Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

Oh, to Stop Fighting

by Marie Gildea

30 December 2021

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Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD.
Isaiah 31:1, NIV

As I slowly read through the book of Isaiah again, I sense the Lord taking me a bit deeper into the behaviour and attitudes of the Israelites at this time. They failed to run to God for help and persistently sought assistance from mere mortals, either in their own strength, or, as we see in this passage, from Egypt. To help defend themselves from Assyria, they sought the support of Egypt’s horses and strong horsemen. They sought comfort and protection in human strength and mighty horsepower.

This verse spoke volumes to me. When we face our battles in life, what do we do? Whom do we go to first?

It reminded me of the illustration of a drowning man, who is struggling for his life. His fear makes him panic uncontrollably, and if you try to rescue him in this state, he will take you under the water with him. The best option is to wait until he is almost unconscious, exhausted, and helpless. Then you can rescue him safely.

This can be likened to our own battles. God will not intervene while we are struggling in our own strength. He waits patiently until, in our utter exhaustion and despair, we turn to Him.

I wonder what we do first when we are fearful and struggling. Do we panic like the drowning man? Do we fight for survival? Do we reach out for the nearest rescuer? Or maybe, in our independence, we try to swim to shore on our own.

The book of Isaiah tells us God is waiting for the Israelites to stop fighting their own battles and to turn to Him for help. So many times, in the first half of Isaiah, the Israelites are reminded of the promise of God to help them, if only they will seek Him first. I am reminded, as I read, that this promise is for us too.

Maybe today, through fear and panic, we are clinging to others, who, like the men of Egypt, seem strong. Maybe, in our past, we have had to develop an inner survival instinct, which now kicks in automatically. Or maybe we feel we need to defend ourselves because nobody else will.

Verse 3 goes on to say, But the Egyptians are mere mortals and not God; their horses are flesh and not spirit’. I am not saying that we should not receive human help and support in our time of need. But we need to take our battles to the Lord daily and seek His guidance.

Today, let us offer our battles afresh to the One who can help. Let us not panic and struggle until we are exhausted, as the drowning man. Let us seek our one true rescuer, the Holy One of Israel, our Lord and Saviour.

Marie Gildea Marie has joined the Ellel Team in 2021 currently serving on the two year Service & Discipleship role at Ellel Grange. She sensed God telling her this was her new home whilst on the 9-week Flagship programme earlier in the year. Having moved her life from Staffordshire she is enjoying her new surroundings in Lancashire and in her spare time is often seen in the great outdoors enjoying God’s amazing creation.


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