Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Relax, Don't Do It!


If you were an 80s child, you're now going to be singing Frankie Goes To Hollywood all day, or referencing Friends. Die-hard fans of the show know exactly what I’m talking about!

On Monday we mused and meditated on Exodus 14:13-14. This past week, I had a terrible few days of fear. A fear of failing in a certain area of my life (no, it wasn't writing--for once). I've been circling a mountain, so to speak, that I can't seem to get victory in. Surely, I am not alone.

These verses means so much to me.

In context, He was talking to the Israelites. His chosen people. The ones He went into covenant with. They were leaving Egypt, which represents bondage; slavery. And also…Egypt. Ha! God had judged the nation and its gods with 10 plagues. Fascinating stuff.

On their way out, Pharaoh decided to come after them. He brought all his army, horses and chariots, with every intention of enslaving them again. Victory would not be theirs.

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." Psalm 20:7

The people shook in their boots sandals. They said to Moses, "Didn't we say to you, 'leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? Better for us to serve the Egyptians than die in the desert!"

Wow! They would rather go back to affliction, pain, slavery, bondage, and misery than trust God. Ultimately, that's what they were saying. God had no intentions of leading them out to let the enemy slaughter them.

He has no intention of leading you out of whatever you may be enslaved to, only to let the enemy defeat you when you get a taste of freedom.

Then the LORD speaks and that's where our verse starts.

Let's look at our key words: Stand firm, deliverance, fight, be still

Stand firm in the KJV is "stand still" and in the Hebrew, the word is "yatsab" which means, "to station oneself or to present oneself."

 Now this next little ditty is interesting. The word is deliverance. In the KJV, it's salvation. Let's take a good look at it in the Hebrew, because I want to show you something super fascinating!

In the Hebrew, that word deliverance or salvation is "yĕshuw`ah" Say it out loud. Does it remind you of another word you may have heard in the Hebrew?

You guessed right. (I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt!)

Jesus. In Hebrew. Yĕhowshuwa`

You may not be able to read Hebrew, but can you see the similarities? Why do they sound so similar?  Because the name Jesus comes from two Hebrew root words.

Yĕhovah meaning, Jehovah--the existing One. The proper name of the one true God. And the other root word is yasha` which means, to save, to be saved, be delivered!

We may not be facing the literal Red Sea or the Egyptian army. If so, I'd really like to hear your story, but we do face impossible obstacles and sins that hold us captive. Sometimes we call those sins bad habits or social faux paus. But they are sin. Maybe we can't get a grip on our anger, bitterness, lewd tongue, gossiping mouths, selfishness, pride, the list goes on.

So we could say: " The LORD says, 'Don't be afraid of the obstacles or the bondage in your life. Present yourself to Me and see Jesus Christ work in your life today to set you free.'"

But we're not done yet!

"The Egyptians (sin; bondage) you see today you will never see again." () mine. God is going to not only set you a little free. He's going to set you all the way free.

But how, you may cry out? I can't do this. It's too hard. I've tried before. I've cried out before. I'm afraid I'll fail again.

"The LORD will fight for you…"  He will engage in battle; make war.

"The Lord is a man of war; The Lord is His name." Exodus 15:3

You only need to be still.

Is God telling us that we don't have to do anything?

Yes and no.

No, we don't have to worry and try to take matters into our own hands. No we don't have to fight the battle in our own strength, which so many times we do, even when we think we're not.

Yes, we have a part.  God said, "stand firm" for one thing. Okay, how?

"...because it is by faith you stand firm." 2 Corinthians 1:24 When you engage your faith, you stand firm. That's how you fight.

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong." 1 Corinthians 16:3

"Resist him, standing firm in the faith…" 1 Peter 5:9 (him = enemy)

Look at the verse in the New Century Version:

“Don’t be afraid! Stand still and you will see the Lord save you today. You will never see these Egyptians again after today. You only need to remain calm; the Lord will fight for you.” Not do nothing, just...

