22 November 2019
Topic: hard
All Sermons ┬╗

A rock and a hard place?

Speaker: Apostle Ernie

Salvation is a free gift offered to all of humanity, but as we know, not everyone will accept that gift. Only those who take it in faith, and choose to act on their faith by repenting back to Torah obedience will be saved. (1. John 2:6, John 3:16-36, James 2:10-26, 1.John 3:4-8, 5:3). The gift of salvation is free, we did nothing to deserve it, but Yehovah gave it to us anyway just because He loves us. If we have accepted His gift, we should have no reason to doubt His intentions for us. His plans are good because He loves us, and we see proof of this in the cross. Even though we know all of this to be accurate, it does not take much for most of us to doubt Yehovahs intentions.

When disaster strikes in our lives, instead of resting in Yehovah’s love for us, we so easily give in to fear, worrying, anxiety, and doubt. Even though we know beyond a shadow of a doubt Yehovah is good, He is love, and we can trust Him to do what is best for us, it does not take much for us to spiral out of control into self-pity, fear, doubt, worrying, anxiety and stress when disaster strikes.

Why are we so easily shaken in our trust?

Our forefathers had just left Egypt loaded down with wealth and riches. They had seen miracles after miracles happen to them; they had seen Yehovah fight for them and win. Now they were standing at the banks of the Red Sea, in front of them they could see only water, behind them they saw and heard the mighty army of Pharao trying to catch up with them to bring them back to slavery in Egypt. They did not deserve to be saved from Egypt; it was a gift given to them on account of the covenant Yehovah made with our forefather Abraham. And as with salvation today, only those who accepted the gift and acted on it in faith by obeying what Moses said was saved out of Egypt. Even though they had seen all of this happen to them, and they knew our God Yehovah was fighting for them, they fell headlong into an uncontrollable spiral of fear, doubt, anger, and worry when they were caught between the Red Sea and Pharaos army.

Why were they so easily shaken in their trust?

I have been a Christian since 2001, and there have been countless times when I have been caught between a rock and a hard place in my life. And because I am human, I know there will be countless times in the future when I will find myself between a rock and a hard place. I have no reason to doubt Yehovahs intentions for me, I can look at the cross, and I know He loves me and wants only the best for me. But even so, it was so easy for me to spiral out of control into fear, doubt, anger, and worry when disaster strikes. I did not want that to happen; I wanted to be strong, confident, filled with trust, and resting in the love of Yehovah.

Why was I so easily shaken in my trust? Why are you so easily swayed in your trust? Why does it take so little to shake your faith in Yehovah and throw you headfirst into an uncontrollable spiral of fear, anger, worry, and anxiety when disaster strikes?

When our forefathers left Egypt, they did nothing to deserve their salvation. Yehovah offered to save them on account of the covenant He made with our forefather Abraham. Even though it was a free gift given to all who lived in Egypt at the time, not all were saved. Only those who obeyed Moses’s instructions and followed Him were saved. When they got to Mount Sinai, Yehovah made a covenant with them through Moses, and only those who continued to obey Moses’s instructions continued to be saved. About 4 million Israelites and Egyptians walked out of Egypt with Moses, but only two of them were able to take the promised land. Why were only two of 4 million people finally saved? Because only two remained obedient to all of Yehovah’s instructions given through Moses. The rest of them fell headlong into uncontrollable spirals of fear, anxiety, worry, and anger every time disaster struck.

In John 5:45, Yeshua identifies Himself as the prophet Moses writes about in Deut 18:15-19, and Peter speaks about in Acts 3:22-25, Moses said in Deut 18:15-19 everyone who listens to Yeshua and obeys Him, will be saved. But everyone who refuses to listen to Him, and will not obey Him, will be cut off and not saved.

Salvation is a free gift given to everyone, but only those who accept it and obey Yeshua’s instructions will be saved and continue to be saved. Most Christians today more resemble the Israelites, who did not make it into the promised land. We want the free gift of salvation, but we do not want to obey. Yehovah has warned us in His word if we accept the free gift, but we do not obey Yeshua, we will not be saved. (Matt 7:21-23)

So how do we obey Yeshua? Matt 7:21-23, 23:2, 1.John 2:6, James 2:10-26, 1.John 3:4-5, 5:3, John 3:16-36 all tell us Yeshua taught His disciples to obey the written Torah, what we call the written law of Moses. So what the Bible is telling us is this, if we want salvation and we want to continue to be saved, we have to believe in the cross AND obey the written Torah. But because we so easily fall for the deception of the church that says we are only to believe in the cross passively, we resemble more the Israelites who did not make it into the promised land then Joshua and Caleb who actually did get to go into the promised land.

What was the difference between Joshua, Caleb, and the rest of the Israelites? When Joshua and Caleb were sent out to spy out the land, they saw the same thing as the other ones. There were giants in the land, huge cities with huge massive thick walls. All the spies, except for Joshua and Caleb, fell headlong into a spiral of fear, worrying, and anxiety. Joshua and Caleb, on the other hand, had a personal relationship with Yehovah through obedience, and they knew that Yehovah was stronger and well able to give them the victory.

