God is love, and He loves you unconditionally. He has good plans for your life, and because He is sovereign, His plans will prevail in your life. No matter what difficulty you are challenged with, God’s provision proceeds the problem and He will make sure it works together for your good!
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God Goes Before You (Part 6)
Welcome back, everyone, and thank you so much for joining me here again, on The One Thing That’s Needful Podcast, my name is Dr. Siohvaughn Funches. Today, we’re going to be not finishing up but just going on a bit and expounding on what God has for us as the God who goes before you. But before we do that, we’re going to do what we always do. And we’re going to take the time to acknowledge and thank God.
Jesus who cannot lie and is the truth told us that “In this life, you will have trouble. But be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.”
I thank you, Heavenly Father, that you the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, is given to each and every one of us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, the eyes of our understanding are being enlightened that we may know what is the hope of his calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, asked you, Lord Jesus Christ, to expound on the Scriptures to us today about the things concerning yourself, Holy Spirit, I asked you that you will give us revelation of who Jesus is, and particularly in the area of need that we have.
I thank you that the answer of our cries God, those individual cries of our heart, that is one in Christ will be answered, even through Your Word. And I thank you that in your light, we see light, I thank you that Your word is even a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. And I thank you, God, that those that come and drink of your son, they hunger and the thirst no more they are filled to the overflowing and I thank you. That’s our portion and every blessing and benefit and promise that comes along with it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
So before we get into what God specifically has for us today, we’re gonna recap just a bit for those joining us for the first time on this journey. And for those who need a refresher. A lot can happen in a week, a lot can happen in a day, let’s be honest. So we began this series talking about how God goes before us. And his provision always precedes any problem that we face. We discuss the importance of this because Jesus who cannot lie, and who is the truth told us, in this life, you will have trouble but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world. And you get that in John 16.
Now the key scripture for this series comes out of Deuteronomy, 31:8 and it’s the New American Standard Bible version for this particular scripture. If you’ve been with me on this journey for some time, you know that I usually, generally speaking, will read scriptures out of the New King James Version. But Deuteronomy 31:8 for this particular series derives from the New American Standard Bible, the 1995 edition. And the scripture says, And the Lord is the one who was going ahead of you, He will be with you, He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Another word for dismayed is discouraged. You don’t even have to fear you don’t even have to be discouraged, let alone give up or quit because God has gone ahead of you.
I love how this scripture says, The Lord has gotten ahead of you that personal Lord and Savior. God has got to everyone really, whether people deny it, or admit it, he’s got He is the Creator. But he’s not Lord, to everyone. That’s that entering into a relationship with him that’s being born again. That’s that covenant, keeping part of God who never breaks the covenant, and a covenant with him can’t be broken, thank God because Jesus Christ is the one who cooked the covenant on our behalf this time instead of man, and God. Now we got the man at his right hand, Jesus Christ, the Son of God representing us in this covenant. So now, it’s full proof. It’s full proof. At this point, no one can mess it up. Jesus will never fail. The father will never fail. And we’re the beneficiaries. This is perfect.
So that’s the reason why we don’t have to fear or be dismayed. A lot of times the enemy will bring trouble he’ll bring trials because God has put a promise in your heart. He’s given you a dream, and Hell is terrified. Not only that you will believe it, but you will keep persevering in faith until it comes to pass. That’s a problem for hell, not necessarily that you initially believe it, but that come hell or high water, you still believe it. Now that terrifies hell. That’s when the devil says Somebody wake him. He’s having a nightmare. So Jesus talked about how he comes immediately to try to steal that word out of our hearts. So that we don’t give birth to that promise that dream because that promise in that dream always is not just going to be a blessing for you and your family, or who God showed you in the particular vision or the dream, or whatever God placed in your heart or whatever he spoke to you. But it’s going to be a blessing for the entire body, and then that is going to impact the entire world. And that has eternal consequences that just keep going and never in for good.
No one saves but God and God alone
So hell is terrified of that, you know, not just you believing God, but very terrified, like it’s a phobia for the devil, hell and everything in it, that you would actually continue to believe God, no matter what trouble or tribulation comes to try and get you to forfeit or give up or not believe anymore. So it’s very important, not just so that our dreams come to pass for our benefit. But for all those God wants to benefit for the glory even of God, that we don’t forfeit, or give up and give to the devil, something that God promised us because of trouble or tribulation. And one of the ways to really hold on and persevere is knowing God. That’s what we’re doing in this whole podcast. And even in this series, as well, is we’re getting to know God more, he’s revealing Himself to us more and more. And obviously, in this series, he’s revealing Himself to us as the God who goes before us.
