Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 15, 2016
Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go. Exodus 5:2
For many years fear kept me from speaking before an audience. The thought of talking in front of a group caused my throat to close up, my mouth to dry up and my voice to crack up. I gained confidence as I began to learn public speaking skills: thorough preparation and practice with one main point, supported by key statements. When I was certain God had called me to communicate His truth, I was compelled to trust in the power of His Spirit at work and not be intimidated by my own limited abilities. I became comfortable with my unique voice and style.
Moses faced a similar fear of speaking before strangers, but thankfully he had the support of his brother Aaron who was a gifted communicator. After his initial hesitation, Moses obeyed God and confronted Pharaoh with a message from God to free His people from Egyptian slavery. But Moses’ obedience encountered resistance in the form of Pharaoh’s denial of Israel’s freedom, because God had hardened the King’s heart. Moses did the right thing, but received a harsh reply. When our obedience meets resistance our faith must remain persistent. Persistence overcomes resistance.
“But they persisted until he was too embarrassed to refuse. So he said, “Send them” (2 Kings 2:17).
Have you ever finally found the courage to do the right thing, only to be criticized for your obedience? Maybe you labored for months in prayer over where to send your child to school. The Holy Spirit eventually gave you peace—you made the hard decision—only to have some family and friends seriously question you. Instead of receiving loving support, you felt like you made a mistake. Perhaps you prayerfully processed how to be more supportive of the Lord’s work with your time and money—in return a few cynics of your faith criticized you. But, continued obedience in the face of resistance causes the face of Christ to shine on your situation.
Could it be your Master Jesus is calling you to a higher level of commitment that may include resistance? Is there someone you need to lovingly confront, though you risk rejection or badly bruising the relationship? Have you grown weary in your prayer for the comfort and salvation of other weary souls? Even if the enemy causes you to doubt the effectiveness of your petitions, stay faithful to call on heaven on behalf of needy ones on earth. Your persistent prayers do make a difference—though your faithful intercession may take years before you see outward fruit. Obedience encounters resistance, but your persistence brings pleasure to your heavenly Father.
“To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life” (Romans 2:7).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the courage and faith to remain obedient in the face of resistance.
Application: Where do I need to remain persistent in doing right though I encounter resistance?
Related Readings: 1 Samuel 12:14-15; Isaiah 40:28-31; Hebrews 12:3; Revelation 2:3
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