RELEASING THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD
There are two levels of knowledge. The first level of knowledge is received when we obtain information about a matter, but the information may or may not lead to experiential knowledge. The second level of knowledge is got when we have a more intimate understanding of the subject or issue. This second level of knowledge is both theoretical and experiential. This is what we intend to achieve through this devotional. We should all have an intimate knowledge of what The Mighty Hand of God is, and what it can do in our lives and ministry. But beyond that, we need to know what we can do to activate The Mighty Hand of God in the circumstances of our lives. After a successful convention, it is necessary to take a fresh look at our theme, The Mighty Hand of God, so as to reinforce all that we heard during the convention.
WHAT IS THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD?
Definitions help to shed light on any subject we want to understand. So we shall start with a simple definition of what the Mighty Hand of God is. The word, “hand” or “right hand” or “arm” is sometimes used metaphorically for the strength and power of God (1 Sam.5:6,7). God’s right hand speaks of His omnipotence (Ex.15:6; Ps.17:7; 20:6; 44:3). The right hand of God signifies his defense, protection, presence and support (Ps. 16:8,11; 109:31). The right hand of God is the hand of favour that gives us victory (Ps.44:3).
The Mighty Hand of God does a lot. It can bring deliverance. The Mighty Hand of God can save from every danger (Psalm 20:6). It can set captives free. The mighty hand of God strengthens a man to do the impossible. It empowered Samson to do impossible feats. The hand of God equips a man for divine tasks. Nehemiah, Ezra, Zerubbabel were all equipped by the mighty hand of God to rebuild the walls and temple at Jerusalem. The hand of God empowered Moses to lead the children of Israel in the wilderness. The hand of God sustains in crisis. The hand of God sustained Israel in the wilderness. The hand of God provides for our need. It provided for Israel all through her wilderness journey.
This devotional is aimed at getting us to move beyond mere knowledge of the mighty hand of God, to experiencing its reality. The second goal is to get us to seek God like the children of Israel did in Egypt for the release of his mighty hand in the tough situations of our lives. I pray that these goals will be achieved in the coming days as you go through the pages of this manual. It is, however, important to emphasize this fact; we are seeking God this month in prayer and fasting because of who He is, and not just because of what we can get from Him. We shall continue to seek God whether He blesses us materially or not. God is greater than any material blessing we can get from Him.
It is important to observe that what the mighty hand of God did in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit does in the New Testament. We can say that, The Mighty Hand of God represents the operation of the Holy Spirit.
May God reveal the power of His mighty hand to us, may His mighty arm prevail for us the way it prevailed for Israel when they were in the land of Egypt. Amen.
July Fast. The Mighty Hand of God.
DAY 1, Read Dt. 4:32-37
UNDERSTANDING THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD?
Key Verses: “‘Did any people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and live? Or did God ever try to go and take for himself a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD himself is God; there is none other besides him” (Dt. 4:33-35).
As we said, the word, “hand” or “right hand” or “arm” is sometimes used as a metaphor for the strength and the power of God (1 Sam.5:6,7). God’s right hand speaks of His omnipotence (Ex.15:6; Ps.17:7; 20:6; 44:3). The right hand of God signifies His defence, protection, presence and support (Ps. 16:8,11).
No other place was the power of the mighty hand of God conspicuously demonstrated as it was in Egypt in the deliverance of the children of Israel. The humiliation of Pharaoh, and the release of the children of Israel from Pharaoh’s grip after 430 years of captivity eventually became a landmark that was repeatedly referred to in no less than ten times in the Scriptures.
For over four centuries, the children of Israel were totally enslaved in Egypt, but by the mighty hand of God they were delivered from bondage. May the mighty hand of God deliver us from any power that may hold us captive or that overshadowed us in life.
The story of Israel while in Egypt as recorded in our text above highlights the following characteristics about the mighty hand of God: the mighty hand of God does spectacular things. The mighty hand of God delivers from bondage. His mighty hand does outstanding things. His mighty hand does unique things. His mighty hand can do overwhelming feats. His mighty hand can avail for any one of us in any difficult situation of life.
But how did the mighty hand of God deliver Israel from Egypt? And how do we engage the mighty hand of God? God allowed a situation to exist in Egypt for the display of his power (Ex.7:3-5). He hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that His mighty hand may be displayed. At times, God allows certain situations to exist in our lives so that His power may be displayed in our situation.
PRAYER: Father, thank you for the glorious and wonderful display of your mighty hand in Egypt. Once more, demonstrate your power in our nation, Nigeria.
DAY 2, Read Exo.33:18-21
KNOWING THE HAND OF GOD – Pastor Timothy Azowenunebi
Key Text: “Lord, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in time of distress, to you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, “Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good. Do people make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods! Therefore I will teach them— this time I will teach them my power and might. Then they will know that my name is the Lord” (Jer. 16:19-21).
The Bible reveals that God wants us to know His face, His heart and His hand. There is a vital link between the face of God, the heart of God and the hand of God. The face of God speaks of the glory of God, His divine effulgence, radiance or splendor. In 2 Cor.4:6, Paul speaks of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. In 2Cor. 3:7-13, we read of the glory of the Lord in the face of Moses. The glory of God cannot be adequately captured in words. In Exo.33:18-21, God linked His glory to His face.
The heart of God speaks of the will, plan, intention or purposes of God, while the hand of God refers to the power of God. That which we see in the face of God (His glory), and that which is conceived in the heart of God (His will), are brought into reality or manifestation by the hand of God. In other words, the hand of God makes tangible the glory of God and executes the heart of God (Eph.1:11; Isa.14:24;Isa.14:26-27; Isa.26:12; 1Thes.5:23-24; 1Cor.12:6). Knowing the hand of God therefore is very important to the people of God. And the hand of God is the Holy Spirit. When God determines upon a purpose, he stretches forth His hand. The hand of God performs the counsel of God.
MEANING OF KNOWING
In the Oxford Dictionary, the word ‘know’ has two meanings: first, it is ‘to be informed’; second, is ‘to have personal experience of’ or ‘to have practical experience’. God does not want us just to be informed of His hand. He wants us to have a personal experience of His hand. We are not here just to gather more information on the hand, but to practically and personally experience the hand of God. If it is to be informed, many of us already have a lorry load of information about the hand of God. What is lacking is a practical experience of that hand.
PRAYER: O Lord! Open the eyes of my understanding so that I may have an experiential knowledge of your mighty hand.