We are certainly enjoying some wonderfully perfect (in my book) weather the past week, and I have enjoyed having quiet time out on the porch.
While my present surroundings have been most pleasant, my read through of the Bible has been in one of Israel’s most difficult periods. Since I am using the Chronological Bible for 2018, I have been reading from a mixture of prophets as God’s people are facing the consequences of generations of growing apostasy.
This week, as I sat sipping coffee and relishing the fact that I had to put a light jacket on, my heart and soul were in a vise grip of angst as I read of the Babylonians building siege ramps outside the walls of Jerusalem and the King of Judah deciding maybe it was time to ask God for a favor.
Both Ezekiel and Jeremiah speak God’s word and clearly articulate the bad news, good news of Israel’s future.
God is firm in His judgment of this stubborn and wayward people and the time has come to pay the piper, so to speak.
The city will be taken.
Anyone who refuses to leave will die and anyone who surrenders will live in captivity for a set period of time.
But God also affirms that after their years of discipline have been completed, He will bring them back. He will bring prosperity once again to His people but more importantly, He will give them a heart to love Him and honor Him and worship Him again.
This is not the plot of a movie we want to see, is it?
We don’t want to pay to see Bruce Willis surrender to the terrorists in a Die Hard movie or Aragorn to tell the men of Rohan to stand down at the Black Gate in Lord of the Rings.
We love the thrill of taking a battle stance and fighting it out to the end…even if the end is more like the Alamo…at least they all went down fighting.
But in this historical battle, the God of Abraham is telling His children the way to win is to surrender.
This summer, the band of brothers in our family have been enjoying the antics of super athletes competing on crazy hard obstacle courses on a show called Ultimate Beastmaster.
And while I cringe at the name every time, I have to admit it has been entertaining to snuggle with them in the afternoon and watch an hour of these young people attempting to push their bodies through a gigantic playground of adult monkey bars and climbing apparatus.
Often one of the athletes will reach a point where all physical strength has been spent or timing has gotten off and this powerful athlete simply cannot go on to the next level.
Dangling from a bar or rope with shaking arms, unable to propel forward, the competitor will simply release and drop into the water below.
It’s a whole different thing than defeat.
Like dropping into that pool of water when it is the only choice left, we drop into grace sometimes by giving up and letting go.
There is a time to fight and to push through, but there are also times when we must listen to the voice of God and choose to fight no more, but instead, surrender to the circumstances and allow Him to do what only He can do.
We cannot make these choices on our own, but we must be tuned to His voice.
We must hear the call to fight, the call to stand and the call to lay it all down and just drop into grace.
I pray today for each of us to live our lives daily in such a way that we would know and hear the voice of our Lord and we would have obedient hearts to do according to His word to us <3