When we see ‘wrong’ our flesh wants to act - do something. Either we want to run away from it (flee); hide so to speak or stay deaf and blind (freeze). Some of us are incensed by it and we want to make impact (fight).
As humans, we tend to be knitted as ‘truth/justice’ people or ‘mercy’ people; and we are prone to respond in extremes when confronted with injustice. If we do this without thinking and act based on our initial visceral reaction, more harm can be done than good. Truth/Justice folks often want to ‘set the record straight’ by speaking out; dictate change; or protest the system. Mercy people, often want to ‘fix the need’, counsel the other, bring peace or change the circumstances.
Many times these two views can clash. They can seem opposing. Yet, are they really? And is this even our job? What does God say about all of this?
Listen to Exodus 14: 14-16.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.”
So which one is it? Be still and keep silent (keep the peace)? Or get moving (do something)?
Sometimes God’s word can seem confusingJ! There is a concept we use in counseling called dialectics. It can be described this way:
The term "dialectical" means a synthesis or integration of opposites. The primary dialectic within DBT Counseling is between the seemingly opposite strategies of acceptance and change. http://behavioraltech.org/resources/whatisdbt.cfm
Perhaps God’s word is written to help us synthesize a greater reality as we wrestle with the both/and (dialectics) in Exodus 14:
1. We first wait, trust (take a deep breathe and pray) and remember that the battle is the Lord’s and then 2. We ‘get moving’ (act in obedience to God’s leading). As we embrace and move in the ‘both/and’ we start seeing a bigger picture.
We can only surmise what would have happened to the Israelites if they had not looked to God as their savior (“We’ll figure out how to solve this problem on our own”) or opposed Moses’ leading. (“We didn’t vote for you anyway, so we are not following you”.) If they didn’t respect God’s authority first and the authority given to Moses as he led them, it would not be a far-fetched to conclude, hypothetically speaking, that the people of Israel would have been taken over by their enemies!
BUT God had a plan already. It was beyond what Moses or the army of Israelites were capable of doing or even dreaming up! (Can you imagine that Strategy Meeting:)!!
Yet, it wasn’t impossible, all God needed was a little cooperation from one man; remembering who He was and trusting His provision and then walking in faith when He gave the marching orders. They listened, they obeyed (submitted), and they followed. And in that, the Israelites overcame impossible odds and arrived safely where they were intended to go.
God’s ways don’t change. And His promises are for us all. Throughout the history of God’s people, we see time and time again, that God had the bigger truth and already had the strategy for the battle His children were facing. He’s never blindsided or without a strategy.
So whether it’s a marital/family battle, a political/social battle, a battle in the church (yes, it does happen, sad to say); God ALREADY has a way to get you through.
Can you be the ONE, who will stop and remember, whose the battle is? Can you seek God’s heart for His strategy? Can you be the one who courageously follows?
If so, you could be the ONE that God uses to cross His people over to victory! One situation at a time. God's truth AND grace will prevail. Let’s show our hurting world what God can do!