great nation

Every once in a while I marvel at the honor and privilege that we, as Christians, have been given by God; to belong to His Kingdom. To think that his redemption plan didn’t just end with the Jewish nation, but also encapsulated all peoples from all nations who would just accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. That of itself is huge; that I didn’t deserve to be where I am now yet here I am; that I didn’t work for this, or paid any fee for it, yet here I am, adopted into the family of God.
As I think on that I’m amazed at the experiences that we, as God’s children, get to enjoy with our Father through his Holy Spirit. I recall the dozens of times that I have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life; not only a knowing that he is there but feeling a tangible presence around me. At times I have felt him holding me; one incident stands out for me of a night when I felt so alone and lonely and he just came: Set free from sexual immorality. Other times I have felt him dancing with me, and I would just sway to his pace and rhythm. Many a times he just rocked me, as a mother would rock a baby on her lap. I cannot recall the number of times where he stopped the flow of my tears and I just couldn’t cry anymore or soothed my aching heart; like I would just feel something coming over my heart and I would get immediate relief. Or when I felt I would go crazy trying to figure things out in my mind and he would just stop the wheel that seemed like it was spinning out of control in my mind.
What of the times he speaks to me? Oh, I tell you, nothing on this earth equates to when he speaks to me. Can you imagine; the God who created the heavens and the earth, who sustains all living things, taking the time to just talk to his children? It is a wonder, I tell you. There are times when I read the Bible and I just feel his presence in the words I’m reading. And tears just flood my eyes and I cannot for the life of me explain why I am crying, except that I know that he’s here. And whatever I’m about to read or already reading is a personal message to me. What is most amazing is when he speaks in my spirit. I hear his voice, not with my natural ear, but with the ear of my spirit and he just tells me things, gives answers to questions I have. At times I feel him smiling at me or laughing at me when I’m being silly! Oh what a wonder!
Is it any wonder then that Moses said what he said to the Israelites? We are great among all nations because we have a God who is near us when we pray. Not only when we pray but also when we worship him because he inhabits the praise of his people (Psalm 22:3). Not only then but also when we talk among each other about him, because the Bible says we honor him when we do that and a scroll of remembrance is written in his presence and as we speak he listens and hears (Malachi 3:16)! Contrast this to what Moses says about the gods of other nations who cannot see, hear, eat or smell in verse 28. No wonder our God is called the Living God! He’s not made of stone, wood or other material. Our God is alive!
Just think: if Moses could have such a revelation of our God in Old Testament times, how much more should we be having a revelation of Him in these New Testament days? Is it any wonder then that Jesus told his disciples that what they were seeing and hearing, the prophets of old longed to see and hear (Matthew 13:17)? Moses went on to say that we are such a great nation because of the righteous decrees and laws given to us by our God. In verse 6 he says that if we observe these laws and decrees the other nations will be astounded by our wisdom and understanding. Now, now, don’t get your feathers up because I mentioned the word ‘law’. Jesus did away with the law on the cross (I won’t go into that on this post) but suffice it to say that he set aside the first to establish the second, which is far better than the first; Hebrews 10:9 and Hebrews 8:6-7.
Knowing all this, is it any wonder then that God himself calls us his chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special possession (1 Peter 2:9)? You know, I am guilty of a lot of complaining, murmuring and grumbling; especially when things are tough or don’t go my way; which happens a lot in my life. I’m not proud of it and it is always in my prayers for God to help me overcome these ungodly habits. But every once in a while, the Holy Spirit reminds me, in the midst of all the trouble, pain and chaos, how much I have to be grateful for. It’s as if he nudges me while I wallow in self-pity, and turns my gaze from the outside and takes my focus inward, to what is on the inside of me, to The One who is on the inside of me and I am instantly recharged. That is what had happened when I ‘stumbled’ upon this scripture quoted above. I had been praying earlier in the afternoon and felt like my prayer had not been effective. It was as if the Holy Spirit was cheering me up, letting me know that my God was near me as I prayed, so he had heard me because he has ears to hear. I am part of a great nation! I am part of a kingdom that can never be shaken! It doesn’t matter how I feel, what I think or what the situation looks like; my God is near me!