“‘Ah, stubborn children,’ declares the Lord, ‘who carry out a plan, but not mine, and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin; who set out to go down to Egypt, without asking for my direction, to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!’ Egypt’s help is worthless and empty… Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord! The Egyptians are man, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit.” Isaiah 30:1-2,7; 31:1,3
We are taught from many angles that stubborn independence is good. Make your own way, don’t depend on others, be an entrepreneur, look out for yourself, follow your heart. Yet one voice, that of our Maker, says in benevolence, ‘Ah, my beloved children, I see your stubbornness. I know You well, and you are precious to Me. But I see that the path you are choosing will not come to good. Your alliances, your dalliances with frivolity, your unhealthy friendships, your unwholesome reading, your false measures for security, your masks, are fruitless and will leave you empty and stranded. I understand your inclination to make your plans, dream your dreams, and rely on your know-how and guts, but apart from Me, they will not succeed.’
The world has and offers much glitz, and makes many empty promises. Its pleasures may indeed please, but only superficially and fleetingly, and often not before inflicting pain and regret. Its securities are fool-safe, until they are not. What is it about the boast of Egypt that lures us away from the Almighty? Is it the luscious colors and smooth easy feel of Pharaoh’s lovely garb, the intoxicating power and temptation of position, control, and fame? Is it his sensuously strong horses, the dreams of riding luxuriously in notoriety and comfort, of being my own master? (Romans 4:19-21; Hebrews 11:24-27)
To all these allures, Jesus says, Whoa! If we do not cease our own planning and seek His counsel, if we do not break soul ties to those who lead us astray to be bound instead to His Spirit, if we set our own course without consulting His map and directions, if we lust after the approval of man rather than the esteem of God, and fear man more than we fear Him, if we find affirmation in the accolades of others more than in our Lord’s ‘well done,’ if we value and heed worldly advice over God’s truth, if we do not stop our self-driven momentum and get in synch with His, if we rely on our own strength instead of God for security, then woe! Woe is ours because we are rejecting the One Who gives true meaning, protection, and fruitfulness. (Isaiah 53:6; Matthew 22:29; Luke 11:42-52; 2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Where are His reins pulling and steering me today?
Father, cause me to trust in You alone, acknowledge You in every endeavor, and stick to Your paths and methods. May any favor in my life exalt Your grace and glory. (Proverbs 3:3-7)