That moment when you lay down your sword and give in to the perceived calamity awaiting you. That debt that’s too high, the marriage that’s too deeply damaged, the weight that’s too much to lose, the dream that’s too hard to reach, the hurt that’s too great to heal, the demands that are too great to meet.
We can claim defeat before we are defeated, when we don’t believe that we serve an honest God.
An honest God told Moses, a mere commoner who was not at all articulate, that his words would convince a King to let an entire people group be freed from slavery.(Exodus 4)
An honest God told those 2 million Israelite slaves, that He heard their cries to be rescued and that He would answer them. (Exodus 3)
With Moses as their leader, the Israelites were freed from 400 years of slavery and began a journey to a promised home, rich with blessings, that an honest God had placed before them.
Yet throughout their journey home, the Israelites proved over and over that they did not believe they served a God who kept His word. When they were faced with the sea on their left and Egyptian army on their right, they instantly claimed defeat and death just before God parted the Red Sea and they were able to cross over to safety. (Exodus 14)
Three days after witnessing this miracle, they were faced with no fresh water to drink and claimed defeat and dehydration just before God’s hand cleaned every drop to drinkable. (Exodus 15)
Not long after, they were faced with hunger and scarcity and claimed defeat and starvation just before God rained down bread from Heaven. (Exodus 16)
In each of these circumstances, the Israelites would beg to return to slavery rather than wait on and trust a God whose word they did not believe. I wonder what things you settle for because you don’t trust that God has His best in store for you? What is He calling you to do that you fear you can’t pull off, so you settle for remaining in the easy? What is he calling you out of that you fear you can’t live without, so you settle for second best?
We can choose to remain enslaved to mediocrity and live in defeat, or trust that God will free us to live in fullness of life no matter what the circumstance. Because you see, to me, the 40 year journey to the promised home of the Israelites was not as much about the riches and blessings that existed in that land, as it was the riches and blessings that they came to know existed in the Giver of that land. The journey, the trials, the hunger, the thirst, the pain, the fear, the waiting that we encounter is not designed to drive us further from God, but to draw us closer to his heart. For as he meets all of our needs and stands firm on the promises found in His Word, He is glorified; and we can rest and know without a shadow of a doubt that we serve an Honest God who we can trust with all of our heart, all of our soul and all of our strength.
“The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.” Exodus 14:14
Gratitude: Give thanks—“The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.” Exodus 14:14
Grow: Exodus 14:14 ends various ways depending on translation. How do these various endings resonate with you in whatever area you struggling with the feeling of defeat? – “You need only be still” (NIV), “You need only be silent” (ESV), “You shall hold your peace” (NKJV) “Just stay calm” (NLT).
Give: Who can you share this message with? How will you follow this command and give forgiveness or share about God’s forgiveness with others? When will you do this?
Each LSLW post includes three areas of reflection in hopes to offer a chance for us to give thanks, grow in our personal faith and find ways to pour out from our lives what Christ has poured into us.