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Devotional: Singing Our Song Of Deliverance!

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, May 1, 2013.

  1. Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord: “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; he has hurled both horse and rider into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him—my father’s God, and I will exalt him! – Exodus 15: 1-2 (NLT)

    Can we picture the scene? After 400 years of slavery and oppression, God delivers the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. Capping it off by parting the Red Sea so the waters stood up and allowed God’s people to cross on dry ground and then closing the walls of water over the enemies of God and sweeping them away. Whenever I read this account I can’t help but think of the movie, The Ten Commandments, and the great line by Pharaoh – “Their God…is God.” Hallelujah! Now with the Egyptians washed away and the people finally free, the people of Israel break into song! The first 18 verses of this chapter is the full song of praise unto the Lord but for today, let us look at what we can unpack from the first two verses for our lives.

    Because beloved, we too were once in slavery to sin and this world was our Egypt. We lived under the yoke of oppression as well until the Lord delivered us from bondage and set us free! He may have had to part some Red Seas in our lives as well to make this happen. He may have had to crush some enemies under the weight of the wave of His mighty hand. Like the Israelites before us, we too should be breaking into song and praise to God for all He has done in our lives, starting with our deliverance. This gets lost sometimes in the popular versions of Christianity today. Charlatans and snake oil salesmen have infiltrated the house of God and stand behind pulpits across this country to tell you how much God wants to give you when the discussion needs to be about all that God has already given us. We are developing a generation of spiritually illiterate, petulant Christians who think that God is nothing more than a blessing dispenser for our whims. If God did nothing else for me I would still owe Him everything. Because I remember my Egypt. I remember my Red Sea.

    The song from the key verses start with a simple enough statement – I will sing to the Lord for He has triumphed gloriously. The first lesson for us today is that this is never about us! Have you ever heard a preacher or Christian who had themselves as the hero of every story? Sure there is lip service paid to the Lord but they suffer badly from “me-ism” disease. They have become the Pharisee from the famous parable:

    “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ – Luke 18: 10-12 (NLT)

    That is eight references to himself in one prayer! The truth is we couldn’t do anything before Christ and we cannot do anything now without Him. The Bible says that God will not share His glory with anyone. Whenever we experience victory in our lives – the victory is the Lord’s! We give praise to God because He is always worthy! Once again, this is not being taught correctly in the modern church where we see an over emphasis on what God is going to do instead of what He has done. This leads people away from praising God and instead we see congregations that are greedy instead of thankful. Blessings are always something they are waiting for instead of what they already have. This is nothing new beloved. These very same Israelites would test God’s patience over and over again. Constantly grumbling against God and Moses – actually complaining that they missed their slavery! Don’t we do the exact same thing? How many times have we heard people bemoan all that they had to “give up” for God? All the “fun.” All the sin that was slowly killing them. The Israelites eventually come to the border of the Promised Land and they send 12 spies out. They find the land is indeed flowing with milk and honey but that there were giants living in the land. Joshua and Caleb focused on who God was and insisted they could take the land with the Lord on their side. They remembered Egypt. They remembered the Red Sea. But the other ten grumbled and spread a bad report because they focused on the giants and not God. Here was the result:

    But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites at the Tabernacle.And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them? I will disown them and destroy them with a plague. Then I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they are!” – Numbers 13: 10-12 (NLT)

    How quickly we forget the miracles God has already done in our midst. How quickly we want to believe the negative report and think fondly of the slavery our lives used to be. One story that always amazed me was the second miraculous feeding Jesus performed. In the 14th Chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, we see Jesus feed the 5000 (which was really more like 15,000, including women and children). He did so with 5 loaves of bread and two fish and had 12 basketfuls left over. In the very next chapter, indicating not too much time had elapsed, He is faced with a crowd of over 4000 people and He tests the disciples by asking them to feed the people because He was concerned about them traveling home. Forget Egypt? They forgot what had just happened!

    The disciples replied, “Where would we get enough food here in the wilderness for such a huge crowd?” – Matthew 15: 33 (NLT)

    Where indeed? I am astounded that they so quickly forgot the miracle that had just occurred! Back at the Promised Land border, Moses would convince God to stay His hand but that entire disbelieving generation died in the wilderness – never seeing the land that was promised to them again. Even the mighty Prophet Elijah once ran into the wilderness and asked God to take his life because Jezebel demanded his head. Forget the fact that he just saw God slay the 450 prophets of Baal and that God raised the widow’s child from the dead through him – where’s Egypt?