When I was a mainstream Christian, I believed my victory was in Jesus, and I was under grace and not law. I thought that because I was under grace, I could not do anything, and if I tried to do something, I would be legalistic and fall from grace. So when disaster struck, and I found myself between a rock and a hard place, I tried to really believe very intensely in the cross and pray very hard, but it never made any difference. The more I prayed, the more I thought, the more stressed out, worried, fearful, and anxious I got, and very soon, I was spiraling out of control headlong first into a deep pool of fear, worrying anxiety, and doubt. I was a Christian, saved by the Blood of Jesus; I could not understand why this happened to me because this was not what my pastor had promised me. He had promised me that if I were the righteousness of Christ, through faith in the cross, resting and not doing anything because Jesus did it all for me would be enough for me to walk in a problem-free, stress-free life where I would get to see God intervene on my behalf.

Why was I falling headlong into spirals of fear, doubt, worrying, and anxiety every time disaster struck? Because I was not obedient to Yeshua, I was obedient to mans-traditions, mans-doctrines, mans-religion instead.

Why are you falling headlong into spirals of fear, doubt, worrying, and anxiety every time disaster strikes? Because you are not obedient to Yeshua, you are obedient to mans-traditions, mans-doctrines, mans-religion instead.

When the Israelites refused to obey Moses, they all died in the desert. When we refuse to obey Yeshua, who is a prophet like Moses, we will all die in the desert of life if we do not repent in time. So I made a decision one day to repent and start living my life as Yeshua, Joshua, Caleb, and Paul did in obedience to Yehovah.

Being human guarantees there will be several times in our lives when disaster strikes, and we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place. There will be several times over when we will see the proverbial red sea in front of us, the Pharaos army behind us, and we will not know what to do. Several times over, we will see giants in the promised land, fortified cities, and everything will seem impossible. But if we live our lives as Yeshua, Joshua, Caleb, Paul, and Moses did in obedience to Yehovah, the Red Sea will part for us, the walls of Jericho will come tumbling down, and we will take the promised land of health, financial security and rest.

Right now, I am in a season where I find myself between a rock and a hard place financially. I have done what I could do to rebuild our lives and get out of debt. I have repented, confessed, and changed our entire way of life. We have applied and been approved of chapter 13, so if we do everything right, we will be debt-free within three years from now having paid everything we owe. But other people’s sins still have the potential to ruin everything for us, and I do not know how to handle the situation right now.

There have been several miscalculations at work with our paychecks. We can prove faults have been made, we have the documentation, but our employer refuses to correct anything. The consequence can be that we will lose our chapter 13, not because of something we did, but because of something other people did to us. We could, of course, just leave and find another job, but due to other circumstances, it is not that easy. So we have to make do the best we can, in the job we have right now.

Even though I have good reason to worry right now, and it would be totally understandable if I were stressed out spiraling into fear, doubt, anxiety, and anger, I have peace. The situation has not changed, I still dont know what will happen, but I have peace. Why? Because I am Torah obedient.

One of the things with being Torah obedient is true worship. Yeshua is divine; there is no question about His divinity. At the same time, we see Himself saying His Father Yehovah is greater than He. We understand how He teaches His disciples, and us, to worship and trust in Yehovah His Father. So if we are going to be Torah obedient, we have to imitate His life and do the same.

The Bible has countless promises connected to the name of Yehovah, the name of Yehovah is a strong tower, a shield for the Torah obedient, a rescue, deliverer, and provision for those who obey. So when I am being Torah obedient, I choose to focus my mind on Yehovah and take advantage of all those promises I have in His name, and let me tell you something….it works.

As I said, I have good reason to worry, to be fearful, stressed out. And there are times when I am tempted to do so, but when temptation comes, I choose in my mind to focus on the name of Yehovah. The more I focus on the name of Yehovah, the more all of those fearful emotions vanish and get replaced with peace.

Dont get me wrong, this is not a “magic trick” that fixes my situation. The situation in my life remains unchanged right now, but I have peace. And when I have peace, I have trust. It is so easy for me right now to trust Yehovah will work this out for me, one way or the other. I know that I know, that I know Yehovah will deliver me from this and make sure we will become debt-free. We might lose our chapter 13 in the process, but if we do, Yehovah has another way for us.

I still pray about my situation, and sometimes I even beg. But when I pray now, I pray with trust, and with peace, I pray knowing that He hears me, feeling His comfort and His joy. It is such a vast difference from praying as a mainstream Christian, trying to believe, trying to trust, trying to have what my pastor promised me. Instead of worrying about things I can not change, things I can not do anything with right now, I am fully able to be present in the here and now because I focus my mind on Yehovah. Because I am resting in Yehovah, being Torah obedient, I am at peace in the storm.

Being human guarantees one thing, we will have several seasons of our lives when we are caught between a rock and a hard place. Religion teaches us to focus on Jesus, to pray, and trust Him. Yeshua (Jesus) in the Bible taught us to focus on Yehovah, to pray to Yehovah, to trust in Yehovah, and take shelter in Him.

Try to do what the Bible teaches the next time you are between a rock and a hard place, try to focus on Yehovah, and take shelter in Him, and you will be amazed.