My prayer so often these days has been, “What am I supposed to do, Lord?”
What am I supposed to do for the widower who, with tears in his eyes, tells me that he’s lonely?
What am I supposed to do for the heartbroken mother who cries because she can’t take care of her children?
What am I supposed to do with this person who exhibits zero evidence of the faith they claim?
What am I supposed to do for the prodigal who just isn’t ready to come home?
Because the truth is that I can’t bring his wife back, bring her children back, change her heart, or make someone choose Christ. Only God can do God things.
I’ve found that I feel anxious and overwhelmed when I don’t stay in my lane. It’s frustrating when I try to do what only God can do.
My job is to love people. My job is to pray for people. And my job is to point them to Jesus. And, you know what? Those are all things that I’m perfectly capable of doing.
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Today’s #f260 reading is Exodus 8-9. And I was struck by the amount of absolute chaos that must have been taking place. Frogs covering the land. Then gnats everywhere you look. Flies taking over. Livestock begin dying. Powerful hail falling from the sky.
Confusion. Chaos. Fear.
But, in the midst of the swirling drama, God says two things that I believe can give us hope in today’s chaotic world.
👉The Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt (Exodus 9:4.) What looks like chaos to us is perfectly clear and calm to the Lord. Nothing is spinning out of control. 2 Timothy 2:19 tells us that the Lord knows who are His.
👉The Lord put Pharaoh in power so that the Lord’s power could be shown and His name glorified. Instead, Pharaoh chose to exalt himself (Exodus 9:16-17.) Daniel 2:21 and Romans 13:1 tell us that the Lord places people in places of authority. It doesn’t matter who sits on the throne, in the Oval Office, or any other authoritative position – God is the one in control.
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Jesus tells them to put out their nets to catch some fish. The weary and worn fishermen reply with, “We just tried that. It didn’t work.”
But, because Jesus asked them, they tried again and caught so many fish the nets were breaking.
What is it that you are trying to do on your own and you’re just failing miserably?
👉Make peace with someone? 👉Fix your marriage? 👉Find meaning or purpose for your life? 👉Find healing for an old wound? 👉Make a Kingdom impact? 👉Be a better parent? 👉Forgive someone?
What is that thing that you feel like you’ve “toiled all night and took nothing?”
The difference between the men fishing the first time and the second was Jesus. Jesus can turn our nothing into nets that are bursting at the seams. But we have to be willing, like Simon, to say, “I’ve tried it already, Lord, but at your Word I’ll try it again.”
Jesus can make the difference.
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God was offering the people freedom and deliverance. He was offering them Himself. But they wouldn’t listen.
Two things stood in the way of the people believing and accepting what was offered to them: harsh circumstances and broken spirits.
It’s difficult to imagine a life of deliverance and delight when all you know is oppression and bitterness. We want to shake people and say, “Can’t you see?!?” But the reality is that, no, they can’t see.
Sometimes, it’s frustrating because we can’t always change a person’s harsh circumstances. The enemy will whisper, “Why bother? Nothing will change.”
But here is what the Lord has been speaking to me lately that ties in beautifully with this passage.
What if we worked on mending broken spirits? Because there is where we find common ground. We may not share a single life circumstance but, by golly, we all know heartache and brokenness. We can meet one another there.
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Slavery. Affliction. Hardship. Cruelty. Pain. Sorrow. You name it and the people of Israel experienced it.
Have you ever, in the midst of a particularly difficult season, wondered if God even saw you? If He knew what was happening? If He heard your cries?
If so, today’s reading has a beautiful word for you.
God saw the people of Israel – and God knew. Exodus 2:25
We are told that God heard their cries. God remembered every promise made to them. God saw them in their pain. And God knew.
He reiterates all of it in Exodus 3. God says, ”I have surely seen the affliction…I have heard their cries…I know their suffering…and I have come down to deliver them. Exodus 3:7-8
And this is not the last time God will come down to deliver His children.
God hears you. He sees you. He has not forgotten a single promise He has made to you. He knows what you’re currently dealing with. And His message for you today is…
I have observed you and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction. Exodus 3:16-17
Look out, friends, deliverance and delight are coming your way.
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