Letting Go


So Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the Lord had said through Moses.

~Exodus 9:35, NIV


“Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.”

~Jeremiah the Prophet

The redemption of Israel from Egyptian bondage is a fascinating story. God sent Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh with one simple petition: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.’” The two priest, Moses and Aaron presented this same request no less than nine times [5:1, 7:16, 8:1, 20,21, 9:1,13, 10:3,4]. It was a simple request: “Let My people go.” God used ten plagues to get Israel released from Pharaoh’s control but it was the tenth, the plague of death that broke his grasp. After the hailstorm, Pharaoh confessed, “I have really sinned! My people and I are guilty and the LORD is right. We can’t stand anymore of this thunder and hail, so please asks the LORD to make it stop. Your people can go, you do not have to stay in Egypt any longer.” So, problem solved, right? Wrong; old Pharaoh cannot be trusted. To understand the story, you must understand the types: Egypt is a type of the ‘world’ and Pharaoh is a type of the ‘flesh.’ Israel’s slavery in Egypt is history but our slavery to sin and the flesh is a present reality. Pharaoh was in control. He was dominating God’s children. He had made slaves out of them and he was determined to keep it that way. Pharaoh was fickle; he was prone to change his mind. Twice he promises to let them go and then recants. Actually, he changed his mind and pursued them after they had marched out of Egypt. The only thing predictable about Pharaoh is his relentless stubbornness in letting go. Pharaoh loves control. He will do God’s will if he thinks it will prosper him, but he will always do it his way. Our churches are littered with Pharaoh’s or turf lords. They are doing the LORD’s work their way. They are more concerned with power and control than they are people. They have dug in and are entrenched. They refuse to let go.

I was preaching a revival meeting in Franklin County some 40 years are more ago. The pastor was a young and energetic man who had the gift of evangelism. In all my years, I’ve never met a more persuasive personal evangelist. He had been beating the bushes and winning folks to Christ. He was baptizing them and bringing them into the fellowship of the church. He was reaching so many that he had a strong following of new believers. Tensions were rising when I got there, middle of the week, all hades broke out. He had a couple of deacons who were boycotting the revival and he asks me to go with him on a confrontational visit. Of course I cannot remember exactly what the man said but it did lit me up and the preacher had to separate us. He said something to the effect, “You are destroying our church. You are bringing all this rift-raft into my church.” When he said “my church,” I came up out of my seat. I said, “Fellow, what makes you think this is your church?” He said, “My daddy and granddaddy built this church out of logs from my granddaddy’s place…and on and on he went. Listen, his little speech made me sick at my stomach but you better know there are those who think like Pharaoh and they want to lord over God’s flock just like the Egyptian tyrant.

The above is free: what I meant to say is more to the individual. The flesh is strong and it will dominate you if you let it. It is relentless, it is Antichrist, it wants control at all cost and the only solution is death. You can’t rededicate the flesh. It is condemned to die. The flesh has no future in God’s kingdom. By the power of grace, do not yield to the flesh. Mark it for death and ask the Holy Spirit to carry out the execution. The only thing you can count on the flesh doing is to fail. Don’t trust it, don’t cherish it and don’t hang on to it—LET IT GO! You may as well embrace a king cobra as the flesh–it will destroy you—LET IT GO!

Mrs. Edith Orr passed away last night. I have no info on arrangements. Marlon Cole’s brother [Matthew Widner] also passed….A Graveside service and Interment  for Matthew Widner, 49, will be Thursday, January 31, 2019 at 2:00 PM at Roselawn Cemetery with Peck Funeral Home directing.  Visitation will be Wednesday, January 30, 2019 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Peck Funeral Home. Charles Sanders brother in law, Roger Guest, Sr., 71, service will be Thursday, January 31, 2019 at 1:30 PM at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Earl Goode officiating and Peck Funeral Home directing. Burial will be in Hartselle City Cemetery.  Visitation will be Thursday, January 31, 2019 from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM at Peck Funeral Home.

Terry Cole had a one day delay but Spencer said he was coming home today. Lou Hayes got moved to Falkville Nursing home yesterday. Ray Edwards went to the ER so Dr. Vora can check him out. He found the problem, a rash and sent Ray back home.  My sister’s [June Jones] surgery in Athens went well. She had a huge hole in her femur that they didn’t know about until they got into surgery.

God bless, have a great day…Thanks for reading the blog or for a couple of you, the EXTRA.

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