Psalm 37:23-24 (NLT)
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.
Relapse is every cancer patient’s worst nightmare. Every single day away from the dreaded disease in a huge victory. But lingering in the back of the mind is the thought what if it returns one day. When I was twenty-six years old, I was pregnant with my second child when I received the diagnosis. Stage IV melanoma – how could this be? I was so young. I was the mother of a toddler with another little one on the way. I can remember holding the phone and sliding down the wall for support as the gravity and weight of the words pressed upon my shoulders. I did not have a thriving relationship with the Lord but still dared to call on His Name. After two surgeries, I was told that there was nothing else they could do until after the baby was born. He was my first priority. I was quite surprised to learn afterwards that there was “no residual disease” and the Lord had healed my body and protected my child. When I was in my mid-forties, I heard the word “cancer” again. This time it was my son, ironically the same child I was carrying when I was diagnosed all those years before. One might only imagine where my mind gravitated at that moment, did I give him this awful disease? Had it been hidden in the cells of his body all these years? It would take more than a year to determine the source of the disease in our son. It was caused by his immune system’s malfunction when it allowed the Epstein-Barre virus to slip past and live when it should have died. Over time, it would become a cancerous tumor manifesting in his pharyngeal cavity. For a solid year, I felt guilt and shame that I had somehow caused my child to contract this dreadful disease. But that was not the case, just a lie from the enemy meant to destroy me. Although I had been in remission for almost twenty years, it caused a relapse in my mind to the bondage I felt all those years before wondering if the disease was still lingering. Sitting on the exam table every six months for ten long years, watching and waiting to know it was really gone. The Lord wants us to live in freedom. He has released us from worry, doubt and fear associated with the complications and hardships of life. The enemy is calling for relapse but the Spirit of God invites us to be released from such things in the Name of Jesus Christ.
Relapse means to fall or slip back to a former state or condition. Release is to be freed from confinement, bondage, obligation or pain. God gave us the opportunity to be released from every burden in our life while the enemy of our soul constantly tries to wrap us up in relapse reminding us of our former condition hoping to push us into doubt and fear that the deliverance of God did not happen and what has been experienced through Christ is not real. To receive from God requires belief in God. It is the acquisition of all that He promised even when we cannot see a thing. That is what hope is. To claim the Word of God and dare to receive it when it seems illogical and impossible.
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. Does this mean that we will never have heartache, struggle or stumble? Of course, not. Read what it says. Though they stumble, they will never fall for the Lord holds them by the hand. God is not going to let you fall. He is holding our hand daily if we will walk with Him. It is truly our choice. When we do it says that He directs our steps. Whoa! Does that mean that the Lord has given us all these trials and tribulations such as sickness and disease? No! It means that Jesus knows the way to overcome them if we will just trust Him enough to go where He goes, say what He says and do what He does in spite of the overwhelming fear of relapse. This is to be released.
Psalm 91:1-7 (NLT)
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.
Fear will always put our faith in bondage. When we accept the spirit of fear in our life, it wreaks havoc on the heart and mind until our soul is assaulted and soon overtaken. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7) Why do we so easily accept it in our life? The world that we live in is desensitized to bloody violence. Fear is sold in the media and people actually pay to be afraid. From the roller coaster at the amusement park to the horror flick in the local theater, it is a thrill ride. Whatever we entertain will manifest in us over time. This not condemnation but simply a message of conditioning. Whatever you entertain you become familiar with and can fall victim to its charm or even deception. When I was young, I watched movies like Jaws and Friday the 13th just like every other kid. I am still afraid to be in the ocean to deep and since experiencing the reality of the enemy and his forces will not even watch a commercial for a demonically influenced movie. This is my choice and it bears no condemnation. I must preserve the Holy Spirit in my life as the dominating and discerning voice that leads me to the acceptance of all God’s Promise and deliverance from all evil. We all have been given freedom. Who the Son sets free is free indeed without a stipulation. All things are now permissible BUT not all things are beneficial. As we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, we must decide what can live in our life and what must go to keep us daily walking in the Shelter of the Most High God.
