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Jamie Johnson
5 May 2013

My Father is With Me

NOTE: This is a written version of the message I delivered to a group of residents at Kings Daughters Community Health & Rehabilitation Center on May 5, 2013.

My father died 3 years ago. Last month, I had a dream that included him and the next morning, I wrote the brief excerpt of my dream in my journal:

Pop is with me in the van. We are taking backroads to get somewhere. There is a lot of construction, which makes finding roads difficult. And we have to dodge some of the equipment. We find a secluded intersection in the country. I'm not sure where I am, but Pop is with me.

I wasn't sure where I was, but my father was with me. Life is like that, too. Sometimes, we don't know where we are. However, considering things spiritually, my heavenly Father is here with me. You see, there are two considerations: the sense of not knowing where you are and the knowing that the Father is with you.

Let's consider the not knowing where you are. Do you ever feel that way? Are you ever unsure, perhaps of where you are, or of what's next or of what's going to happen? Do you ever feel stuck or discouraged or uncertain? Do you wonder about purpose or importance?

The very fact that you are here means you are of importance and have purpose. Do you know Christ? If so, then your purpose is multi-fold. You can encourage those around you. You can live as an example of one faithful to Him. You can grow in Him and in His Word. You can share the Gospel with those around you. This is your mission field. If you do not know Christ, then perhaps His purpose is for you to have this time to respond to Him this day. Perhaps He has given you another day so that by His grace, you become His. And then upon placing faith in Christ -- His death for your sins on the cross, His burial, and His resurrection -- then you share in the multi-fold purpose I mentioned. You can spend a lifetime reading the Bible and walking with God and there is still more to know. He is so deep and vast and He loves you and you matter to Him. 1 Peter 2:9 (NASB) states the following in regards to those who are in Christ:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

And this is not of yourselves, but of the Heavenly Father, a work of the Holy Spirit. You can take comfort in the Father being with you if you know Jesus. I read 1 Samuel 3:7 (NIV) recently, which says, "Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him." And I thought about John 1:1 (NASB), speaking of Jesus, which says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." In order to know the LORD, the Word has be revealed to you. In order to know the Father, you must have Jesus revealed to you. Jesus says in John 14:9 (NASB), "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." In a world that is lost, your Heavenly Father is accessible through Jesus. He will go before you and fight the battles for you. Romans 8:31b (NASB) says, "If God is for us, who is against us?"

Consider the words of the song "If He Goes Before Me":

I know your eyes see me as being weak
And without any strength or wisdom to call my own
I know the odds they don't favor me
But my friend have you forgotten I'm not alone

The Father's here with me
Already fighting the battles I can't see

If He goes before me
How could I ever lose
If He goes before me
Before I ever begin
I know I'll win
If he goes before me

Remember David, so young and frail
Not afraid of fighting battles with simple things
He stood against the great warrior
That fell and gave to victory her sweetest ring

These pages are true
And I believe what David already knew

Do you believe what David already knew? In 1 Samuel 17:47, David told Goliath that the battle belongs to the LORD. Do you have such confidence? You can if the Father is with you, if the battle belongs to the LORD. Does the Father go before you? If you are in Christ, then He does. In considering that song, do you know you'll win? We can have confidence in Christ. No matter how tired we are or how stuck we are or sick we feel or discouraged we feel, we know that in the end, we win in Jesus. In Christ, there are promises that He is with you (and won't let you go).

Jesus says in Matthew 28:20b (NASB), "I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

In John 10:27-29, Jesus prays for His sheep:

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.

Are you one of His sheep? If so, no one can snactch you from the Father's hand. Once you are His, you are always His. What does John 3:16 say? "For God so love the world that He gave..." What? Eternal life. If something is eternal, then it is forever. It does not start and then stop. You cannot lose your salvation once you are saved. The Father won't get frustrated and leave you alone wondering where you are. The Scripture says in 2 Timothy 2:13 (NASB) the following: "If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself."

Maybe you had a father who left. Maybe you don't have good memories of your father. Maybe you do have good memories of a father, but he has since died. Maybe you are immobile or sick or in a rut. Life can be hard. Some of my hardest days and biggest mistakes have been as a Christian. However, the difference is that in all of the trials and struggles, one Truth remains sure: the Father is with me. In Christ, relationship with Him is possible. And He reveals in His Word not only application for life now, but the rest of the story: to be with Him forever. That is what you are made for! Have you trusted Christ for this great promise? If not, will you trust Christ today?

I conclude with the words of another song "He Won't Let You Go":

He won't let you go
the moment that you say
come and live in me
take me all the way
what He said is true
He will never leave you
forever by your's true

He won't let you go
though the seasons change
He's never been so close
He's just a prayer away
when you hear the Father's call
when He's calling to you
run into His arms
don't hesitate to do it

He won't let you go
when He's forever by your side
He wants you to know
Jesus has paid the price
He wants you to go
forever in paradise
getting close to Him
is really all you have to do
and even when you die
He will still be by your side

He won't let you go
His love will never change
let Him hold you close
closer everyday
He would have died for you
had you been the only one
don't you ever's true

He won't let you go

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