Andy Hollifield 5-19-18
1 Kings 8:59-60 And let these words, wherewith I have made supplication before the Lord, be nigh unto the Lord our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require. (60) That all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else.”
2 Chronicles 6:39 Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.
Psalms 140:2 I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.
Titus 3:14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
Maintain—-1) to keep in existence or continuance; preserve; retain 2) to keep in an appropriate condition, operation, or force; keep unimpaired 3) to keep or hold against attack 4) to provide for the upkeep or support of; carry the expenses of; 5) to sustain or support
Man, if those definitions don’t get you excited just knowing all of that is what the Lord does for us daily; I don’t know what will! I can’t even remember for sure who it is but I have a friend that, when I ask him how he is doing his response is always the same: “maintaining.” I have thought about that and thought it was a kind of humorous answer, but on the other hand not so much. I am aware of the blessings of the Lord on my life and I am happy to report that, because of his grace and mercy, I am far beyond just “maintaining.” I am blessed! Like the songwriter once said “I have shoes for my feet, I have plenty to eat, and a home in heaven by and by.” What more could anybody ask for?
As I looked at some of the definitions, I was thrilled to see some of the words used. Psalms 121:7-8 says, “The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. (8) The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even forever more.” The word preserve is used 30 times in the bible, 14 of which are in Psalms. The word “preserved is used 16 times and in Psalms 37:28 the writer says, “For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved forever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.”
One of the most beautiful and comforting verses about God keeping us is found in Isaiah 42:6. “I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.” In the prayer of Solomon in 1 Kings chapter 8, I love the way that Solomon worded his prayer in verse 59. He ask what we should ask when he said, “that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require.” He was asking for God to preserve and support and care for “at all times.” Then he said “As the matter shall require.” In todays language that could be said “Whatever we need.” I am glad that Jesus said in Matthew 6 that “Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” That was speaking of food, drink, and clothing. The book of Titus tells us to “maintain good works.” In 2 Timothy 3:17, Paul has just finished giving Timothy instruction for the ministry. He tells him to continue in the things he has learned and been assured of. He reminds him that he has known the scriptures since childhood and that with that he may be “throughly furnished unto all good works.” Psalms 23:1 puts it this way: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Because he is our shepherd, we don’t have to want for anything. No other shepherd can make the written guarantees that the Lord does. God is maintaining us by having already given us access to everything we need by faith. He keeps us in appropriate condition to maintain good works. I am thankful that he is able to keep me operational and through prayer, I can be unimpaired or hindered in his works. Psalms 121:3 talks about how he maintains us. It says “He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.” He won’t allow our feet to slip if we keep our trust in him. Psalms 73:2-3 says “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my feet had well nigh slipped. (3) For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” When we get our eyes off of the things of God and get envious of those that don’t know him, we are setting ourselves up to fail. They are living in the best world they will ever have if they don’t come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and his grace. In contrast, this is the worst we will ever have it. The best truly is yet to come for a child of God. But if we keep our trust in him, our feet won’t slip.
When it comes to being kept or held from attack; the psalmist said in 18:3 “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” Jesus told Peter in Luke 22:31 that “Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.” That don’t sound very encouraging does it? I am glad that Jesus didn’t stop there. In verse 22 he said, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Just the thought of what it would be like to have Jesus to pray for you. That would be unbelievable wouldn’t it? Well, the good news is that he did. In John 17:20, in the garden Jesus while praying for his disciples said, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” How did you get born again? You believed on him through their word. Jesus prayed for you and I before we were even born. His prayer is what kept Peter from the hands of the devil. His prayer is what gets us the mercy, grace, and provision of God and keeps us from being devoured by Satan. It would be enough that he saved us, but he continues to bless us and he “daily loadeth us with benefits” (Psalms 68:19).”
Christ death on the cross and the shedding of his blood for the remission of our sin had paid the penalty for our sin and the price for our upkeep and support. God gave heaven’s best, his only begotten Son, for sinful mankind (Revelation 5). Psalms 55:22 says, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Surely if God can cause a widow woman to sustain Elijah during a time of drought, and he can sustain the children of Israel for forty years in the wilderness, he can sustain us throughout our lives. Like I mentioned already; he is our shepherd so we don’t have to want for anything. I am thankful that God not only saved me, but that he is also able to keep me. Just like the Lord said to Jeremiah 2 times in Jeremiah 1 and once in chapter 15; Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.” Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!
Andy Hollifield 5-19-18