. Think about these words from Isaiah 11:3, that are about Jesus, the Messiah, about when He would come. “And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, and He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear;”. Jesus delighted to do His Father’s will! Do we? Do you want to be victorious over the problems in your life? Jesus was victorious in all His ways because He delighted and feared the Lord! He is our testimony!
Abraham walked with the Lord and was called the friend of God! Abraham’s testimony of God’s faithfulness is a promise for us now (please read I Corinthians 10:13)! God has not changed in all these years and wants that same relationship with you and me. But in order to enter that intimacy we must walk with Him and learn His ways. In doing so we learn that He will never leave or forsake us, He is faithful and steadfast. He cares for us in a way that you and I will never fully understand. Why do I say that? Because God is pure and holy, we are not. We are being transformed from glory to glory (II Corinthians 3:18) as we walk obediently with Him but until we reach heaven we will always be lacking in perfection.
Consider that last statement. God sees me perfect because I am seated in Jesus Christ, but if I weren’t, God couldn’t even look at me! Why? Because God can’t be in relationship with me in a sinful state. But because I have been washed white as snow (Isaiah 1:18), cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, I am now seated in Him at the Father’s right hand! “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3) (Philippians 4:8)
I encourage you (greatly) to read Colossians 1:13-22. What a testimony of His steadfastness! No matter what you may be going through at this moment, these words will lift you up and fill you with the joy of the Lord to rejoice in His love!
Moses walked and talked with God and we are blessed by his recordings of the faithfulness of the Lord! If we ever want a look at “The Rock”, read the accounts of the Israelites in the desert for 40 years! Jesus was the rock which supplied water and followed them through their whole journey! Even the Apostle Paul shared this truth with the believers in Corinth in his first letter. “and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:4)
As I was reading the scriptures the other day I read again how when Moses requested to “see” (with physical vision) God, God hid him in the “cleft of the rock”. He was giving us a picture of being “in Christ”! Moses was allowed to see the back of God as He passed by. You and I are seated “in Christ” and through the Holy Spirit we are allowed to hear and see God at work in our lives! But one day soon we will see Him face to face!
King David praised the Lord as his “rock” repeatedly as He kept him from being killed by King Saul. Even the Apostle Paul most definitely testifies of the steadfastness of the Lord to keep him during all of the trials and tribulations in his life! He kept his mind on the prize, the Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ! (Philippians 3:14)
Can you praise the Lord as the steadfast Rock in your life? Below is the beginning of a Praise List. I encourage you to spend time in the Word and meditate on each one. Praise Him as you go through these scriptures! There are many more than what I’ve noted. I would love to hear from you as to some additional ones that the Holy Spirit leads you to, and why. It would be an honor to share in celebrating what Christ is doing in your life!
“The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock; and exalted be God, the rock of my salvation,”
(2 Samuel 22:47)
“The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just;
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and upright is He.” (Deuteronomy 32:4)
“There is no one holy like the LORD,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.” (1 Samuel 2:2)
“The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock;
And exalted be God, the rock of my salvation,’ (2 Samuel 22:47)
“For who is God, but the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God,” (Psalm 18:31)
“He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.” (Psalm 62:2)
“But the LORD has been my stronghold,
And my God the rock of my refuge.” (Psalm 94:22)
“Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle;
My lovingkindness and my fortress,
My stronghold and my deliverer,
My shield and He in whom I take refuge,
Who subdues my people under me.
O LORD, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?
Or the son of man, that You think of him?
Man is like a mere breath;
His days are like a passing shadow.” (Psalm 144:1-4)
“and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.” (Romans 4:21)
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,” (Ephesians 3:20)
“For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
“Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,” (Jude 1:24)
“Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.’” (Exodus 6:6)
“The eternal God is a dwelling place,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;
And He drove out the enemy from before you,
And said, ‘Destroy!’” (Deuteronomy 33:27)
“O sing to the LORD a new song,
For He has done wonderful things,
His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him.” (Psalm 98:1)
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.” (Psalm 91:1-7)
“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever,
For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.” (Isaiah 26:3-4)
“LORD, You will establish peace for us,
Since You have also performed for us all our works.” (Isaiah 26:12)
“And He will be the stability of your times,
A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge;
The fear of the LORD is his treasure.” (Isaiah 33:6)
“For the LORD is our judge,
The LORD is our lawgiver,
The LORD is our king;
He will save us— “(Isaiah 33:22)
“He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.” (Isaiah 40:29-31)
Praise His holy name as He proclaims the coming of Jesus Christ!
“I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness,
I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You,
And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the nations,
To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the dungeon
And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.
“I am the LORD, that is My name;
I will not give My glory to another,
Nor My praise to graven images.
“Behold, the former things have come to pass,
Now I declare new things;
Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.” (Isaiah 42:6-9)
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.” (Isaiah 43:2)
The steadfast love of the Lord declaring the end from the beginning!
“Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth;
For I am God, and there is no other.
I have sworn by Myself,
The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness
And will not turn back,
That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.” (Isaiah 45:22-23)
Listen to these words from Jesus that Isaiah recorded. Jesus praises His Father for giving Him strength and sustenance for the journey!
“The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples,
That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.
The Lord GOD has opened My ear;
And I was not disobedient
Nor did I turn back.
I gave My back to those who strike Me,
And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard;
I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
For the Lord GOD helps Me,
Therefore, I am not disgraced;
Therefore, I have set My face like flint,
And I know that I will not be ashamed.” (Isaiah 50:4-7)
God revealed the Suffering Servant so that His people would recognize Him and be saved!
“Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.” (Isaiah 53:4-6) (see I Peter 2:24)
God’s revelation of eternal perspective!
“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake,
But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you,
And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,”
Says the LORD who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:10)
“...He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,” (Ephesians 3:20)
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” (John 14:23)
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26)
‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ (Jeremiah 33:3)
The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”
The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him. (Lamentations 3:22-25)
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.” (Ezekiel 36:26-28)
“How great are His signs
And how mighty are His wonders!
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom
And His dominion is from generation to generation.” (Daniel 4:3)
“The LORD is slow to anger and great in power,
And the LORD will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.
In whirlwind and storm is His way,
And clouds are the dust beneath His feet.” (Nahum 1:3)
“The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him.” (Nahum 1:7)
“For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)
Lord God Almighty! I bow before You today and praise You for You are sovereign! You hold me firmly in Your hand as the fires, floods, trials and tribulations try to overcome me. You truly are the Rock of my salvation! Thank You for hiding me in the “cleft of the Rock”! Never in my wildest dreams could I have ever imagined that there would be peace in my heart while my world seemed to be spiraling out of control! It is only through You that this is true! I pray today for each one who believes in Your Son Jesus Christ to receive that peace. This I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, my Stronghold, my Shelter, my All in all! Amen.