The Keeping Power of God

GOD SPOKE TO Moses at the burning bush, as recorded in Exodus 3:12, saying, “Certainly I will be with thee.” Those words are an inspiration to us today as we continue to do the will of God—in trial, in difficulty, and in seasons of blessing. He says to us, ‘Certainly I will be with thee,’ and if God be with us, who can prevail against us? Moses left the burning bush to endure difficulties, trials, vexations and disappointments. But on those occasions of distress and grief he would recall the words of God, ‘Certainly I will be with thee,’ and because God was with him, he prevailed against all obstacles, some seemingly insurmountable, and led the people of God to liberty and freedom.

Who shall say what the future holds for us? Trials and difficulties, disappointments, discouragements, even bereavements—they are bound to come. In such experiences our privilege, our duty, is to turn our eyes toward our Father in heaven and claim his promise, ‘Certainly I will be with thee.’ This will mean eventual victory, eventual entrance into the promised land of our blessed hope. Without the Lord we can do nothing, but, with him beside us, we can overcome every difficulty of life that presents itself. We “can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth” us.—Phil. 4:13


God established the faith of Moses. He gave Moses a realization of his presence by various signs and providences. When he spoke to him from the burning bush, the burning bush itself became a sign of God’s presence and of God’s power in his life. Moses left the burning bush with the words of God ringing in his ears. These words gave him assurance. He realized that God was directing his affairs, and that assurance made him strong. ‘Certainly I will be with thee’ was God’s promise to Moses. May these words send us forth with strength, strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. The psalmist David says, “As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried [Margin, ‘refined’]: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God?”—Ps. 18:30,31

In Psalm 73:23,24, it says: “I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” What a wonderful thought, that our Heavenly Father holds us by the hand! He guides us through the difficulties of life, and afterward receives us to himself.

One of life’s most important lessons is to learn of our own insufficiency, lack of wisdom, and our need. In childhood we may have sought counsel of our parents. In adulthood we have sought counsel of our friends. Some of it has been good and some not so good. Certainly none of it has been perfect, for all human counsel is biased by imperfections of the counselor.

After learning of the grace of God and his provision through Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, and his plan for reconciling us to himself, we must be made acceptable, righteous, justified before God through the merit of Christ’s blood being imputed to us. We find that much more is to be learned. This happens when we make a consecration and become sons of God. Now we need good and reliable counsel. No one in the world can give us this counsel, because the world, with its wisdom and spirit, is opposed to the Christian walk of faith. But what a wonderful assurance we have that our Heavenly Father will guide us by his counsel, and afterward receive us to glory!


We have found such counsel in his Word—given by “inspiration of God” and useful for doctrine, reproof, correction from error, instruction in right living—that we might be mature, completely equipped for every good work. (II Tim. 3:16,17) To follow this counsel will bring comfort and joy. We are not forced to follow his counsel if we do not feel a need. We are in danger if we become self-sufficient in knowledge and understanding and feel we can depend upon our own wisdom. Israel fell into that condition and her house was left desolate, and we can be turned aside too. Through stumbling, blundering, and disappointments, we learn the need of the counsel provided in God’s Word.

All of God’s wise counsel, if followed, is most helpful. Some examples are: “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” (Prov. 15:1) Again: “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” (Ps. 141:3) Jesus said, “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things.” This is because “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”—Matt. 12:34,35


God tells us, “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.” (Ps. 25:9) All of us want sanctified judgment, and to know God’s way for us. To receive these we must be meek, teachable. Of course, if we have pride of self or of knowledge, we will never submit to the Lord’s guidance. Some people never learn because they think they understand everything already, so why should they bother to listen? If we are ‘holier than thou’ in language or demeanor, the beauty and wealth of this counsel will likely escape us. But if we are meek, humble, lowly of mind, God has promised to guide us in judgment. He has promised to teach us his ways.

Our counsel continues with Hebrews 10:24,25: “Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” The Lord’s people should heed this counsel and determine to make full use of the grace of the Lord as provided for his people. The privilege of assembling with those of like precious faith to enjoy spiritual fellowship is important. All should, therefore, enjoy the fellowship of God and of his Son. Let us enjoy to the full the fellowship of those of our own ecclesia. They are not perfect, but neither are we. It is worth all the effort we can give to obey this counsel of God.

