Saturday, November 18, 2023

What Was

 If they’d bothered to consider all they’d been through, the children of Israel would have realized that the giants they were to contend with were no bigger than any of the obstacles and hurdles they’d overcome thus far. Is it more challenging to fell a giant, or to part a sea? Is it more difficult to fell a giant or to protect a people from the plagues all those around them were suffering through? Is it more difficult to fell a giant or feed an entire people with manna from heaven?

Of all the miracles God performed on behalf of Israel, objectively speaking, defeating some giants would be the least of them. Remembering all the obstacles God was instrumental in helping you overcome will put the obstacle currently before you into perspective. Never forget what He has done for you, what He has done in your life, and the transformation that has taken place because it will put your current foe in the right light. He’s not bigger than those that came before, and he will fall just as easily.

With every enemy that presents itself before you, you have the choice to stand and fight or turn and flee. The more times you stand your ground and see the victory of the Lord, the easier it gets because your faith is ever-increasing during these confrontations. Even then, with victories upon victories under your belt, giving heed to the murmurs of the crowd or believing that just because they are the majority, those telling you to flee are in the right can be detrimental and return you to the bondage from which you were freed.

The enemy doesn’t much care how he gets you back to Egypt as long as he does. Whether through fear, trickery, deception, or temptation, his job is done as long as you’re back in the shackles. It’s a lot like people who sell timeshare. It doesn’t matter how they get you to sign on the dotted line; once you’ve signed, you owe. Sometimes, the debt is generational, meaning that once you’ve gone to the great beyond, your kids are on the hook for the fees and dues. Seeing that money siphoned from your account every month makes the free two-night stay seem like not such a good deal after all.

Back in the day, it used to be free portable televisions with the rabbit ear antennas. Some people made a sport of sitting through the two hours and being strong enough to say no every time. Others weren’t so strong, and they came home with a new expense, a piece of plastic they never used, and a justification for why it was too good a deal to pass up. I’m old enough to remember. I used to hear the neighbors argue about it from time to time.

The enemy’s constant struggle is to bring you back to where you started so you never reach your destination. We’ve all known our fair share of professional backsliders who always manage to go so far and no further, being knocked back to the start and having to begin the journey anew. They may not see what’s beyond the next bend in the road, but I assure you the enemy knows just as readily as God does.

Once you’ve reached Canaan, it’s hard for anyone to convince you that Egypt is the better destination. Once you’ve seen the promises of God firsthand, for yourself, with your own eyes, it’s hard for others to convince you that bondage was better or more preferable. This is why the enemy’s most brutal attacks occur before you reach the land of promise. That’s not to say he still doesn’t try, but it seems not to be with nearly as much enthusiasm. He’s still hoping to catch you off guard. He’s still looking for that moment when you are not being watchful, but he knows he’ll have a much harder time once you’ve made it to the place God has prepared for you and where God expects you to be.

If you are walking in His way, God will be a constant guide and a constant shield, a present help who does not flinch in the face of the enemy or who is overwhelmed by its size or might. It’s when we veer off the path that we go from place to place, looking for direction, unsure of which way we should go or who we should heed. There are plenty of lurkers about just waiting to give their two cents, to tell you of the shortcut they found or the trail they’ve blazed all on their own, and you should give heed to none of these. The path is the path. There is only one. There are no alternatives, substitutes, or variations.

Why are we so quick to embrace secondhand interpretations of the source material when the source material is available to one and all? Why are we so quick to try and find alternatives to the way when the Word of God says this is the way; walk in it? Only the source material comes with the guarantee that if you walk in the way of the Lord, you will reach the promised land.

If we find ourselves adrift, lost, and wandering about, it’s not because God led us there; we chose to reject His counsel, ignore His direction, and go our own way. God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. Nobody gets lost following God's path, but plenty of people get lost following their own. No one is ever overcome by the world if they are walking in obedience to God’s will, but countless are by thinking they know better than God.

With love in Christ, 

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

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