Sound Teaching

Stand Still in God’s Word

“Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.” Exodus 14:13

These words contain God’s command to the believer when he is reduced to great straits and brought into extraordinary difficulties. He cannot retreat; he cannot go forward; he is shut up on the right hand and on the left; what is he now to do?

The Master’s word to him is, “Stand still.” It will be well for him if at such times he listens only to his Master’s word for other and evil advisers come with their suggestions.

Despair whispers, “Lie down and die; give it all up.” But God would have us put on a cheerful courage, and even in our worst times, rejoice in His love and faithfulness.

Cowardice says, “Retreat; go back to the worldling’s way of action; you cannot play the Christian’s part, it is too difficult. Relinquish your principles.”

But, however much Satan may urge this course upon you, you cannot follow it if you are a child of God. His divine fiat has bid you go from strength to strength, and so you shall, and neither death nor hell shall turn you from your course.  What, if for a while you are called to stand still, yet this is but to renew your strength for some greater advance in due time.

Precipitancy cries, “do something. Stir yourself; to stand still and wait, is sheer idleness.” We must be doing something at once – we do it so we think – instead of looking to the Lord, who will not only do something but will do everything.

Presumption boasts, “If the sea be before you, march into it and expect a miracle.”

But Faith listens neither to Presumption, nor to Despair, nor to Cowardice, nor Precipitancy, but it hears God say, “Stand still,” and immoveable as a rock it stands. “Stand still;” –keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.”

Taken from Morning and Evening by Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

My Life as a Christian

My Reflections on God’s Sovereignty

God is Sovereign. He is in control of all that happens in this world and there is nothing that can come to pass without his knowledge or will. I strongly believe in this truth. Over the years as I have studied Scripture, I have come to realize that this is Biblically true and theologically sound. I have even gone ahead to teach and preach this truth in my theological classes and sermons.

However, some instances arise and challenge my belief.  These are the moments when I yield to the temptation of doubt and ask my God, “Why me or why this, Lord?” Alas, to believe this doctrine is one thing and to live it out when all chips are down is another. It really requires God’s grace.

There have been times when I have asked myself: “Is God really in control?”

These are the times when life has poured its bitter juice in my cup. Times that I have been on the receiving end of unjust and unfair treatment. Yes, times when I have suffered for doing nothing wrong.  In such moments, I have turned to God in tears. I have cried and wept asking for his intervention but silence has been the response and I have ended feeling like a helpless toddler crying for help in the middle of no where.

This helplessness mixed with anger has produced questions like: where are you God? Like David, I have wondered and cried:

“How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I take counsel in my soul

And have sorrow in my heart all the day?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O LORD my God

Light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death” (Psalm 13:1-4).

In the midst of my cry, passages of Scripture which assures me of God’s sovereignty have come floating in my mind; and moments in which I have faithfully and passionately taught and preached God’s sovereignty have slowly played at the back of my mind. It’s really self-defeating! I have then asked myself: Is God in control. Yes! Has he forsaken me? No! Then why do I believe the opposite? I don’t know…but hard times really have a way of obscuring God’s truth from us.

Now when this truth of God’s sovereignty re-establishes itself in my life, I often tell myself, “Well, Lord, do as you please. I resign myself to your will.”

However, as the hard times rage on, I have repeatedly found myself back to square one questioning whether God is really in control. Whatever I resigned to God’s will, I quickly grab it back into my own hands and, sadly, this cycle goes on and on:  believing God’s sovereignty, questioning God’s sovereignty and back to believing God’s sovereignty again.

God is sovereign. Do I believe it? Yes! Do I live it? Not all the time. There are other times when I act and behave as if some things are beyond God’s control hence I have to take matters in my own hands. I am sorry Lord! But this is really me. I wish I could always live out the truth hence I pray that God will grant me the grace to always say:

“Though the fig tree should not blossom

Nor fruit be on the vines,

The produce of the olive fail

And the fields yield no food

The flock be cut off from the fold

And there be no herd in the stalls

Yet I will rejoice in the LORD

I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

GOD, the Lord, is my strength

He makes my feet like the deer’s

He makes me tread on my high place” (Habakkuk 3:17-19).

By His grace, I am learning to trust the LORD more. I am not there yet, but hopefully and prayerfully one day before I leave this life to be with Jesus in glory I will be able to both believe and live out the truth of God’s Sovereignty no matter the circumstances.