It was the second plague.
Because Pharaoh refused to let the children of Israel go, God caused the rivers to bring forth frogs. And they were everywhere – on the people, in their homes, on their beds, in their servants’ homes, in their ovens, and even in their food (dough).
But when Pharaoh had enough of this, he called for Moses and told him that if God would take the frogs away from him and his people, he would let the Israelites go. So, Moses did what he asked. He cried out to the Lord and prayed for Him to take the frogs away. Then, the Lord answered him and the frogs died.
But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not to them; as the Lord had said (Exodus 8:15).
Respite means a short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant. During this plague as well as the others, Pharaoh would repent and ask for forgiveness. He would acknowledge his sin and he even called himself wicked and the Lord righteous at one point (Exodus 9:27). He would promise the Lord that if he took away his problems (plagues), that he would obey Him and let His people go.
But he didn’t mean it. He was just saying it to get out of his situation. As soon as God moved on his behalf because of Moses’ prayer, he got comfortable again, forgot about what he just went through, returned to his way of living and refused to let the Israelites go.
I know we all want this pandemic to be over. We want the children to return to school. We want to go back to the gym. We want to go to the movies. We want things to go back to the way they were.
But, like Pharaoh, are we only pleading with God so that this virus can stop and we can return to our daily routine or do we mean what we say?
Are we going to God in prayer because we want Him or because we want something from Him?
Are we complaining and murmuring like the Israelites about this current situation or are we giving thanks in it?
Just something to think about.
You can, but you must think you can.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).
And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him (Joshua 6:5).
You can’t avoid hurt. It happens. Either you will hurt someone or someone will hurt you – and it’s not always intentional.
In the Old Testament, walls were used to keep out enemies. Today, people build up walls to protect their hearts. Maybe you’ve met someone who was labeled as being guarded, stuck up or standoffish, but what they really saw were walls. These walls are like the wall of Jericho. Nothing good could go out and nothing good could come in. Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in (Joshua 6:1).
The enemy builds a wall in your life using bad experiences. Every brick has a name – hurt, rejection, shame, and disappointment as well as many others, but his walls are built on lies, not truth.
It’s my fault.
No one will ever love me.
I’ll never get it right.
I’m not smart enough.
The walls we use to keep out hurt really hurt and isolate us. When Jesus withdrew himself, he did so to pray – not to keep himself from being rejected or hurt. Had he isolated himself from others, the woman with the issue of the blood would have never touched his garment and receive her healing.
Oftentimes, we use walls to hide behind anger and hurt, but you can’t heal what you hide or cover. He that covers [his sins] shall not prosper (Proverbs 28:13a). Walls blocks out the light (truth) and this keeps you from learning and growing in the Lord. It keeps out the truth about yourself and causes you to believe something that is not true, which is deception. How we see or think of ourselves is very important. For as he thinks in his heart, so is he [in behavior] Proverbs 23:7, AMP.
Living behind these walls is imprisonment. It limits you causing you to only go but so far. All you do is go around and around in a wall – repeating the same cycle and the same mistakes. To be fully effective and used the way God wants to use you, the walls must come down. God can use the hurt and whatever else you had to go through to build a testimony. You can and will overcome by the word of your testimony, but this means you must talk from a place of victory, not a victim.
God told Joshua, Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, I have given you (Joshua 1:3). He gave him a promise. Even while Jericho was securely shut up, the first thing God told Joshua in chapter six was, See (Joshua 6:2). It didn’t matter what happened. It didn’t matter who did it. It didn’t matter how things looked at that very moment. God wanted Joshua to see himself possessing the land. I have given unto your hand Jericho.
God had already given it to him, but there was something Joshua and the people had to do for the next seven days for that promise to manifest. Do not be discouraged if the walls do not come down on the first day or the seventh day. Remember, this wall wasn’t built in a day. It was built over a course of years. It may have begun at birth (rejection or abandonment) or after losing a loved one (grief, sorrow) or maybe after a divorce (brokenhearted).
Like Joshua, believe God and believe what He said. Despite the bad, believe that He will complete the good work He began in you. Believe that by His stripes, you were and are healed. Believe that no weapon formed against you will prosper. Believe that God will restore the years.
If you truly want to be free from the walls the enemy built, ask God what you need to do and then do it. Don’t do it and then stop because nothing has happened yet. Do it until your expectation is fulfilled.
Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God and lay it to the root of every bad tree and every lie and cut it down – and watch every wall that the enemy built fall down.
Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life (Proverbs 4:23, ERV).
One day, some of the Pharisees and scribes noticed that Jesus’ disciples didn’t perform the hand washing ritual before eating bread. To them, the disciples were eating with unclean and defiled hands. When they asked why they didn’t keep the ancient tradition, Jesus said, It’s not what goes in a man that defiles him because what you eat doesn’t go to the heart. It goes in the belly and then comes out. It’s what comes out of him that defiles him (Mark 7:15,19). They were so concerned about hands, but God is more concerned about our hearts. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
It’s not what you eat, but it’s what you think that affects your soul (mind, will and emotions). It’s those evil things that are in your heart (evil thoughts, fornication, adultery, murder, stealing, wanting what belongs to someone else, wickedness, lying, promiscuity, envy, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness) that defiles you (Mark 7:21-23). These things not only destroy your soul, but they also destroy families, marriages and churches.
Satan doesn’t have enough power to hold you back. It’s what’s you are holding in your heart that is holding you back. If you take a moment to think about what you’ve been thinking about lately, you will realize that your thoughts are the reason why you are up today and down tomorrow. It is the reason why you’re in today and out tomorrow. It is the reason why you go back and forth. It is the reason why you can’t make up your mind.
A double minded man is unstable in all his (or her) ways. He is unreliable, uncertain and undecided. He doesn’t know what he wants, he is not sure what he should do, and he doesn’t know who he should be. He is divided between the love of the Father and love of the world. He is divided between his will and the will of the Father. He is like the church in Laodicea. He is lukewarm and serves God halfheartedly.
James never said that God doesn’t hear the prayers of the double-minded. It’s not that God doesn’t hear you. He just can’t trust you. Let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord (James 1:7).
The good news is that James gives us a solution for double-mindedness. Purify your hearts (James 4:8). The word of God is truth and we are sanctified (clean) by the truth. Philippians 4:8 also tells us what things to think on. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
What you think is what you become so be careful what you think on.
Prayer: Father, forgive our sins. Forgive us for sinning against our own bodies. We renounce evil thoughts, fornication, adultery, murder, stealing, covetousness, wickedness, lying, promiscuity, envy, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. Create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us. Wash us again. Restore our souls. I command every thought and every plant that our Heavenly Father has not planted to be rooted up out of our hearts, minds and souls. Lord, make us stable in all our ways. Help us to walk in perfect love and in forgiveness. Make us men and women after Your heart, in Jesus’ name. Amen.