So last week, we began to just barely touch upon the life of Esther, from the book of Esther, and we were discussing how Esther was an orphan and her uncle Mordecai took care of her after both of her parents died. So she was a virgin also. And can you imagine that when they issued this decree, at this time that Esther and Mordecai live that the king had basically or essentially divorced his wife, Vashti. And now he’s looking for a new wife. He wants to do this via a beauty contest, so to speak. And he’s calling all virgins, except he’s not asking them. He is commanding them. He’s using his power and authority to command that all the young, beautiful versions be brought to him. And he has his picking, and he’ll choose to set the royal crown on the head of the next queen. I don’t know if you can imagine just about how many young virgins there were then. But I imagine there were many.
Esther not only was a young virgin, she’s a young Jewish virgin, and she was also an orphan. So we just took the top took a bit of time, and we reflected on how she must have felt at a time like that. Esther was Jewish. And, you know, losing your virginity is something very big. You do that with your husband. That’s usually something God picks and as far as Esther knew God would pick amongst his own people, not this king who was considered a pagan king. He wasn’t Jewish. So not only is she being snatched suddenly, from like, the only family member that the Bible mentions that she has because her parents are dead. She is because she’s being snatched away from him by force when people don’t obey the king on that day they died. Like you didn’t have to murder someone. Like nowadays, they’re states where whereby they still do like, you know, lethal injection, people kill someone and they could be killed themselves as a consequence of murdering someone.
So it wasn’t like that. You didn’t have to do something heinous. You simply had to disobey the king. Like he’s saying, Go left. And then you made a right turn. And then they’re building the gallows and hanging on them in no time flat. So this is serious business. What’s happening to her. There is no court of appeals here. If God doesn’t save her, she’s not saved. There’s no what I call Plan B faith. You got no Plan B faith of God doesn’t come through your through. That’s it. That’s where she stood. And I personally can sympathize with Esther because it seems like my whole life has been like that. Like, if God doesn’t save me, I don’t get saved. God has purposed himself I believe, to ensure that I know. No one saves but Him and Him alone. I’m not confused about that at all. I’m not confused about who to give the glory to, because time and time again when trouble arises in my life, it’s like this, it comes in this form. In this regard, it looks exactly the same.
If God doesn’t save you Siohvaughn, you’re not going to get saved. If God doesn’t come through Siohvaughn, then you’re through Siohvaughn. It is just quite simple. Just quite simple. Same thing, every time. It hasn’t failed me yet. So I can understand Esther now she has to really utilize faith, she has to really believe God is with her, and for her. She has to really believe that because she doesn’t she doesn’t have that she really doesn’t have anything at that point. And not only that, but they’ve called all these young virgins. This was a time when virginity was prized. God restored that in Jesus’ name. But this was a time when virginity was really prized, even if you weren’t Jewish. So imagine how many women it was. That’s also scary that he’s gonna choose this one woman to put the crown on her head and the rest are going to be made lifetime concubines. Like they go off into a different part. They don’t even live there. And he’s never calling for them again.
When people thought they were going through in their marriage, until they heard me say that right now we’re kind of like, well, just want to thank you, God. It’s not that bad. God. That’s horrible. For a woman. That’s a horrible situation to be in. And so she knew she was very well facing that. Okay, she was very well facing that. And I can just about imagine what evil Satan was saying to her to try to really discourage her, and just really break her spirit. At that point. He probably was saying, Come on, this guy, you know, has had this beautiful why Vashti was the Bible talks about her being very beautiful, in fact, that that actually was the downfall of their marriage. It has something to do with just how beautiful she was, in fact, outwardly, I mean, her true colors, sausages, penetrated right on through, and maybe Maybelline is not enough for that particular King. So he got rid of her anyway. So that’s right, cutie pack your bags and go. Take your bags, your stuff, and you’re cute, and hit the door.
He was not playing. So that is a wake-up call probably for someone who heard it. So this guy was serious. So she knows that he just cast his last wife out who’s like a beauty pageant winner 10 years in a row type of beauty. So she’s coming behind that. I suppose his standard is high, you think, and then she’s a Jewish orphan. She’s not in the same race. And then she’s an orphan that will probably be telling her you don’t bring anything to the table. You know what I mean? Like Esther, I can give you a middle name. Esther a concubine. Esther concubine, the Jewish girl just get ready right here. She probably saw herself cast out living alone. And then I mean, she wasn’t going to marry someone else. The king wasn’t having that. So that just ruin her chances basically, of being in a Love Field relationship, a Love Field marriage. That is terrible. She didn’t even so much have the right to say, I’m not sure about this, let alone protesting. Protesting was out that could get you killed back in those days.
