I’m so human and humans are weak and flawed. However, there is someone we can turn to who is not weak and who is not flawed. Exodus 14:14 tells us that the “LORD” will fight for us. When you see the Lord written in all caps like that, it means YHWH; the one true Creator God. It’s refering to the God through which all things are. (Thanks to Rev. Dr. David Cyphers for that explanation.)
If the Author of the Universe will fight for us, let’s let him. God has never, nor never will fail and He won’t fail you.
I am not the wise man on the mountaintop dispensing knowledge. Far from it! I am the exhausted guy caked in dirt trying desperately to climb that very mountain as it repeatedly kicks my sorry butt back down to the valley. I am in the trenches, just like you.
The height of the mountaintop is measured by the dismal drudgery of the valley, but it is in the valley that we have to live for the glory of God (Oswald Chambers). When you are on the mountain you can believe anything. But in the valley, you only have Jesus to get you out!
Pray with me Mark 9:22 – “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us!”
Work is work, right? Or they would call it play. Everyone has something they would change about their job. In Col. 3:23 Paul tells us that as Christians, we are not working for our bosses, we are working “as for the Lord.”
We are to work with good cheer.
Hey, at least you have a job that you don’t like. Many Americans would love to have a job… that they would not like.
Bosses, you are not off the hook either. There is plenty of scripture about treating your employees well (Eph. 6:9).
One of my favorite accounts in the Old Testament pertains to Gehazi. Who in the world is Gehazi?!
Let me set the scene: 2 Kings 6, The Syrians had put a hit out on Elisha. Their army ambushed him and his servant, Gehazi. Understandably Gehazi was freaking out. Elisha prayed for Gehazi’s eyes to be opened. He immediately saw the mountain full of angels on fiery chariots ready to do battle on Elisha’s behalf.
I truly believe that is how it is today. We feel we are alone in a battle against a whole army. When in actuality, we have a heavenly host at our ready. Make no mistake, there is a spiritual battle constantly raging all around us. The only question is: Do you have the spirit of Gehazi or Elisha?
I was talking with my mother-in-law today about the “Your Red Sea” blog and she brought up an interesting point. The blog positioned that the Red Sea could represent your problems and that by relying on God, your problems could be solved in a way that you couldn’t even imagine. She said not only that, but the Red Sea then destroyed the Israelites’ enemies. In essence, what was once an obstacle became a tool for deliverance! Not only did God create a door for the Israelites to escape, but He also used that door to vanquish their foes.
With God, the thing that would destroy a person can be transformed into the thing that destroys the person’s problems.
Now, most of us today don’t have what we would call “foes” or “enemies.” We don’t have a Dr. Moriarty… unless you count the enemy of us all: that old serpent. But, we do have abstract enemies like fear, hate, and worry.
If a person is up against their Red Sea, then they have two options:
1, Rely on themselves and… risk drowning, or go broke buying boats, or weary themselves by traveling all away around…
2, Rely on God, calmly walk across dry land to the other shore, and then watch as the waters crash down and drown your foes.
If I told you that becoming a Christian would make your life harder, would you still become one? The message many are attracted to today is one of sunshine and butterflies. However, this does not align with scripture. The reality is: being a Christian makes your life more difficult.
Let’s look at Acts 5:17-42.
The Apostles are out and about proclaiming the Good News of Christ’s return. What do they get for it? Imprisoned. An angel lets them out and tells them to go right back to proclaiming the good news.
Most of us would have considered ourselves lucky to be out and then find a place to lay low for awhile, right? We probably would not stand outside the very same prison preaching! When the Sanhedrin sent for them, they got the message that the Apostles somehow got out of a locked cell and past the Roman guards and escaped… to outside the prison where they were doing what they got arrested for in the first place. I’m sure Gamaliel did a face-palm at that one.
They are arrested again (nicely this time). Long story short, they are flogged and told not to preach again.
So, what did the Apostles do? They rejoiced. They considered themselves honored to suffer in Christ’s Name… and then they went out and did it again. “Day after day” “They never stopped,” it says.
These were men heavily anointed in the Spirit. They knew Jesus of Nazareth
personally. If anyone should get special treatment, it would be these guys. But they didn’t, and we shouldn’t expect it either. Things will be tough. Life will seem unfair and darkness may overshadow us at times, but that should not deter us from rejoicing about Jesus and His Return.
If we suffer for His Namesake, it should be an honor, not a curse. We are probably not going to arrested. If so, I highly doubt we are flogged. We got it easy!
So let’s stop expecting life to be sunshine and butterflies all the time and realize that to be a Christian is to have a tough go at it. But that doesn’t mean we don’t Praise God for every blessing and every hardship that comes along.
When people wanted to show grief and repentance in the Old Testament, they “rended” their clothes. In other words, they ripped and tore their shirts. This was the ultimate sign of deep grief in their society. Some rended their clothes but they didn’t really mean it. It was all for show.
We haven’t changed that much over the years, have we? I mean, we don’t shred our clothes when we are sorry, but sometimes we act like we are sorry when we really are not. I’ve told someone I was sorry but in my heart, I wasn’t. It was all for show. Who hasn’t?
The prophet Joel was trying to warn the Israelites of this same situation. The people had grown prosperous and we’re relying less and less on God. When they did repent, it was an outward display meant to impress their friends. It was false. Joel told them to “rend their hearts” instead (2:13).
That line floored me: “Rend your heart, not your garments. Return to The Lord”
God is never fooled by lip service. He cuts straight through the nonsense. He knows whether you mean what you say or not. He knows when you are putting on a show,
If God has convicted you of some matter, tear your heart and offer yourself genuine and true. Don’t waste your time with a song and dance. God’s not interested in charades.
Know that I am speaking to my own heart as much or more than to yours and what I write, I write in love. Let us be more real with God. He’s always real with us.