It is hardest to get there when you need it the most. His Shelter is always available to us. We can walk in God’s Presence every single day for the rest of our life. In fact, God prefers it that way. We cannot drag our sin into our new destination. It requires a commitment to radical obedience to have all that He promised. To accept God’s Way is to be completely broken of the need for our own. Those who live in the Shelter of the Most High God will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Do you trust the Lord today? Do you have some doubts?
“For He will rescue you from EVERY trap and protect you from deadly diseases.” If this was the only promise you knew, would you believe it enough to receive it? Or would you think of all the reasons that the Lord should abandon you? Would you consider this to be the consequences for your negligent behavior and endure it rather than rejecting it to receive the Glory of God in your life? When I was diagnosed with melanoma, I knew why I had it and how I got it. My childhood and teenage years were spend basking, playing and living on the sunny beaches of Florida before skin cancer became a poster child for the use of sunscreen. I was exposed to the sun for years somewhat unprotected.
“His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.” I did not “deserve” cancer it was a consequence of life. We have to stop accepting things back in our life because of the past or even present condition of our heart and soul. Grace does not allow God to condemn us or even punish us without refusing Jesus as the total sacrifice. Just as the Lord released me from cancer and now has done the same for our son, He wants to release you from those things causing you to stumble. He doesn’t want you to fall. He is lifting you up trying to hold your hand and keep you safe as any good parent does a wandering child who is close to traffic.
Psalm 145:13-18 (NLT)
For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does. The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness. The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth.
We must know the character of God to understand His Intentions. God is always motivated by His Great Love for us. Even when things don’t seem to be in our favor, His Favor is working its way to find us right where we are and to lead us into the everlasting. He helps the fallen. He lifts those bent beneath their loads. The Lord is an excellent caretaker for those who trust Him otherwise He seems like the opposing force. When one considers that every single day of our life is prerecorded, therefore every need met and blessing already provided according to our needs and wants in that day. (Psalm 139:16) We are predestined. God knows exactly what we need to do when we need to do it to be victorious. His Plan and Purpose is to work everything together for the GOOD of those who love Him. (Romans 8:27-30) We live our life just as Proverbs 16:33 says that we throw the dice but the Lord decides where they land. By truly accepting the Grace of God in our life, we are indicating that we trust His Will and His Way. This means like Joseph even if we fall face down in a pit – it may just be how we get to the palace. (Genesis 37 – 41) It took years of character development and endurance but when Joseph got there I think he would be the first to admit it was worth it. I remember reaching the ten-year mark of my remission and finally breathing. I remember just last month reaching the one-year mark for our son after three long years, five relapses and all of his care and treatment battles along the way and finally breathing again. Now as I look to the future and how my life will be, I must decide will I celebrate my release or live in fear and bondage of relapse. This principle can be applied to every area of our live.
Psalm 55:22 (NLT)
Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
How will you live the rest of today? Will you celebrate freedom? Will you live in the Presence of the Most High God way above the world’s problematic threat wrapped tightly in God’s Promises? Or will you live with one hand on the prison door ready to slam it shut at the first threat that comes against your life? You determine how you will live once Jesus is your Savior. To make Him Lord puts every trial, trouble, trauma and tragedy of life in His Realm of Authority which means its all going to be okay. He is working it all out in our favor. You will not know this if you do not know the Character of the God who you have decided to serve. God is always good! His Intentions toward us filled with unfailing love and kindness no matter how far we stumble – He cannot bear to see us fall. I refuse to let my heart and mind relapse to the events of yesterday or even yesteryear. Today I choose to reject fear and only accept what God says about my life that I have power, love and self-discipline to lead me away from those things meant to bar my progress and hinder my life. I will have everything the Word of God says that I will have and do all it infers by the Power of God working in and through me. What about you?
Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.