One of the ways to really hold on and persevere is knowing God
So that is a really tough situation. And the Bible talks about them gathering young virgin so she was also young, maybe not much life experience. I mean, she really, really needs God, she really needs God. And I mean, she needs God to just keep her mind not to just make it to the throne, but that before she gets there if she gets there, she’s gonna need to God to keep her sane gonna need God to keep her not depressed. Because I suppose when you do get called before the king, and he sort of tries you out like this is tryouts, like a basketball team. Imagine people who’ve left that feeling rejected, but he actually tries them out by sleeping with them, taking their virginity from them, and then saying this, I’m disposing of you, next. Like that’s tough when you slow down and think about it. I know all the women are saying Amen. That’s rough right there.
Then when somebody doesn’t want to do it, the Bible talks about the king wanting this to happen, and his advisors advising him that this should happen, but he never makes mention of not single woman wanting to lay down with him. So now we’re sliding over into rape, that we know that about there not being consent. That wasn’t consent, that was force. We don’t know if it was consent because they were ordered to do so. So that’s what that woman was experiencing. Who you cannot tell me that she did not need to know that God goes before you because that’s not looking good. That’s not looking good at all. If you’re a woman that that’s, that can be terrifying for a woman. Especially a young woman, and she’s a virgin, it can be scary just to lose your virginity with someone you love, you get a little anxious. You feel a little nervous that was with my mom making the right decision. I mean, my God, but this lady, that a lot. That’s not a pill to swallow. That is like, the factory where they make the pills, stress swallowing that that’s what was happening in her day.
So we can see through her life story how God goes before you and a lot of us are not facing something that challenging. And so and that’s not to minimize anything. It’s just to say, let’s look at it for what it really is. And we know this, God delivered her, he worked it together for her good God is not a respecter of persons. That’s so nice. God says that twice in the Bible. So what he did for Esther, he is willing and able to do for me, period. So my son always says period. So I actually love this particular story. Because the challenge was so great that she was facing it was so perplexing. And she sincerely was in a situation where there was nothing she could do but pray and depend on God, nothing else. So here goes, God uses Esther, and he gives her divine favor.
We can also see this in the life of Joseph, how God gave him favor, but he had nothing else. God gave Esther a favor but essentially, she was stripped of everything else. Her whole life, if she knew it, whatever plan she might have, her life is like, that’s out the window and quick, without her consent. So God is so beautiful. And he’s so loving how he went before this woman. And he gave her great favor, not just with the king, but in the sight of everyone who saw her. So she even had favor with other women there and imagine living with a bunch of women that you are in known competition with and the stakes are great. You’re going to be like outcasts for good and never call for in a loveless marriage. You’re going to be ruling and reigning as Queen and lavished upon for the rest of your life. Who are you talking about? Stepping on people and elbows? To the top? I can just imagine how fierce that was right like housewives, you got nothing probably what was going on behind those closed doors. But God gave Esther divine protection as we say, like, you know, Esther, didn’t get in a catfight. That’s God, right women, like, first of all, that’s God. And then second of all, he gives her favorite with everyone. The Bible says has anybody paid attention other than me that everyone literally means everyone, including the women who are in competition with her.
Even people who don’t want to help you will end up helping you when God favors you.
Wow, they probably were helping her couldn’t help themselves. They like why am I helping her. I am supposed to be competing with her? But why am I helping her? Like why am I giving her good advice? So you know, I mean, even people who don’t want to help, you will end up helping you when God favors you. Favor is not fair. It even confuses your enemies. They are good to you when they want to curse you open a mouth and nothing but blessings come out. You don’t believe me? Read Numbers. It is literally written an example of that. So we see they go through all the beauty preparations and treatments, all the women get it. God gives Esther not only favorable wisdom to ask, the guy who’s the concubine at the time. And he’s overseeing her and some of the other women who are there in the harem. You know, what advice would you like to give me please as to what I should wear and things like that as I go before the king because he’s been in the palace, he knows the king. He probably was there before the king even married Vashti and clearly was still standing after she was cast out.
So you know, I mean, like you know him better not do now I can you know most of the time, you get a chance to get to know somebody when you’ve known them for some years, something like that. This is on the win right here. I think they hit one year, and that was spent in beauty preparations that was not spent dating the king. It was not spent getting to know the game. And so this is interesting. She had the wisdom from God, first the favor, and then the wisdom from God to ask him and because she had favor with God gave her favor with man. He told her, he helped this woman he helped her. And I talk about even in my book, how God will help you on the way to your blessings. Sometimes we sort of just wait to exhale and hold our breath, so to speak until that breakthrough comes and so that deliverance comes so that miracle manifests, but you can actually enjoy today because God is good today. And God is blessing you today, even if it’s that you will receive your miracle by this time tomorrow. God is still good right now.
