Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Your Throwing in the Towel, Your Facing the Red Sea

Your Throwing in the Towel, Your Facing the Red Sea 

I remember the days of old, I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands. PSALM 143:5 

One thing we can do as we stand at the threshold of transition is to remember how God has helped us in the past. Has He not been good to you? I know there has been some heartache, hurt, and tragedy in the last year. That’s true for all of us, more true for some. As we survey all of what God has done, especially in perspective, God has been good to us. He has met our needs. As God has helped us in the past, He will help us in the future. I have witnessed how God has time and again helped our church. Sometimes we, too, have been at the Red Sea, the enemy has been right on our heels, the wall has been right in front of us, and at the last moment God has opened the way. That’s the God we serve. God will lead us into the future. We have no need to fear since the God of the past is the God of the present.

And your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. MATTHEW 6:4, 6, 18

An eleventh-century German king, Henry III, grew tired of ruling. He applied to a monastery to spend the rest of his life in quiet contemplation. The prior asked if he, a king, could live out a vow of complete obedience. “I will,” said the king. “Then you are accepted,” replied the monk. “Your first duty is to return to your throne and serve faithfully where God has placed you.” It is easy to grow weary of being a spouse, a parent, an employee, or an employer. Some days we just want to quit! One woman who resisted that temptation was Abigail, the wife of Nabal (1 Samuel 25). Abigail was understanding and beautiful; Nabal was harsh and evil. Abigail even saved Nabal from the sword of David because she chose to honor her husband instead of humiliate him. She drew joy and strength from God, not her surroundings. And God rewarded her when Nabal died. David was so impressed with Abigail that he took her for his wife. Are you tempted to leave it all behind—to throw in the towel? Don’t do it. Make God your joy, and wait for His reward. We aren’t faithful to get a reward, but we are rewarded for being faithful. Dr. David Jeremiah "Morning and Evening"

I can say there's been many times when I have been ready to throw in the towel. Facing a Red Sea before me and an army behind me.  God took the towel that I threw in the ring and threw it back in my face, telling me to wipe my face, you're almost there.

You will get nowhere with men as sinful and as evil as we have in this world.  You will, however, go everywhere you are meant to go in this world when where God is, you are living in obedience to Him.  

Decrying the rulings in this world that go against what you think or believe is really just you venting.  Paul and Silas could have spent their time in prison, chained off the ground, on a wall, gripping and complaining, but they didn't. They instead decided to sing praise songs...and found that regardless of what it appeared to be, Jesus was still there. A jailer and his family were saved. 

You may not like your circumstances. To be honest with you, most of my circumstances I don't like either.  People get irritated when it sounds like I might be throwing in the towel.  Oh he is quitting again.  

Let's be clear about something.  Being open to what God wants of you as a believer is NOT going to make you popular with man.  You will appear to be making stupid, rash, inconsiderate decisions. You will appear to be doing the opposite of what makes sense.  Paul and Silas certainly could be accused of that. Why would you think you who follow Christ would be any different?

You cannot afford to view success and failure as a Christian through the eyes of the world. 

You cannot afford to forget that God is always on time with His answers to prayer. 

You cannot afford to forget what He has already done for you in other circumstances and situations. 

As the hymn goes trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey. 

They had been chased for the better part of the day by Pharaoh and right in front of them was the Red Sea.  What was the Lord thinking?  They had nowhere to go!  So what WAS happening? All the people of the children of Israel were not as closely together as they needed to be for the miracle to happen. They were too spread out.  As they all got close enough, THEN, the Lord told Moses what to do. The Lord wanted ALL of them to see the miracle happen. Not just those on a front row seat.  Look to after what happened to Pharaoh and his army. The Lord told them all to teach future generations what great things that the Lord did for them. 

I am really not like most people. Remembering things that at the time made perfect sense I often can't do.  I type a lot. Something to remember things by. The trouble remains is that I still often forget the thoughts behind the words.  I always have to rely on the Holy Spirit to bring me reminders of what He has done for me.  

I am not a quitter in the sense that I just give up.  I am well versed in futility. Of seeing no path forward to look to where God's going that I don't see. 

Many times in my life God's thrown my towel back at me.  Regardless of life's circumstances I am called to obey. If it means a valley of the shadow of death to go through He will lead me through it. If it's peaceful times He will lead me through it.  I must obey. 

This isn't to say that I won't bring up my concerns to Him in prayer. That's a privilege of prayer.  To become a man after God's own heart meant Moses being real with himself and the Lord.  

It really disturbs me when people calling themselves Christians forward Facebook posts filled with swearing as if to say they agree wholeheartedly with it. Or go on a swear word laced tirade of their own on there.  What does the Bible say about the tongue? All who call themselves Christians are representatives of Christ. So tell me would Christ go on a swearing tirade?  

These people are not living like they are trusting in Jesus.  They threw the towel back at God in disgust. Shaking their heads at Him. 

As the famous passage from the Old Testament goes YOU must choose this day whom you will serve. Yourselves or God. You must decide to praise God in your storms. You must look at life through what He's wanting to do through you, not what you want out of life.  If money is all that matters to you, it's what you will receive, but you will be leaving God behind in the process. If your rights are all that matter to you then you will eventually leave God behind and will find yourself on your own wondering where He went. 

Being open to the will of God will set you up for strange and different things in this life.  Many saw my many jobs from 2013 til today as me being unable to cope or they saw me as a quitter.  Have news for all. I was wanting a higher education. I could never afford the tuition. Could never afford the decades of paying it back had I jumped in and went to college.  God provided me a paid education by going where He lead me.  I learned things that no degree ever could.  It made me look like a fool in the eyes of many but it was an answer to prayer for me.  

Are you willing to look like a fool in the eyes of the world? Are you ready to throw in the towel because of life's circumstances?  Stay the course. Remind yourself of the truth of God.  He's still with you. 

I might still have several years ahead of me in this life. Everyone's time can be up at any moment. Either by way of death or by way of the Rapture I will exit this world.  What I do in life must be in obedience to God.  Not because of my wants and desires but because He requires obedience.  

Coming to Christ isn't about you losing out on living.  It's finding out what living is all about. The world won't understand it. Don't expect them to.  You must decide whether you will shake your fist at God or obey Him.  Christians and nonbelievers both must choose. 

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