Remain calm

So we could say: " The LORD says, 'Don't be afraid of the obstacles or the bondage in your life. Present yourself to Me and see Jesus Christ work in your life today to set you free.' I'm going to wipe out that sin in your life. I'm a skilled fighter. And I fight for you. Remain calm, have faith. Put on your armor, and know that I AM."

Relax. Don't do it! Don't wig out and take matters into your own hands or flip out so bad you buckle your knees and give up. So many times the Israelites did that and it always cost them. It'll cost you. It'll cost me too.

What part of this verse brings you most comfort? I love the whole verse, but "The LORD will fight for you" really gives me goosebumps in a warm, delicious way. 

*I normally don't post on Thursdays but tomorrow I am thrilled to have Jordyn Redwood in the house and she's talking about a deadly poison. Stop by because the medical facts are intriguing to say the least!

*And Friday will conclude our Real-Life Romance series with Gabrielle Meyer

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10 comments:

  1. "Frankie Say Relax"--ha! Now I'll have a picture of Ross in that T-shirt all day. I loved that show:)

    And I love this verse. We were just talking about the Isrealites leaving Egypt this past Sunday - how an 11 day journey took them 40 years b/c they didn't stand firm. Because they chose to complain, grumble, and at times let go of their faith. And I know I can be so guilty of that at times too. Trying to stand firm right now - this has been a great verse this week. Thanks for sharing it, Jess!

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  2. I like the "present yourself to me" part...that He'd want that...

    That He'd want that.

    Between this & the message at church, I'm tellin' ya! Thank you!

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  3. I love the "be still" part of that verse. I'm a doer. I like to make things happen. And often I try on my own and that's when I get stressed, when I feel frustrated and even worse, defeated. But when I truly find peace in the fact that the Lord really, really, really will fight for me, it's a little easier to be still. Not easy...but easier. :)

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  4. A year or two ago Oklahoma started having earthquakes. Earthquakes in Oklahoma! We're used to crazy weather and tornadoes, but not earthquakes. After every one of them, my husband would tease me because I would freak out. Apparently I'm not the person you want around in an emergency situation. I think God often laughs and shakes his head at me just like my husband did after the earthquakes. I think He wants to tell me to chill out. He'es got this, and running around life like a chicken with its head chopped off isn't going to accomplish anything.

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  5. Wonderful post today, Jessica! I love "Stand firm." To me, this means not letting the worries and doubts turn me into a puddle of goo. Just recognizing that God has this makes me stand firm!

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  6. God spoke to me through your post today, Jessica. I'm such a worrywart. I came across these verses last week, but in my reading, I was not able to dissect the words and glean the meanings like this. Thank you for the encouraging, faith-filled words.

    And yes, now the song is stuck in my head. Thanks for that, too ;-)

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  7. Love the encouragement you give here, friend. Like Mel, I'm made at being still. But lately, I've been trying to just meditate in the mornings, before life gets crazy and I go, go, go. It has been helping me to focus in on God and what he'll do for me. I love the idea that he'll fight for me too.

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  8. This is such a timely post for me, Jess.

    Monday and Tuesday I had been circling that mountain of fear too. It's something going on within our families. I'm exhausted. Time to be still...

    Thank you for your lessons, Jess. I always leave feeling better and go on to study further on the message you delivered. I always leave here learning!

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  9. Wow, wow, and WOW! You know, the little girl comes out in me when I know that my knight in shining armor riding a white horse is fighting for me. And we have the ultimate Knight! So as you circle that mountain, get ready to land, because whether you believe you're ready or not yet, Jess, He's already won the victory. So land, be still, and watch your heavenly Knight do His thang!

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  10. You are such an encourager, Jessica. I have to say, the part about being still speaks to me. It is the resting in Him that brings me deliverance time and time again.

    LOVE this!

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