Like so. Come on God, open my eyes to see what you’re doing right now. God is not waiting to be good and he’s not waiting to be good to you. Don’t allow you’re waiting for a specific blessing to blind you to the blessings of the right now, just because a specific blessing is coming by this time tomorrow. I know there’s probably people out there right now saying amen. Every time I say that, right, I don’t blame you. I’m gonna say a man in Jesus’ name.
So long story short, God gives us the favor with the king. He loves her more than all the other women. He sets the royal crown upon her head and makes her Queen instead of Vashti.
Like this is getting better, at least. She’s not stuck cast off in a corner, where no one wants her. She’s not suffering, utter rejection. That’s really that’s good news for a wife Am I right, ladies that good news for a wife. So not only that, and we talked a little bit in my book about how God works behind the scenes when God expounded to me on the life of Esther. That’s what he was mostly talking about then. But I want to touch on it a little bit here because you can’t really help. But to notice this, we should give God glory here.
God had Mordecai to be the one to take care of Esther when her parents died. Mordecai had a position too. Working in the King’s gate. And it was at this time at work that he discovered a plot to kill the king that Esther is now queen and Mary to and he reports it to Esther. Esther informs her husband, the king, they do an investigation and what you know, Mordecai heard correctly. Two people who work for the king and had the opportunity. Were going to literally murder him like it was nothing. Period, they were going to kill him if they got the chance. That’s exactly what was going to happen. But God, God is so good because then what she would have just become queen. She just went through that experience that was like on pins and needles probably for a while. And she had to really rely on God and really lean into His goodness and that he’s for her and he’s with her. And God has not fallen off the throne. God is not like, wait a minute witness to go I told you to keep an eye on her.
No, God was with her. He was with her when they came and took her by force. He was with her when she went in there with all those other beautiful women. He was with her when the devil was saying you just ignore for who’s gonna want you you’re an orphan Jew. I mean he was with her. He was with her to keep her mind. You know what I mean? He was with her to make sure her spirit wasn’t broken. He was with her as she cried. Esther was a human being we’re human beings. I’m sure she saturated the pillow with her two tears. I’m certain of that. He was with her as she was afraid I’m pretty sure fear came and knocked on her door then kicked it in. At that point, a young virgin and you’re being forced to sleep with a man you don’t even know Oh, God, you know, I mean and then she’s Jewish. She’s got a heart for God you just it is don’t go and sleep with somebody and then they’re like, Oh, you’re not his wife. That’s just what they don’t do.
We sort of Just wait to exhale and hold our breath until that breakthrough comes. You can actually enjoy today because God is good today.
So this was quickly turning into a nightmare for her to say the least. But God set that crown owner gave more to kind of favor by having him be the one who overheard the plot. This is going to come in handy. If you don’t know already. If you haven’t read the story for yourself, their testimony, but this is going to come in handy. This is crucial. But it shows us how God goes before us because at the time it seems crucial to the fact that the king’s life wasn’t taken from him wrongfully right. It also seems crucial because Esther didn’t want to go from being a widow to kidnap girl and then to like I mean, excuse me from an orphan to a kidnap girl to a widow. Okay, like right like we’re going from bad to worse at that point.
Things are looking up for Esther, she’s become queen. Wow, she shouting Uuuh!, All things work together for good. It’s like right in the middle of shouting that or knock knock, her husband was killed. That’s devastating. So we thank God for Mordecai discovering that plot, even for Esther’s sake, who will soon see it wasn’t just for her sake. It wasn’t just for Mordecai’s sake, or for the king. It was for the sake of all the Jews and even us, this blessed us. Because we see who God brought as a Jewish man, Jesus and the Savior of the world. It matters that the Jewish line being taxed.
So now, let’s talk a little bit about God going before us and why we can fear not when God draws the enemy out. We’re going to skip ahead a bit here. And again, if you want to, I would strongly suggest that you read the story of Esther. It’s amazing. It’s amazing. It’s a book. It’s a short book, but it’s packed with power. And it’s packed with Revelation about how God works behind the scenes like this. Like God had more to kind of discover that plot as you go on. That was something sort of behind the scenes, but that was critical. That was crucial. And what would come up later, and be a life and death challenge for everybody Jewish including Esther. And including Mordecai. So we know that eventually, the king promoted a man named Haman. Haman was a part of a people that had a history of hating Jewish people. So imagine like, the king promoted Hitler, and he’s given Hitler to be second, like in power, and you’re Jewish. This isn’t just the bad day, this one, this one we’re going to, we’re going to write on the books is one of the worst.
