Here’s the podcast version of today’s blog post:
What is required of us before a remarkable rescue can take place?
I want to share a five letter word that is both a noun and a verb. It’s an action we need to engage in if we want to enter the gate of God’s promises. It’s a noun we should be known for displaying to those around us.
But before I open the curtain, let’s set the stage.
While reading how God rescued the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, I noticed Pharaoh seems to have succumbed to a slavery of his own—the slavery of addiction. Can you guess what his drug of choice was? The more I thought about Moses and Pharaoh, the more I wondered if most rescues are necessary because someone needs a deliverance from an addiction. Unfortunately, each consequence God brought down on Pharaoh’s people hardly dented the ruler’s resolve to cling to his poison.
Pharaoh’s stubbornness caused suffering for those around him.
Each judgement stripped off a slice of the lifestyle his decadent nation gorged on. It took loss after loss and finally, at the death of his firstborn son, Pharaoh was bumped to the bottom of his binge. But even then he returned to his bottle-of-sorts and demanded his army go and bring back the slaves that enabled his slavery to—Have you guessed it?—power.
Isn’t that what all addictions boil down to?
Our carnal nature wants control of our lives. Our old self doesn’t want to bow down to God; we want to eat our forbidden fruit and have it too. Pharaoh didn’t submit to a Higher Power. He submitted to his addiction to power.
Since my recovery from eating disorders, I’ve noticed a restored heart needs to keep filling up on God or a new disorder or addiction takes up residence, much like the evil spirit did in Matthew 12:45. It returned to the cleaned-out house with seven awful spirits.
The man in the story ended up in worse condition than before.
Just as Pharaoh broke his promise to Moses each time a plague was lifted, we too tend to break our promises to God once a trial has ended. During adversity, we cry out for help and proclaim we’ll be faithful to God if He restores us. And shortly after a restoration, we tend to fall back into lukewarm living.
Trouble keeps us out of trouble with God.
We forget we need His Power until we come face to face with our own powerlessness. The hot waters of adversity remind us to forsake our lukewarm love and cling to Christ—passionately.
Denial is the demon that blinds and binds us to our addictions.
Pain is the spittle and sand ointment Jesus uses to restore our sight—and sanity.
Thank goodness for the consequences of sin; otherwise we’d remain in their badness. Pain awakens us to our deadness and grace makes us alive in Christ. The sadness for our badness brings us to our knees, and then He burns off the dross so that our loss becomes holy ground gained.
Psalm 52:17 says God delights to see our repentance—our contrite spirit.
When we’re bowed low with contriteness,
we’re taller because our spirit is submitting to Rightness.
Inviting God to have control of our situation gets us out of our out-of-control addictions.
The Israelites were no strangers to the lure of lousy living either. What did they do shortly after their release from slavery? They complained as soon as things got a bit bad because they missed the good food in Egypt. Seriously?
Proverbs 15:17 says:
Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.
Moses wasn’t immune to addictions either. He was a reluctant leader in the first place, and I wonder if he had an addiction to his comfort zone. Although God had asked him to be a speaker for him, Moses whined and complained that his own speech was too impaired for him to obey God.
How can any of us say no to the God of creation?
How can I doubt to enter the doors He’s opened for me? For God formed my feet and He forms my speech.
Why do we doubt and dodge the call of God on our lives?
And here is where I point out the five letter word lacking in the limping lives of Moses, Pharaoh, the Israelites, and too often in me. Perhaps lacking in you too? The lack of this word can cause us to lean into the stronghold of addictions instead of into the strong arms of the Lord.
In Numbers 20:12 God says this to Moses and Aaron:
“Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”
God told Moses that he and the existing Israelites would not enter the Promised Land because Moses didn’t demonstrate TRUST in God before the people.
- TRUST is the key to the kingdom.
- TRUST is the key to recovery.
- Putting our trust in anything but Jesus will keep us outside the gates of God’s promises.
- TRUST is the five letter word we need to exercise and demonstrate.
I’d like to close with a short poem I wrote:
When God says go
Don’t say no
For He’ll widen the way
Trusting in Jesus Blessings ~ Wendy
I’m nosy-to-know what your favorite Bible story about trust is.
I’ve shared this as a podcast on HopeStreamRadio here: Trust and Obey
While working on this post, I came across this intriguing article about archaeological evidence for the bricks built by slaves in Egypt.
Here’s the Link: British Museum Evidence
If you comment on my Facebook page by posting “God’s grace is good,” your name will be entered twice. The prize will be a copy of two anthologies ( Christmas Stories & More, Good Grief people). I have either photography and/or prose posted in each one.
The draw date is November 15, 2017. All subscribers to my newsletter are automatically entered into the contest. Cynthia won the first one.
Oh, and by the way, in case you missed my short memoir piece about a camping trip my husband and I took many moons ago, here’s the link (I promise you’ll be glad you read it.): A Labor Day of Love