This verse has to be read in its true light as a conditional verse. It is not a given that God is “for us”. I read in Isaiah 63 where the Holy Spirit was the enemy of God’s people, and actively resisted them. Here we have a similar question in the New Testament where the “If” is a qualifier, and that qualifier hinges upon whether God is for us or not. If God will be for us we must know what the “if ” entails.
If we access the covenant of Shed Blood and walk in obedience we qualify
In one discussion I had one day, the question was made that was such “Is obedience and obligation or a choice?” I would say that obedience is an obligation when love is at the centre. The work of Calvary satisfies all the requirements and is consistent with the Old Covenant. The Old demanded the shedding of Blood. We can sometimes think Jesus came to do away with the Old, but in actual fact Jesus established the New Covenant upon the foundation of the Old. There is consistency in the Word if you study the threads it presents. That is why God wants to bring a new generation of scholars who will be passionate to understand not just the Word through theological and denominational filters, but study with the aid of the Holy Spirit.
When you consider the threads presented in the Old Covenant regarding atonement you see a lamb, you see the blood. Jesus became our Lamb, and John the Baptist recognised the transition from a lamb that covered, and a Lamb that took the sin from the world. When you consider the completeness of the work of Calvary in its mercy and forgiveness it demands the same from us to our brothers and sisters. So for God to be for us, we must first connect with the covenant: “Abraham believed and it was counted for righteousness.” Genesis 15.6. We must believe that the redemptive work of Calvary applies to our lives and walk in it each day. Then God will manifest how He is for us.
If God be for us then these signs will follow us…
There has to be an idea what it means for God to be for us. There cannot be a vague idea. Paul talks concerning the signs of this favour of God being FOR us. We can have a whole manner of circumstances and states of being yet we will never see our lives without that hand of God manifest in our lives with expressions of love. There can be extremes but God’s love is manifest.
It brings me to my episode with Sepsis in January, where I entered into the organ failure stage.I saw God’s love in all went on, and miraculously I was back home in 3 days. It was puzzling for me, God’s silence within, yet little by little God began to reveal Himself. It was a preparation time for what would come in March with the lockdown and the whole atmosphere of crisis. So in our signs we see God bring favour first. It can be people who help us, it can be a medical team who do incredible things for us, or institutions who help us in a crisis. Favour opens doors that normally would be shut. With this favour comes provision, and vision, because as we communicate our revealed purpose in God we suddenly find others drawn to us. We see this in Nehemiah, where he fasts and prays, for 7 days for Jerusalem and weeps for that city. I had a similar experience in June where God began to move my heart for Venezuela and the need to resource their churches in a time of great crisis. A video series from Indigo Traveller, on Youtube stirred me greatly. I recommend you see it.
The next sign is hope because Paul cites impossible circumstances in the list that follow his question. Hope is a prime component of faith in Hebrews 11:1. God brings to us a eternal hope so we can build with the blocks of faith today what will contribute to our eternal hope. We must be building not with a vision of improvement of our earth, but transformation and replacement of this earth. Our destiny is not on this earth of suffering, it may be necessary for a season but it will make way for an eternal kingdom and an eternal life. It is this hope we need to be forever looking toward. Right now I have been through 6 months of a great transition that has demanded all of my hope. It is this hope that is like the crimson cord in Rahab’s house that extended into her entry into the covenant, and line of David.
The other sign is love, not the love for one another, but the love that comes from God that determines we overcome all, all the list of Paul to know that at the end of the river of love that flows to us is Jesus Himself, welcoming us into His eternal abode. It is that love that stops us going into hate and bitterness in extreme circumstances. It is that love that brings us through 5 different spheres, or layers as Al Houghton writes in his book or explains in his mp3 series of teachings. Please go to http://www.wordatwork.org and order the book or get the audio series. It is called 5 Layered Love.
It is through this love we will come to maturity and come into the place where despite the difficulties Paul wrote, and experienced, but finished his race of vocation to the Lord. Love is the cord that connects us to Christ.
Who can be against us?
The “who” is a necessary exam to do! Today there is no doubt that enemies are spreading over the earth! Those who are against us are against the Lord first! What are they wanting to do by being against us? They want to DISTRACT, DECEIVE AND DESTROY. There were many enemies of the early church, the first being the religious authorities who rejected Christ, and then there were demons, and princes in the spiritual realm.
Today we have a prime example as the narrative is of a second wave of COVID19, where fear is being used to politically mould the population. I sense that all this is a forerunner to the antichrist. There are crises all over, including threats concerning the USA election where states have said they would break up the Union, and even civil war has been threatened. In the UK the lockdown is coming back, schools are being highlighted as focus of infections.
What are we being distracted from? We are being distracted from the secret laws being passed, political landscapes being changed in the atmosphere of crisis. Rights are being withdrawn and a cashless society is being proposed. Also a vaccine is being proposed to change DNA. This is so dangerous if true. We are being immersed in changes that we have yet to realise what is happening because we are so locked up in fear.
What are we being deceived with? Much of Church teaching has been about maintaining our comfort when we should be preparing the saints to build their faith and their armour for tough times ahead. We need to embrace Jesus the King and know His programme.
What are we being destroyed with? We are being destroyed by a lack of true vision. This vision comes from true Word which brings both hope and faith. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”Hosea 4:6.
So in this we need to first qualiy “if” we are experiencing God for us. Then we need to know who are enemies are that God will defeat in us and through us. The greatest enemy of our day is fear.
May we answer this question from Romans 8, “My God is for me, who can be against me?”