The Strong Hand Of God

And when in time to come your son asks you, “What does this mean?” you shall say to him, “By a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery.” EX 13.14

It is no easy thing to save a sinner in his rebellion against God

Think of all that the Lord must overcome to save us:

Satan: Until we’re born again, the prince of the powers of the air holds us captive. Though we are not necessarily “possessed,” we are slaves of Satan. Jesus described the devil as a strong man guarding his palace, who fights tooth-and-nail to keep his prisoners. Only a Stronger Man is able to overcome Satan’s deception and enslaving power to set the captives free.

Sin: We are born “in sin,” infected with the moral disease inherited from Adam. Sin incites us to commit sins, enslaves our wills and is far too strong for any of us to escape on our own, no matter how many times we tell ourselves I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it, people like me. God alone can break our slavery to sin and our love of it.

Our flesh: Our fallen human nature apart from God. The Bible says our flesh cannot please God, has no taste for God, and is at enmity with God. Our flesh resists God at every turn, producing doubts, excuses and reasons to reject God. And our flesh loves and craves everything but God.

Unbelief: Until God gives us the gift of faith, we will never believe in Christ on our own. In our willful, stubborn unbelief, we love darkness and despise the light.

Blindness: Before we’re born again we can’t see God’s kingdom or Christ’s beauty.

Spiritual deadness: Before Christ we’re not just sick, but dead – flat-lined – no spiritual heartbeat.

No fear of the Lord: We tell ourselves either there is no God, or he doesn’t see or doesn’t care about our sins.

Defective consciences: Sin, like a monkey wrench thrown into a machine, distorts our consciences. Before Christ, I knew it was wrong to steal. Yet I lusted, lied, got drunk and did drugs with no compunction. My conscience didn’t fire on all cylinders. I even swore when I prayed.

What mighty power God exerted to bring us to himself!

Salvation is humanly impossible. We could no more have overcome Satan, sin, our flesh, blindness, dead hearts, unbelief and God-hate than squeeze a camel through a needle’s eye. We could never have created in ourselves a love and delight in Christ. God removed our hearts of stone and gave us hearts of flesh. He changed us from garbage-lovers to Jesus-relishers. Revelation’s Warrior came, conquered and made us trophies of his grace.

How mighty is God’s strong hand! How unstoppable his grace! Praise God, for by this same strong hand he will transform us into his own likeness and keep us to the end. No one will snatch us out of Christ’s strong hand. If he so powerfully saved us he will surely strengthen, protect, deliver, provide for and help us. Put your hope in Heaven’s Warrior to fight for you. Put your hope in our Strong Hand God.

Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.

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