Saturday, January 21, 2012

He Must Increase-Day 21

One of the most painful things to endure is submission. No one likes to submit. In fact, the very word submission has negative connotations for just about everyone. The Christian life cannot be experienced fully without an understanding of submission. Christian citizens are told to submit to the government. Christian slaves are instructed to submit to their owners. Wives submit to their husbands. Children submit to their parents. Husbands submit to God. Christians submit to each other. And EVERYONE submits to God.

This morning I read more about Pharaoh's hardened hard. We read about how God "hardened Pharaoh's heart" and assume God was somehow controlling Pharaoh like a puppet on a string. If you aren't careful you can feel bad for Pharaoh and get the idea that God was picking on him. But hardening doesn't mean that Pharaoh was rendered incapable of listening to Moses. Hardening means that God gave Pharaoh over to the wickedness of his own heart. He let him experience the fullest consequences of his rebellious heart. He let him head the direction he wanted go and kicked him in the pants as he passed by!

When the Lord spoke to Pharaoh (through Moses) after the seventh plague he asked, "How long will you refuse to submit to me?"(Ex 10:3) Ten plagues was all it took to get his attention, what does it take to get yours? The destruction of his property didn't grab him. Loss of wealth didn't phase him. Hurting the people around him wasn't enough. Physical discomfort didn't persuade him. Ultimately it took the death of his firstborn son to get his attention. All because he refused to submit. You can picture his face screwed up and flushed with pride. His legacy was a foolish, faithless, prideful and stubborn heart that sped him right down the path to destruction.

So what areas of your life are refusing to submit in? What is your rebellion costing you? What about those around you? What if the cost for your rebellion gets more and more expensive? How long will you refuse to submit to the Lord? He is Lord, we are his people. He must increase in us, we must decrease.

Read the Bible in One Year Plan: Exodus 10-12


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