“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way...’” — John 14:6 (NLT)
How was last year for you? For many, it was a topsy-turvy, mixed up, shaken about, unsettled, un-nerving, uneasy, unstable, random, unpredictable year. With the Covid-19 pandemic still raging at times, remitting at others, we all found a new way of doing things. And for most of us, we relied on doing things our way. There was no other way; no-one had walked this way before.
So, how was last year for you? Did things, on the whole, work out as you had expected or hoped? Or did things pan out in a completely different, arbitrary way that you could never have predicted?
For some, Covid or other illnesses appeared, either on the horizon of our world or closer to home; for some too close, it arrived quite literally on the doorstep and invited itself in and made itself at home. For others, Covid remains a mystical conspiracy, an ominous omen of oppression, subjugation, and repression. Rebellion seemed the only logical response, whether in word if not in deed. For some, this was your way of dealing with the situation.
In the Old Testament, we read how the Israelites were oppressed, subjugated, and repressed by the Egyptians. God had led them to Egypt centuries earlier to save them from famine, and they had remained there since. Initially, they were welcome by the rulers of the day, and indeed Joseph became the equivalent of the prime minister of the country. But those times were long gone, and the Egyptians became fearful because the Israelites had grown in number and were clearly blessed by God who ensured that they flourished in the land. The Egyptians felt threatened, so they mustered their forces to enslave and dominate the Israelites.
Times were tough, far tougher than we face today. Forced labour, cruel slave drivers, harsh conditions with poor provisions were the order of the day. No employment rights, working from home, financial support when isolating due to Covid, or provisions put aside for a rainy day. They were, literally, slaves; whipped into working frenetically by a frenzied force of tormentors and persecutors. This was no conspiracy, it was reality.
The Egyptians were doing things their way. Until one day, Yah-weh stepped in and said, “Enough! Now it’s My way.”
It was Moses who was chosen to lead the rebellion. Moses, who had been saved from slaughter by sailing into Pharoah’s palace on the very river in which he should have been drowned soon after birth. Moses, who had been brought up as the Pharoah’s son, although his Egyptian mother always knew he was an Israelite. Moses, who left the palace and fled from Egypt when he discovered his true origin and his allegiance. Moses, who murdered an Egyptian, triggering his escape. Moses, who was safely settled in a land far from Egypt, where he had married into a family and was happily going about his life and doing things his way. Moses, who was confronted by Yah-weh in the burning bush one day.
God replied to Moses, “I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.
This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations.
Exodus 3:14-15 (NLT)
God had told Moses that he would be the one to lead the Israelites out of Egypt; he was to go back to Egypt, confront Pharoah, and ask for Israel’s release from captivity and cruelty. Moses clearly didn’t want to go!
“But …” he protests. “Who am I to appear before Pharoah?”
A second time, “But …” he protests, “what should I say?”
A third time, “But …” he protests, “what if they don’t believe me?”
A fourth time, “But …” he protests, “I’m not very good with words.”
And a fifth time, “But …” he pleads, “send someone else.”
Your way, or Yah-weh? Clearly, Moses wanted to live his life his own way. He most definitely didn’t want to do things God’s way! Maybe that’s us too? It certainly is me at times, all too often. Maybe that’s you too? Maybe it’s your way, not Yah-weh? Maybe you are happy and comfortable doing things your way? Maybe you’re not, but you don’t know what else to do, how else to do things?
Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to stop protesting and pleading, and just doing what God wants you to do! Moses went, despite his protests and pleading; and we know the eventual outcome – the Israelites come out of Egypt triumphantly.
What is God telling you today? Where, or what, is your “Egypt?” Many of us struggle with hurts, habit, and hang-ups, flaws, faults, and failures. Many struggle with obsessive and compulsive behaviours that are destructive or harmful to themselves or others around them. What will it be, your way or Yah-weh?
“But … who am I?”
“But … what should I say?”
“But … what if others don’t believe me?”
“But … I’m not very good with words.”
“But … send someone else!”
“But … [insert your own protest or plea].”
Your way or Yah-weh? It’s your choice. One leaves you in captivity, the other leads to freedom. What will be your choice today?
May we pray. Heavenly Father, For so long, I have done things my way. Today, I turn to You, Yah-weh, and I want to do things Your way. Help me do this from this day forward. We ask this in the name of Jesus, who has told us that, “I am the way.” Thank You, heavenly Father. Amen.
If you would like to know more about how to do things God’s way – please get in touch. We would love to hear from you. May God Bless You, and we hope to see you soon.
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