Our great ‘Counselor’ has given us hundreds of such admonitions. They are full of wisdom, blessings, and good advice. Meekness and patience bring to full development the spirit of love which is the bond of completeness, for love binds everything together completely. (Col. 3:14) Love represents the condition of heart acceptable to God and says, I delight to do thy will. It is love which says, “Show me the way which I take.” Can we say this? Let us remember the assurance, “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” (Ps. 73:24) The psalmist David says, “I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: … I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”—Ps. 16:7,8


In Hebrews 13:20,21 it is written: “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight.” May the God of peace indeed be with us!

There are two kinds of peace in a Christian’s life; both come from God. First there is the peace of reconciliation. We were born at enmity with God, but through obedience to the invitation, “My son, give me thine heart” (Prov. 23:26), by consecration, and through the merit of our Master’s sacrifice, we have been made acceptable to God. Robed in the Master’s righteousness, we are righteous before God, justified, reconciled to him, and at peace with him. He has begotten us by his Spirit, and made us the sons of God.

Second, God gives us tranquility, calmness, peace and rest. The God of peace is never disturbed, perplexed, or confused. This is not because there is no disorder in his domain, or no rebellion, for Satan has been in open, defiant rebellion against God for six thousand years. Nor is God’s peace based on indifference to human problems, for if it were, he would not have sent his Son.

God has peace because he knows his plans will not falter or fail, and because he knows the end from the beginning. “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (I John 1:5) From the vast resources and the perfect balance of justice, wisdom, love and power spring the peace which God possesses.

God has promised us his peace. Are there disorders in our small domain? Is there disharmony, discord? Do some misjudge our motives? Do some think our sincerity will bear watching? We are to remember that God has promised to exercise his power for us. Through faith we realize the power of his peace and shall have peace, and rest. May the God of peace ever abide in our hearts—during every day of every year still remaining in our pilgrimage.


Jesus walked with Cleopas and another disciple on the way to Emmaus; so our Heavenly Father walks along life’s way with us! And as the hearts of those two ‘burned’ when our Master spoke to them, may our hearts burn within us as the Father walks with us. The privilege of prayer is a great blessing. While we walk with God he reminds us of his promises, including that he will never leave us nor forsake us—that his grace will always be sufficient. Likewise, besides these assurances we are told that God has given us some apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers; “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”—Eph. 4:11-13

Concerning our temptations, there may come a desire to have ideas of our own, but truth must be in harmony with the inspired Word. We may be tempted to lean on man, to worship idols, or to lean on the traditions of the elders as did so many in Israel. But thus the verity of thought so necessary for growth in grace and knowledge may be lost. So we suggest that we each request a ‘Thus saith the Lord’ for what we hold dear. “To the Law and to the testimony,” God says through the prophet, “if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.”—Isa. 8:20


We are fellow laborers with God. This is an unselfish service. Paul said, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” (I Cor. 3:6) And then he added, “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” Working together with God is a high and honorable commission. It is given to every child of God. We have all seen much lost effort, wasted energy, in the preaching of error. But here the word ‘together’ becomes meaningful—laborers together with God, with all the results, all the increase, dependent not on us, but on our partner in the service. It is ‘God that giveth the increase.’

Spiritual fellowship and service are the basis of much of the joy and satisfaction of a Christian life. To be efficient ‘laborers together with God’ it is well to study how Christ, as the Master workman, went about it. First of all he wanted to do what the Father wanted done. “Lo, I come … to do thy will, O God.” (Ps. 40:7,8; Heb. 10:7) This must also be the keynote of our service. The doing of God’s will is the first consideration. The work may not always be to our taste. But doing the sweet will of God should be to our taste always.

Sometimes the Lord may let us do some reaping, and that is pleasant work because we see results from our labor. But the principal work we are asked to do is, “I delight to do thy will, O my God.” (Ps. 40:8) The Master went from town to town preaching the good news: “Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom.” (Matt. 9:35) We have the same privilege. Let us unitedly labor with God.

One secret of our strength is the realization of our need. It is when we feel our own inadequacy and need that God can work in us to do his will. When we reach the point of helplessness, what do we do? Do we give up? Do we let self-pity take over? Or do we open the door through prayer, and let our Lord take over and exert his power in handling our affairs? “In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”—Ps. 16:11

May God be with us in our trials and victories, in our times of need, and of joy. May he be with us through every experience of life, until we see him face to face. May he uphold us by his counsel, and with his sheep may he securely fold us. May he securely hide us beneath his wings, and provide us with daily manna. When we are threatened by the perils of life may he put his arms unfailing around us. And may we keep his banner of love floating over us until we have fought the last battle of faith, and, through his grace, have gained the victory!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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