God Is in the Rescue Business
March 13, 2019
March 13, 2019
Rescuing people is part of God’s nature. From the moment Adam sinned, God’s nature kicked in and He initiated a plan to rescue humanity from eternal separation to the life and blessing of God. Paul explains this truth in Colossians 1:13–14.
[God] hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son, in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
The Greek word rendered delivered is defined by Strong’s Concordance as “rescue.” God has a plan to rescue every one of us from the force and effect of darkness in our lives!
A lot of people assume rescue is something God does automatically in His sovereignty, but ultimately, we’re told in His Word that God is a gentleman and will not impose His will on us unless we ask for His intervention. We have to deliberately choose to cooperate with Him by making choices that take our lives toward His rescue. That’s why we must understand our need for rescue from the power of darkness at work in this world.
The Greek word for “power” is exousia, which means authority. Because of Adam’s sin, every person is born under the authority of the kingdom of darkness (see 1 Corinthians 15:22), but God longs to rescue people from the authority of that kingdom and bring them under the authority of His kingdom of light.
Before we talk about these concepts further, we should identify what exactly that word kingdom means. A kingdom is a naturalized entity, a collective of citizenry responsive to the authority of the king in that realm. As the highest level and final authority in that kingdom, the king creates the laws that define life in that kingdom. When people want to participate in the benefits the kingdom has to offer, they live by those laws. If they don’t, they’re called outlaws and they forfeit the benefits of living in that kingdom.
The two kingdoms we have to choose between are the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. Although you probably know what both of those kingdoms entail, let’s take a quick look at characteristics of each.
First, the kingdom of darkness implies that its citizenry will have:
• An absence of God’s presence
• A lack of understanding
• No revelation of the truth that sets free
• A life filled with deception
The world without God currently lives in this kingdom. They think they have answers, but they are unable to understand the truth available to those under God’s authority. Nothing is available to them except the fruit of this kingdom: cursing and death.
The fruit of the kingdom of God, on the other hand, is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Its citizens receive:
• Right standing with God
• Peace that passes all understanding and garrisons your heart and mind regardless of surrounding conflict
• Joy that is not circumstantially based
• The ability to rejoice in the truth of God regarding who you are and your destiny in Christ, regardless of what’s going on in this life
In this kingdom, God is the final authority. The principles of life that come through His Word describe life in this kingdom.
One kingdom is death and cursing; the other is life and blessing. The choice of where we abide is up to us.
The Bible is filled with example after example of people who ask for God’s intervention and see God’s rescue in their lives. The disciples were rescued from a sinking boat in a storm-tossed sea. The woman with the issue of blood was held captive for 12 years; the day she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, she was rescued.
The children of Israel were outnumbered by their foes multiple times with absolutely no natural possibility of success—and God rescued them. Sometimes it was by an angelic host; other times, the enemy turned against one another. The vehicle of delivery varied, but the fact remained: our God rescued His people!
Consider every leper who was healed in the Word. In that day, lepers were isolated from family, friends, and interaction with others. When God healed them, they were not only rescued unto health, they were restored to their family, friends, and community.
The widow woman and her son only had a morsel of grain and oil left to eat before certain death; God rescued them with an abundance that did not end and was supernatural in origin and magnitude.
Just as these people did, you and I constantly face situations that create a need for God’s rescue. Sometimes we need to be rescued from negative circumstances; sometimes we need to be rescued from our own ignorant choices. The pain and suffering allowed in our lives can be changed when we allow God to initiate His plan of rescue for us.
The vehicle of rescue God uses is seen in Colossians 1:14: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”
Do you realize your sins have to be forgiven for you to enjoy the ongoing presence of God in your life? Sin keeps you out of the kingdom of light because it is rejection of God and His Word. Translation into the kingdom of light is preceded by forgiveness.
Remember, forgiveness is not something you have to earn. It’s done by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and it has already been done for every person born into this earth. God so loved the world that He sent Jesus—but that provision is not automatic. You have to choose it. That choice will restore your life in God and reverse your previous rejection of God and His Word and enable the presence of God in your life to translate you into His kingdom.
You know what the word translate actually means? Carry away. Doesn’t that paint a beautiful picture? When you are translated into the kingdom of light, you are carried away from the authority of darkness. You may still have to live in a world of darkness, but you can be carried away from its authority to operate in your life if you know who you are and the kingdom in which you live.
God is in the rescue business!
I will note that this rescue into God’s kingdom has a daily effect on our lives. The decisions you and I make every day are going to fall into the category of life and blessing or death and cursing. We must learn to live with a continual awareness and understanding of this truth so we are drawn to make more and more decisions that come down on the side of life and blessing.
With that in mind, know that you and I will need to be rescued time and again from different things during our walk with God on this earth. Whether it is mistakes we make or decisions we get wrong or negative circumstance, we will need God’s grace, mercy, and love to operate and rescue us from the situations we face.
If you have made a series of choices that place you under the authority of the enemy’s kingdom, know that God will intervene. He will bring people across your path. These “laborers in the Word” will share God’s truth with you. They will speak into your life to help orient you back toward Him. Other times, He’ll bring people who won’t speak what you need to hear, but they will live it. You’ll see how they live and the decisions they make and you’ll notice the difference it makes in their lives. As a result, you’ll start reevaluating your choices.
Wherever you are at, know that the Lord will always set you up for rescue, but you have to choose His life and blessing. He’ll maneuver you into place. If you blow it and miss it, He’ll do it again. If your head is buried in the sand and you miss it again, He’ll keep providing the opportunity for rescue—but eventually, you’re going to have to make the decision to move out from under the authority of darkness in each area of your life.
I encourage you to focus on the continual rescue God has made available to us. He plans for it and is determined to give you opportunity after opportunity to experience His life and blessing on this earth. It’s your job to take it.