41. Speed Prayer: The Secret to Endurance


Jeff wrote in a comment, “Feels like the Egyptians have taken away the water along with the straw these days!  The battle is intense . . .”

First of all, kudos to Jeff for exquisite wordsmithing.  A brutally compelling picture in just 15 words.  Way to rock the lexicon brother!  If your web management technique is as pithy as your prose, you should go far in your trade.

Having said that, I firmly agree.  Many areas are flowing, but resources are beyond dried up.

I went back to the story to see what we could do differently, and I suddenly saw a facet I had missed before.   Relationships!

Pharaoh got mad at the Hebrews.  The Hebrews got mad at Moses.  That much is clear in Scripture.  Now my hunch.

Stubble became the scarce resource in Egypt and all of the brick makers were scrambling to find stubble.  And I am sure in short order, the available supply up close was used up and each week it became more and more labor intensive to get enough stubble to produce the quota of bricks.

My guess is that the men had to keep on hammering away in the brickyard and the women and children were assigned to scavenge the whole region to supply their menfolk.

So what happened when Mrs. Nashon spotted that patch on the east side of town about three miles out?  She and the two oldest girls show up there at 5:30 a.m. to gather it up and find that Mrs. Elisheba is already there with her tribe.  Mrs. Nashon has no backup plan, but her husband gets beaten if she does not bring something.  Think there might be some stress in the relationship between the two ladies?

Just might possibly be a tad bit on occasion.

My hunch is that there were fractured relationships from one side of the camp to the other as pressure increased and resources became more scarce and the exodus was nowhere in sight.

BUT the flip side of the story is, through it all, Moses and Aaron remained tightly connected.  No matter what the stress and how harsh Pharaoh and the people were, they didn’t get crosswise.  I think that is huge.

Perhaps the biggest component was Moses’ relationship with God.  It was pretty gimpy at the beginning.  At the bush, the fear of pain caused him to challenge the HR department’s wisdom.  When God unceremoniously informed him that the “volunteering” part was more show than substance, he grudgingly volunteered.

When the people got on his case, he promptly got in God’s face over the matter.  Not much love and unity there.

Interestingly, not much power either.  Moses the Mouse wasn’t very excited about facing the Man on the Throne, nor was he intimidated by Moses.

Over the course of the ten plagues, Moses grew much more in tune with the heart of God and the fury of God.  In the end, Moses had a king sized temper tantrum as he told Pharaoh in no uncertain terms that he, Moses, was done with Pharaoh and would never see him again under any circumstances.

And that is when things broke open.

As long as people were willing to be offended by the pain, there was no victory.  As long as Moses was more aware of his personal risk and pain than he was the offense to God, he had limited authority.  When he became furious on behalf of God over the audacity and impudence of Pharaoh toward his God and his people, then the denouement came.

I think this is an area we need to focus on.

First of all is a commitment to absolutely not be offended by our peers.  The emails the last three weeks have been much more abrasive than usual.  Pettiness and entitlement are everywhere.  There has been such a craving on my part to put people in their place.  But I think this is a time to step back, simply try to tamp down the pain and not let it blow up in a damaging way.

More to the point though is our getting to feel the heart of God.  How many of His plans have been compromised because we tolerated the enemy slow walking the resources He intended for us?  How offended is He over the abuse of His people in the sundry brickyards where we find ourselves?

I don’t think we can with our will move from outrage for our own pain to fury over His being diminished by mere demons.  However, I know I can focus intently on not allow human relationships to blow up under the stress of the moment.  And I know I can ask God to replace the fire of my self-pity with the fury of reverence for His majesty.

41. Speed Prayer:  The Secret to Endurance

Copyright October 2015 by Arthur Burk

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Comments

  1. Louise says

    Wow I can really feel the heat in terms of relationships falling apart in our family. Since I have been praying about the Egyptian curse some of my family members started acting strange? Their behaviour towards me started to change more and more over the last couple of months? First of all they try to copy what I am doing in my life and second of all they try to take over all the new things that God placed in my life? Is there something I could pray in order to stop this behaviour?

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    • says

      Don’t have a specific strategy, Louise, but it doesn’t feel bad that they are copying you. Taking over . . . now that doesn’t sound like fun. Perhaps some of the tools in Overcoming the Victim Spirit in Free Articles might help you. Just guessing.

