Our Overcoming God
Words by David Hollows
Our Overcoming God
'O praise the Lord, all you nations. Praise Him all you people, for His mercy and loving-kindness are great toward us and the truth and faithfulness of the Lord endure forever. Praise the Lord.'
Loving God, we pray that we may know your Spirit in us and amongst us as we gather for worship. We offer you our praise and week to know your will for us, to grow in faith and understanding and so to live out in actions day by day the faith we now proclaim in words. In the name of Jesus we ask this.
Praise time: continue in the presence of God as you sing to Him your songs and hymns of praise and gratitude. You may wish to sing along to CDs or YouTube and you may choose to include the following hymn;
Morning has broken (Mission Praise 467)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZAsfB1Np-8 - Cat Stevens
Photo by Amelia Bartlett via Unsplash
As you continue to worship God, now bring to Him your prayers thanking Him for all the many gifts you have received recently from His hands. You may wish to include the following prayer;
Lord, in our praise and in our prayer, in our listening and in our speaking, may singer and song, speaker and hearer become part of the ongoing worship of your eternal praise.
God, we come to you bringing our joys and sorrows, our thanks and our confession. We come to you knowing that your fingerprint is on our soul and that you have carved our names in the hollow of your hand. Creator of the galaxies, fill our worship with your love and that we might come close to you. in the name of Jesus we pray.
Bible reading; The Gospel of Mark chapter 4 verses 35 to 41
Key idea; The disciples said to one another;
‘Who then is this, that even the wind and sea obey Him?’
(Mark chapter 4 verses 41)
How does a caterpillar develop into a butterfly? By overcoming the cocoon. Would it be easier for the caterpillar to stay in the cocoon? Some days the struggle is so great that the caterpillar probably thinks so. But the price of freedom, flight and discovery is struggle, development and overcoming. There is no other way.
This idea of overcoming is not just for the butterfly. Consider fledgling birds breaking out of the egg or a baby learning how to crawl then walk. Life is a series of opportunities to overcome; passing the driving test, securing a career, achieving an ambition.
Photo by Calvin Mano via Unsplash
The Bible also contains many examples when people have overcome in order to come to faith, grow in faith or complete the will of God in their life. And the promise in the Bible is that God was with His people in all of this.
Joseph overcame his predicament of one minute being a prisoner to rising to the challenge of being the Prime Minister of a vast nation (Genesis chapter 41 verses 39 and 40).
Moses stood on the bank of the Red Sea with a million Israelites with him and the Egyptian army in hot pursuit. He overcame by lifting his rod high and the sea parted allowing the people of God to cross to safety (Exodus chapter 14 verses 21) Joshua overcome the problem posed by the walls of Jericho by walking around and praising God in order to access the city (Joshua chapter 6 verses 20) Gideon overcame the Midianite army with only 300 soldiers (Judges chapter 7 verse 16).
If all of these examples are not spectacular enough then consider the amazing ways in which God overcame for His people in the early church; An angel releases Peter from prison and guides him to his friends (Acts chapter 12 ) Paul is also in prison and singing praises at midnight when an earthquake bring them release (Acts chapter 16 verse 25).
In the Gospel story, Jesus allows his friends to experience the storm on Galilee in order to help them understand the essence of trusting Him to overcome whatever the situation might be. We can learn so much about overcoming from our persecuted brothers and sisters across the world.
When the storms of life hit, they can rock us but they don’t have to sink us. Time and again, the story of the persecuted church is a story of standing strong in God. ‘People always ask us where was God when we were displaced? But we witness the hand of God with us all the time; we don’t focus our mind on what we have lost rather we focus it on God and what he did for us’ says an Iraqi Christian who lost their home.
Have there been times in your faith journey when you know that you have overcome? And, more importantly, that you have known God to be with you in that moment? What are you trying to overcome today? Instead of complaining about it, or asking God to take it away, try to see the issue as preparation for the thing God has called you to do. And claim the promise that our God will overcome with you.
A prayer of response:
Lord, thank you that I can stand firm whatever the storms I face because you stand with me.
Prayers for others: please now spend time praying for those who are struggling with life and need God to help them overcome. You may wish to include the following prayer,
God of the nations, touch with your presence those with much and those with little, those who are successful and those who struggle. Open eyes which are closed to the needs of others and open the ears of those who can respond to those who cry out. Release those in poverty and strengthen those who care for others. Let there be freedom for those in prison and justice for those who are denied access to the benefits of life. Let lives be moved to support and hearts warmed to love. In the name of Jesus we pray.
The Lord’s Prayer
Photo by Ilja Tulit via Unsplash
Praise time; now please use the time you have to continue to praise our God perhaps with your favourite hymns/songs and you may wish to include this song;
Father I place in to your hands (Mission Praise 133)
Wherever we go, may the joy of God be with us. Wherever we go may the presence of Jesus be with us. Wherever we go, may the strength and peace of the Holy Spirit be with us. And may our great God bless us and keep us until we meet with Him in eternity.
Extra; if you have access to Youtube either on-line or TV, please try this new worship song:
Awesome is He – Worship Central / Anna Hellenbroth
Thank you for sharing your worship with us. God bless you