Be Still? Or Fight?


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I Corinthians 10:12-13 says, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

In reading Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst, she cites this passage in Chapter 16 and then says one “way out” the Lord provided for her was deciding in advance what she will and won’t have that day.

I have to admit, when I think of the “way out,” I think more of God coming to my rescue with supernatural strength and reminders of His truth rather than this kind of thing, but He does also say “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (I Corinthians 10:5), and planning is part of doing that.

In Exodus 14:14, when Israel was caught between Egypt’s advancing army and the Red Sea, Moses said, “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” Some versions say “be still” instead of “hold your peace, some say “be silent.” I’ve seen people post this verse ending with “be still” on Pinterest or in other places as if that is God’s instruction to anyone facing any battle any time. In Israel’s battles, sometimes God supernaturally intervened, like He did at the Red Sea, and sometimes they had to take up their swords and fight. They couldn’t win unless He was with them and they relied on Him, as they discovered, but they had to actually go into battle and swing a sword and get sweaty and messy and strain their muscles in reliance on Him. In fact, after Moses tells Israel to “be still” in Ex. 14:14, in the very next verse “the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.”

When God gives me that “sword” of His truth like Lysa described of planning ahead for eating, or of reminding myself of His truth to oppose Satan’s lies, or of fleeing temptation,  I’m to use it, with His promise of help and grace, rather than waiting for Him to do the battle for me. Sometimes He will supernaturally win the battle for me while I only watch, but sometimes He gives me victory by handing me a sword.

1 thought on “Be Still? Or Fight?

  1. Pingback: My favorite posts of the year | Stray Thoughts

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