I said the prayer of salvation back in 1992, but my life did not change for 9 years.
I believed the prayer of Salvation was a means to an end. I thought, “Hallelujah, I’m not going to hell” and continued living the same old way!
I did not know that accepting Jesus as my Savior is designed to kickstart a daily, intimate relationship with my Heavenly Father.
But in 2001, everything changed.
Knowing God as my Father
In 2001, I went to a Christian women’s retreat and had an encounter with the Lord that gave me a new revelation of who He is. The following scripture was the event’s theme:
The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”– Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV)
Up until that point, I thought of God as a tough taskmaster. I felt that nothing I did was ever good enough.
I saw life as a series of hurdles I had to jump over to get approval from others, from God, and from myself. My natural father had abandoned my mother and me when I was just a baby. I never knew him.
What a life-changing revelation to learn that my Heavenly Father loved me just as I was and would never leave nor forsake me!
As a loving Father, He wanted to see me become all that He designed me to be. Don’t loving parents desire the best for their children?
God had a wonderful plan for my life and as I listened to His word, I could learn about that plan and most importantly, come to know Him.
The Meaning of Zephaniah 3:17
Let’s break down Zephaniah 3:17 and discover the relationship God wants to have with you. You are So precious to Him!
1. The Lord your God in your midst.
The Lord promises to be with you. Do you know how awesome that is?
That means that no matter where you go or what situations you face, the Lord is with you.
King David wrote about the intimate presence of God in Psalm 139:
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.”
Even if you go to a dark place, you can seek the Lord in the midst of that situation and He will shine light in that darkness.
2. The Mighty One, will save.
Are you facing any situations from which you need deliverance? Seek the Lord’s wisdom and His word will save you!
…through knowledge the righteous will be delivered (Proverbs 11:9).”
Through declaring Jesus as your Savior, you qualify for deliverance:
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).”
3. He will rejoice over you with gladness.
This part of the scripture reminds me of the Father’s reaction when His prodigal son returned home (see Luke 15:11-32).
Was the father angry when his son returned? Did he lecture his son about his grave mistake?
No, instead the Bible records the father’s reaction:
“But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.”
I wonder how long the son stayed away from his father because he was afraid of how his father would react upon his return?
Me? I stayed away from God for 9 years! Even though I went to church occasionally, my heart was far from the Lord.
The only time I really thought of Him was when I was in trouble or I desired more material goods from the world.
But now I know the Lord is always glad to see us. He has an open door policy.
He loves it when we spend time with Him just because we love Him and want to be with Him.
4. He will quiet you with His love.
This brings up an image in my mind of a father holding his little girl in his arms after she’s had a hard day and comforting her, bringing her peace.
The good news for us is that the Lord is always there to comfort us. We often live so frantically, rushing from this place to that. But the Bible never records Jesus hurrying anywhere! Neither should we.
We should order our lives so that we have plenty of time to do what we need to do. Many times we are stressed because we are doing too many things that the Lord never called us to do.
Even in the midst of stress, we can seek the Lord and He promises to give us perfect peace according to Isaiah 26:3:
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
5. He will rejoice over you with singing.
This my favorite part! I love to hear men sing to the Lord, but I cannot imagine what the Lord Himself sounds like when He sings.
However He sounds, I imagine God’s singing voice must be wonderful!
The thought of Him singing over me gladdens my heart and makes me smile. There is so much pain in this world and I imagine the Lord singing over me to comfort me and let me know everything will be well, indeed is well.
Why? Because God rejoices over His children and has provided everything we need pertaining to life and godliness. Aw, Lord – how wonderful you are! Help us to gain more and more understanding of You every day.
When we stand before You, we want to know You so well that we all meet You in heaven, it is like a big family reunion!
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
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