Go to the Throne Before You Go to the Phone

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One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. As we come to Exodus 13:17-18 it says, “When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt. So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle.”

I love how the study text adds an understanding to this passage. It says, “The Israelites had not yet seen God fight on their behalf. Even though they left Egypt like an army ready for battle, it was only an appearance until they experienced the Lord was fighting for them in the crossing of the Red Sea, they were not ready to face enemies in the Promised Land.” How powerful to know that God knows us so well!

The Israelites had a short-lived taste of freedom when they realized that Pharaoh, heart still hardened, changed his mind and proceeded to pursue them to the Red Sea. They panicked and began wondering why they were even freed in the first place and wanted to return back as slaves to Pharaoh. It would not be until God, through Moses, provided an escape route by parting the Red Sea and safely arriving to the other side and watch Pharaoh and the Egyptians meet their demise in the same waters, that they could see God fighting for them.

We, as people, have not changed much from the Israelites. We take a step forward only to give in to the fear around us. We panic when we can’t see what’s ahead of us and we turn back to our old ways because whatever problem or situation is too hard or not as we imagined it being.

Where does trust come from? Some will say it derives from faith and others will say that it is in what you see that forms a trust. So in essence, believing is seeing for some and to others seeing is believing. The Israelites needed to see the demise of Pharaoh and the Israelites in the Red Sea to see God fighting for them. They also saw God give protection in pillars of clouds and fire, water to drink as well as manna and quail from Heaven. They continually saw Gods provision but as often as they saw it, they would eventually turn and give into the ways of life and society around them.


But when they became oppressed by their choices and actions, it was God they called out to for rescue and sought repentance. Each and every time, He delivered them.


 

God knows how foolish I am and my sins cannot be hidden from Him (Ps.69:5). Where do I turn when I am in need, angry, sad or just hungry for communication? People of course! For me, it was my mom or a best friend or my husband. When I was a younger mom, I attended a Bible Study where the leader said, “Go to the throne before you go to the phone.” I of course understood what she said but my impulse or trigger was picking up the phone and run to my mom. I continued this route for many years until a friend betrayed my trust and I finally saw that my mom had a full plate between work and caring for my grandma. One particular day, I was in the midst of upheaval, my normal disaster team consumed in work and with nowhere to turn until evening, I heard loudly, “Go to the throne before you pick up the phone.”

I did, I fell to my knees and cried out to my Heavenly Father. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” God used unanswered phones, busy schedules, and a friends betrayal bringing me to seek Him first. I am not saying that He cannot use my mom or people in my plight, but when I cry out to Him first, I give Him authority over the problem and I see Him fight for me by placing people or situations that aid my call of distress.


 

What joy and trust when I see His provision in the midst of striving!


 

I have faltered from time to time and have been overcome by my triggers to do what I once did because I felt my problem was too little or insignificant to require the assistance of God. I placed my trust back in my human effort. In the midst of my striving, I hear His voice calling me back to seek Him and His righteousness first in all things.

When I call on Jesus, He assures that He is fighting for me and I only need be still and trust Him in the outcome (Exodus 14:14). I need to let go and let God be my Redeemer in the midst of struggle and He will place the people and situations in place for just the right time to bring glory and honor to His Name.

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