Day 8

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A Warfare of Rest – Day Eight – Defusing Bombs

Have you ever heard God speak during a sermon or in your quiet time, and immediately your heart leapt and your spirit began running full tilt down the path of faith towards the Father’s open arms when SNAP!  Suddenly you found yourself violently yanked backward by an emotional leash you didn’t even know was there.

“What are you thinking? Don’t you remember what happened last time you tried that? Do you really want to be hurt again? Are you really going to trust again?  On no, we are NOT going down THAT path again.”

Emotional triggers, born from bad experiences in the past, can pop up when we least expect it.  A word, a look, a sound and the next thing we know, we find ourselves tumbling down a dark pit of emotional turmoil.

Past hurts, disappointments, and failures can mark our souls, creating holes through which faith can seep out and the enemy can creep in with an unbelief designed to abort our future.   If we are not careful and diligent to protect our hearts, that unbelief can become a stronghold that keeps us trapped and paralyzed by the past, even when the Lord tells us it’s time to move on. 

So it was for the Israelites at the time of their deliverance from Egypt.  They had witnessed dramatic displays of the power of God: plagues had ravaged Egypt while they were spared.  The blood, the frogs, the gnats, the flies, the pestilence, the boils, the hail, the locusts, the darkness at noonday, the death of the first born – all unmistakeable signs that their day of freedom had really come.   But as awesome as all these things were, they were still not enough to dislodge an unbelief that had wrapped itself around their souls during 400 years of captivity.  Although they were physically free from their bondage to Pharaoh and Egypt, they remained slaves through the fear and unbelief ruling in their hearts. 

But God knew this.  And He already had a plan to restore their faith and set them free fully.  But to do so, it would mean facing the very thing of which they were most afraid.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon. Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” (Exodus 14:1-4, NIV)

Even though the Israelites may not have known It, God had a plan.  A plan that would only not bring them  closer to their promised rest, but would also display His glory in the face of His enemies and bring increased revelation to the Egyptians of just who He is. 

As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord.  They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”  (Exodus 14: 10-12, NIV)

Sometimes in order for God to dislodge unbelief that is held in place by fear of the past, we have to be willing to allow Him to take us back to situations that trigger those fears so that the unbelief can be fully exposed and He can erase and replace it with faith.

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.  The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.  (Exodus 14:13-16)

So what do you do when you trip an emotional land mine?  First, you choose not to be afraid.  God would never command you to do anything you cannot do by His grace.  So if He says “Do not be afraid,” it means you have the choice. 

Next, stand firm. You don’t have to do anything.  Just don’t run away. 

Third, believe that God will fight for you and choose to be still.  The word translated “still” is actually the Hebrew word חָרַשׁ (charash) which means to be silent or speechless.  Remember when you were a kid and your mom told you “If you don’t’ have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all?”  Well it’s pretty much the same thing – if you don’t have anything positive or faith-releasing to say, it’s best to keep silent. 

And finally, choose to move in the opposite spirit to the fear and unbelief and take a step of faith.  Choose to move on.
What does it actually mean to move on?  I can’t really tell you that - only the Lord can.  All I know is that we can’t place conditions on our obedience in order to protect ourselves.   Nor can we avoid the places where we are hurt.  We can’t pretend they aren’t there or say they aren’t valid or real.  But just because they are real, doesn’t mean we want to empower them to direct us.  Because the right to direct our lives belongs to God, and God alone.   So we have to be willing to go wherever He says, trusting that the plans He has for us are for good and not evil, to give us a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11, LVB)     

If you want to shut down the enemy’s access to your faith through emotional triggers from the past, then let’s pray this prayer together. “Lord, I don’t want anything to exercise rulership over my life except You and Your word.  So Father, if there are any unhealed hurts  in my life which have become access points for fear and unbelief to gain a foothold and control me,  I am asking you to expose them and to heal me. I don’t want to try to protect myself God.  I trust You and Your ways and Your wisdom and Your plans and Your love for me.  I choose to move on – please show me what You would have me do.  In Jesus name, Amen!“

On behalf of the Awaken Team

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