Except we know that God goes before us, and his provision always precedes the problem. So God told me in this specific part of this testimony, you can see how God draws the enemy out on purpose. It is not to scare us. It’s not to petrify us. God is not doing that. It’s not like when they say like, their parents will walk their children to the top of the bleachers on purpose, they get over fear. That’s not what God is doing. God is constantly saying, and not saying necessarily face your fears. God is saying you don’t have anything to fear, fear not, I’m with you. If you know who the I is, who is saying, I am with you, if you understand who this I am with you is, you understand this, who I am, then you know why I’m saying you don’t have any reason to fear. So this is when God gave me the revelation, fear not, it’s God who draws the enemy out.
So here comes Haman promoted second in power, and a long history of hating Jewish people. Okay, just a long history of being at enmity with the Jewish people with his race. So this was a part of the people who God commanded King Saul in the Bible to kill to get rid of and utterly destroy, and King Saul disobeyed God. So they continue to live on, and God calls them to rear their ugly heads. And God told me I didn’t cause them to pop up their heads so that you can be afraid, I draw your enemy out and let them raise his head up so I can cut it off. That’s why if you just recently discovered Oh, goodness, this person is really against me or this. And this demon is coming to attack me. Now depression is trying to take me. God has let that dragon raise his ugly head for one reason. And one reason only his hand for that he had to roll God is certainly going to knock his head off, and you’re going to have more of a testimony under your belt, you’re coming out strong, are you coming out knowing God got you more and more is gonna be good. As you continue to walk on with your life. You can tell your family about it. And you can even tell others about it. And they won’t be afraid and they’ll know the same God that made your enemies here roll like dice on a casino table in Vegas is going to be the same God that’s going to have their enemies he is rolling like dice calling craps. Am I right? Church, you can say a man yet because a lot of you already know.
You’ve seen several of your enemies. He has a role already. At this juncture in your life, you know exactly what I’m talking about. So we have no reason to fear. Nevertheless, Haman wanted everyone to bow to him, this arrogant fool. So it’s not enough that he’s in this position of power. He wants everyone to bow to him. Now he’s not the king. You know what I mean? Like you got a good job, bro. But you’re not the king. You see what I mean? But nevertheless, this arrogant fool, I say it again, wanted everyone to bow to him, and just not everyone did bow to him. But the Bible makes strong mention that Mordecai refused to bow. He refused to bow to him. Normally, you know, Haman will come around, people stand up, and then they would give that bow. The Bible says that Mordecai just kept sitting down.
I love how God showed me that this position of sitting down was Mordecai, resting and trusting in God. Even though he was in a position where his shows Naturally Speaking, his enemy has been promoted and elevated above him. Looks like his enemy is in a position of power. And obviously, can use that power as an enemy to destroy him. He chose to trust God just like the three Hebrew boys who stood firm right and would not flinch. They would not budge, they would not flee in fear. When the king was saying, like seriously, like I’m so sincere. If you don’t worship me, you don’t bow right. You’re going in the furnace and I’m turning it up three times hotter. Going once, going twice, and they’re just like, we’ll just jump because you can go once, twice, three times, my lady. We’re never bowing our knee to you. Period, God will deliver us they meant what they were saying. So did Mordecai, he kept on sitting.
Just like they wouldn’t bow he wouldn’t bow either. Just like Daniel refused to stop praying to God Jehovah. He ran prey to some false god. He just wouldn’t bow you mean you can bring out the lions and the Tigers and add some bears, makes me no never mind there’s one God and you ain’t it. So he didn’t bow and I love this Godly firmness, this Godly stubbornness in them, this godly I will not be moved. I love to see fearlessness given by God manifest there’s nothing more strong and nothing really petrifies hell more than that. When you simply won’t flinch. Come hell or high water you won’t budge. Hell can’t stand it. I know it can’t stand me right because of that very thing, that don’t flinch thing. So it’s just interesting to see it even in the lives of others even facing death so be it. The Lord given, hey if you are ready to take me let’s go for the ride but I’m not bowing. Just absolutely love these men and women of God.
It looks like we’re out of time right now. We’re gonna pick up where we left off next week. But until then, God bless you all and keep you all continue to favor you all show you his grace in his favor, and his right now blessings even as you wait for this very quick turnaround manifestation of deliverance and miracles to happen in your life in Jesus name. I love you all.
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