    The second truth for us today is that the Lord is our strength. Well that sounds easy enough but what does it mean in our day to day lives? It means that we no longer have to do things alone. It means we no longer have to rely upon this world. It means that the life that is yielded to God, can expect God to continue to deliver them. Let’s face it; our troubles did not end when we finally left Egypt. Because at the end of each day we still have forces arrayed against us. We live in a world system that is diametrically opposed to the things of God. The Bible says that the things of God are foolishness to those who are perishing. Although we are supposed to be pilgrims walking through this world, we still have to navigate it. In addition to the world system we have to constantly war against our own flesh. Perhaps this frustration is never better summed up than by the Apostle Paul:

    So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. – Romans 7: 14-17 (NLT)

    Paul sums it up by saying that only through Christ can we become free from this propensity towards sin and death. That is the strength God gives us. That is what it means to say God is my strength. In addition to the world and our flesh, we also have an enemy to our souls who is prowling about seeking whom he may devour. I have watched him devour Christian friends of mine. I know the devil is almost unheard of in popular Christianity because it doesn’t lead to higher offerings to mention him. People love to hear how he is defeated but do not want to hear about how he still is seeking to steal, kill and destroy. But God tells us how to defeat Satan:

    So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4: 7 (NLT)

    We always talk about the resisting but fail often to mention the requirement – humble ourselves before God! What is the opposite of humility? Pride. When we are proud we think we can do things within our own strength or give ourselves credit for the victories God has given us. When the Lord is my strength I know that He alone will make the way and He alone deserves the glory. I simply have to follow and obey.

    Continuing in the key verses we see that not only is God our strength but God is also our song! Have you ever had a song that was yours? You know, that favorite song that whenever it comes on the radio, everything has to stop. People hear you singing it but you don’t care! That is what God is supposed to be in our lives. Our favorite song is first of all – always on our mind. It rambles around in our head throughout the day and we find ourselves humming it unconsciously. That is who God is supposed to be in our lives. Constantly rambling around in our head. Everything we experience in life should be placed through our God filter. We should be constantly thinking about what God says about everything.

    Our song is secondly – always on our lips! In addition to humming the song, we just spontaneously can start singing it at any moment. It fills us with joy. This is the essence of God being our song. Not only should He be always on our mind but He should always be on our lips. We should find ourselves responding as He would and about who He is. When we talk to the unsaved we should never be ashamed of whom we believe in. Don’t worry about offending people. Where are you going to offend them to? Hell number two? I think about the blind man healed by Jesus in the Gospel of John. It infuriated the Pharisees who questioned the healed man.

    So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.” “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” – John 9: 24-25 (NLT)

    When Jesus is our song – you can say anything you like – all I know is I was blind but now I see! The world can mock me and call me unenlightened – all I know is I was blind but now I see! Oh beloved, when we consider all He has already done for us, how can we not sing of who He is? Our lives should sing of who He is!

    The final exhortation for us today is that we need to exalt God in our lives. As the key verse reminds us – the victories are His! Whatever I have He has allowed me to have. Whoever I have helped He has allowed me to help. But we live in such a me-centric society today. The church is rapidly becoming a secular institution that tries to fit Christ into their apostasy. When you have more messages in a year about tithing than you have about sin and repentance, you know we are on the wrong road. Fifty years ago, the song on our lips was about how great thou art and today it is about how much blessing we deserve. The song on our lips must be about Him again. He parted the Red Seas in our lives. He delivered us out from under the yoke of bondage and slavery in this world.

    Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. – John 8: 34-36 (NLT)

    We are truly free but many of us still clamp the shackles around our own ankles. Many of us refuse to walk in the freedom Christ appropriated for us on Calvary. It cannot be about us and God – He will not share His glory. We must learn to rely upon His might because He is our strength. He must be the song that is constantly on our minds and rolling off our lips. We need to exalt Him above everything else beloved. Sing your own song of deliverance today and see how powerful God can be in your life!


    Reverend Anthony Wade – April 25, 2013
     

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