Monday, January 5, 2015

A Pharaoh's Heart

Monday, January 5, 2015


Have you all been having a wonderful 2015? Has anyone made goals? I find them honorable but have given them up myself. Another post for another time? Okay, moving on.

Has anyone started to read through their Bibles yet? I know that this is something I have never done but have become extremely impressed with the Good Morning Girls .We are going through Exodus and started today. So, shout out to them and what a fantastic, organized, and helpful resource!

I was also extremely excited to whip out this bad boy. I got it for Christmas with a gift card from my mom and so far, I LOVE IT! I would suggest this Bible for anyone! (Pssst- It also comes in purple!) I might hypothetically be thinking of doing a giveaway with one of these in the future. So stay tuned for THAT!

But back on track here. At the study at GMGs we read chapter one of Exodus today. And of course, it started out with the names of so and so was born to such and such and I thought, "Oh, gosh, here we go with more Old Testament hubbish-bubbish." Hubbish-bubbish is a word, by the way. Feel free to use it at your discretion.

I read over the chapter and filled in my SOAK like they said to do. But then they asked a question at the very end. They asked if we have ever been in a situation where we had to choose to obey God's law or man's law. I sat there for a while before I was deflated. I could only come up with what I felt were generic answers. To speed or not to speed? That was the question right? I decided instead to stop, pray, and ask God to teach me something here.

And I read it again.

When I was done I knew I had to share this with whoever actually reads this blog thing I do here.

My answer has nothing to do with the midwives like we were focusing on (though, I DID come up with some amazing material there, too.) However, I realized a very sad truth that I needed to take to the cross. Are you ready for this? I am Pharaoh. There, I said it. I am Pharaoh.

Not because I oppress people but because deep down inside, his root of oppressing and my root of sin are based on the same exact thing. Oh, my need to be in control. You see, in Exodus 1, we find that Pharaoh had forgotten or never heard of this Joseph guy. See, it had been a while since he had died. In fact, it had been such a long time that even all of his brothers and their generations have died. You will find that information between verse one and seven. Verse eight is really where this Pharaoh guy comes in and realizes that the Israelites have multiplied like crazy. Verse nine says, "Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. (10) Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape the land." Here is where he states right out for everyone to hear. "I am afraid I will lose control of what I am currently in control of."

I had to stop there and say, "Whoa." Because if I can be so open with you, I haven't ever really said those words, but I have maybe made a longer spiel like Pharaoh did in verse 9-10. Something a little more wordy so my selfish urge to control things didn't sound so apparent.

It doesn't end there. Pharaoh then sets up these "micromanagers" to control the people. Verse eleven calls them "taskmasters," that were put in place to, "inflict heavy burdens." Even while all this happens, and the Israelites were oppressed, they just grew stronger. Then Pharaoh pushes back and turns them into slaves by misusing his authority to kill all the baby boys when the midwives refuse to. Now, there is so much to say about the midwives, their courage, and their reward. I have all that jumbled in my purple pen somewhere in my notes. But what stands out to me now, is that even though Pharaoh tried so hard to micromanage, to control, to threaten... God still prevailed and his chosen people still multiplied, grew stronger, and were eventually freed.

This is the part where I sat back and started chewing on my pen cap. I didn't and wouldn't ever describe myself as a micromanaging, threatening, controlling person. I would be even less likely to publicly declare it on the internet that I am those things. But if I honestly evaluate myself I need to type that out for you. I need to admit it. I need to say it. Because I know that I am not alone in this battle for control. 

This battle will look different for everyone. What we want to control so badly is so different in our lives. Money, cleaning, our tone bodies, our time frame, our spouse, or our kids. The list goes on.

What I find the most interesting in this story, is that in the end, God had his way anyway. This is a light bulb moment for me because in my own life this is truth. With Pharaoh, he oppressed people, he killed babies, he refused to let God's people go, and ultimately he lost his son. It took a long battle but God's plan and purpose won out in the end.

I, as Pharaoh did, drag my feet. I forget that God has a plan for my life and it isn't to harm me, but for me to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11).  I think I have all these wonderful plans for my own life but God ultimately knows his final destination for me. I can oppress, I can go my own way, I can make life difficult for people, and I can say no, but in the end, I know I will release control and end up right where my Maker wants me to be. I have so many ideas of what I think that I need or deserve and God knows one plan and it is good (Romans 8:28).

I had to ask God what was in the way of our relationship that I insist to have my way with. What were the things I think I need or deserve so badly that I would cease to thank Him for who he is while I work my own way to get it. When we fight to get around God, we will cause our own heartache. What if we simply fall in step next to him and submit to his plan?

I had to lay down my need to control at the cross today. I had to ask God to forgive me for trying to sway his hand. My silent rebellion. My fear that God might ask me to do something uncomfortable. 

What control boils down to is fear. Fear that I might have to not live the American dream. Fear that God might call me to death. Fear that true faith might be tested in taking what I love most; my kids. Fear that pain might be needed to draw me closer to my Savior. Fear that sacrifice might be what it takes for me to truly know Him. That persecution might be where I am called. Fear that I might lose friends. You see, when I get to control my life, I get to stay comfortable. I get to keep my house, my 2.5 kids, and my little Starbucks trips. If I say yes to God, instead of being like Pharaoh, I might end up like Moses. Called away from the life of a king into a desert. Called to rely on God each and every day for my needs instead of my husband's paycheck. I might be herding sheep and fighting kings and leading an ungrateful people into a land I might never get to see. I might not be comfortable anymore. I am afraid of discomfort. And that fear makes me want to control my life to keep me comfortable.

A shot to my pride but also a calling to rise. To not try to control my fear but instead to lean on the one who makes fear crumble in His presence. Because the very God that broke the Pharaoh's heart is the same God who made the way for Moses, split the water, provided the manna, and spoke from a bush that was on fire but did not burn.

That is an awe that overcomes all fear. That is a control laid down to the plan maker. That is a story that I'd like to see how it ends. My story, completely written by my Savior.


Ange said...

I read those same verses the other week and was contemplating them too. I love what you wrote and thank you for sharing because you pretty much wrote down everything I fear as well. I am following Kara at Mundane Faithfulness and I see such a woman in love with her savior,even as she is dying and I think, Lord, she's amazing but I don't want to die her death. I can't imagine that he would want me to suffer but it's not suffering he's worried about, it's my heart. Great insights and thanks for being honest and raw!!!! I have been reading Exodus as well!

Kim said...

Kirsten, what a beautiful post. Love your new bible. I am trying to read through the Bible this year also, of course I'm a little behind :) Thanks for your encouragement today, have a great weekend! Kim Stewart (Compel member)

Kirsten Kay said...

Thank you for your feedback Kim! Great to meet you, friend! Thank you for stopping by!!!

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