Tonight Steven reminded me of a very important lesson I am still in the process of learning. Don’t accept lies. I have insecurities, we all have insecurities. Sometimes people will say things to us that will hurt, they will cut deep without really even meaning too. Sometimes they might even mean to cut deep. But heres the deal, they are lies, don’t accept them. Someone had said something to me that made me feel really small. They had seemingly confirmed one of my fears and my feelings (and pride) had been hurt. So I sat at Steven’s kitchen table and felt sad, and pouted a little. But then Steve woke me up with just a few words, “That just isn’t true. Don’t accept lies.” He was right, once again I was believing and accepting lies. I was allowing death to be spoken into my life. So tonight I am reminding myself to quit accepting the lies. I can’t control the things that people say about me or to me, but I can change the way I receive them. Instead of believing them and taking them to heart, I can remember what is true. I can choose to dwell on what is good and pure and lovely. And I can fight the lies with what is true. Tonight I am grateful for people that speak life and freedom and tonight I am grateful for the reminder to not accept lies.
In my mind the Israelites are known for their infamous inability to trust that God is on their side, and constantly fighting for them and working things out for their good. And as soon as I judge them in my mind, God reminds me that I am Israel. God is always on my side, and He is always faithful, and always working things out for my good, and yet I always seem to doubt Him. Every time I’m in a rough spot, or I find myself in a valley, I begin to doubt that He really loves me, and that He is really fighting the powers of darkness for me, to bring me to Him. And then I read Exodus 14. Let’s set the scene. Israel has just been delivered from the hands of the evil Egyptians. They had been enslaved for so long, they had forgotten what it was like to be free. The Pharaoh had finally decided to be smart man, and he set them free so that he could escape the curses he had brought on his people, but of course being the fickle man he was he changed his mind and sent his men after the Israelites to bring them back to captivity. But you see God wasn’t going to let that happen, and they should have trusted that He was going to come through for them just like He had before. But the Israelites are at the red sea and Pharaoh’s men are upon them on their horses and chariots, and the Israelites are trapped, and they have a doubting moment. “Did we not tell you in Egypt. Let us alone; let us serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” I imagine that at this point Moses was extremely frustrated. His God had just saved the Israelites, they had seen miracles and curses brought down on the people that had been holding them captive. And yet… they were doubting? I mean come on… but I do that too. God frees me from a stronghold in my life, but the process is painful. He frees me from my form of the Egyptians, and I say to Him, “God, why didn’t you leave me with my stronghold? I would have been better off with that than feeling this pain, or having to go through this refining process. I’m tired of being refined.” You would think this would be the part of the story where Moses says, “You guys are dumb, and can’t see past yourselves. I’m outta here.” But the bible tells us something different, “Moses told the people, ‘Fear not; stand still (firm, confident, undismayed) and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for today. For the Egyptians you have seen today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.’ ” We all have an Egypt, something that holds us captive. Eventually the thing that holds us captive becomes comfortable, and even when we hate it, we say, “let us alone, let us serve our Egypt!” But God says to us, “Fear NOT, stand still, and see me work out your salvation TODAY. For the Egypt you see today you shall NEVER see again. You shall hold your peace and remain at rest.” The idea that God is saying to us, stand still, I’ve got this one, I’m going to fight FOR you, gives me incredible peace. Some days I just feel so exhausted. Tired of working on my own behalf, tired of trying to fix myself. And that’s when I read this passage. And that’s when God says, hold your peace, remain at rest because the Egyptians you faced today, will be defeated by me and you will never see them again. So fear not, stand still, be firm, confident and undismayed. Experience FREEDOM.