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  2. Cherie says

    Our Weapons of War are His Words!

    Isaiah 13:1-5

    Raise a banner on a bare hilltop,
    shout to them;
    beckon to them
    to enter the gates of the nobles.
    I have commanded those I prepared for battle;
    I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath—
    those who rejoice in my triumph.
    Listen, a noise on the mountains,
    like that of a great multitude!
    Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms,
    like nations massing together!
    The Lord Almighty is mustering
    an army for war. They come from faraway lands,
    from the ends of the heavens—
    the Lord and the weapons of his wrath—
    to destroy the whole country.

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  3. says

    I have a question for you. In the light of the Egyption curses how does the isolation of Goshen as the best portion of Egypt assigned to Israel relate to the individual? To rephrase that, even though somebody lives a prosperous life but fell in to isolation becomming somewhat of a hermit, how in the light of the blessing would the isolation be stripped off him?
    Maryna

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    • says

      Maryna, a good question, but not one I have an immediate answer for. Might get some insight later on in the series. I am learning as I go.

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      • says

        So am I. Another question under the same heading: language abilities and relationships or isolation. Moses beiing educated in the palace of Farao after 40 years in isolation told God he could not speak and thus entered Aaron who still resided in Egypt. Moses would have been able to converse fluently in the Epgyption language yet not having used it for four decades he lost his confidence to address the Egyption. He probably also lost his nerve with Hebrew for the same reason. He had no probkem using the Moabite tongue or speaking to God. My assumption is He spoke to God using the gift of tongues.
        Now the question is how to break the imobility of a tongue tied highly educated person used to communicate in various languages yet having lost the ability for some reason or another. Any ideas on this one?

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  4. Rosa says

    Seems to me the ladies could have come up with a plan to work together, to gather the stubble! They were all in the same boat anyway! And, I have been asking myself lately, what is it that is blocking the manifestation of God in my life?

    Liked by 1 person

    • says

      Absolutely agree, Rosa. Could’a, should’a, but people with a spirit of slavery tend to look at their own life in the moment, rather than looking at the big picture and the power of community. So I don’t know that they squabbled, but given how trigger happy they were with accusation and scapegoating in subsequent years, I suspect they were given to much magnanimity at the time.

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      • Rosa says

        I appreciate how you bring a story to life though. Even though we don’t know if they squabbled, your rendition of the story made it relatable. I wanted to go in there and set up a structure for gathering stubble, haha!

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  5. says

    Hmmmm…and the skill to honor God’s people when things are tense…yet not to cower or slink away….to walk out humility as Jesus did….to focus on God’s face while doing the work of our hands….takes a high level of focus, skill and inner strength! Bring it on.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Soo Fee says

    I like what you say about “feeling the heart of God”. Many times we are so focus on our own pain that we fail to see the picture from His perspective and understand how He feel. It should always be about Him and not about us!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. viviennehines says

    Arthur, this is reading my mail and thanks. Not verbally clobbering those who are threading down my character wrongly in relationships has been a serious challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kim says

    I have just begun to follow your blog. But on this topic of endurance and fractured relationships I have some idea. Especially as it relates to the corporate world and new business. For the last two years I have watched as a group of christians with a vision from God tried to take that vision and make it a reality… and well lets just say the venture has been put on hold for the time being. Outwardly you can blame the devil for holding and delaying the neccessary funds… but the reality is that it turned out to be one big pot of Heart and motives being exposed and still being exposed … broken relationships everywhere… inside the company and out… blame shifting. Self justifications. Moving from the victum to the predator spirit as its suits one… well you get the picture. The truth is that Gods greatest treasures are people He is interested in a relationship with us…. and our relationship with Him. Our love for Him and His love for us is priceless. I have come to realise and agree with you that to endure is simply to nurture that relationship when things dont make sense when things go totally wrong… dont turn to people turn to God. Remembering that circumstances is ever changing and that the enemy often uses and creates circumstances to cause all that we fear to come to pass… while God uses the same circumstances to expose our weakness so we can overcome and be healed… to gain the victory… faithfully enduring is no a perfect formular we all face different demons so to speak… but constantly turning our eyes to the only One who understands and is strong enough to bring us through is definately the greatest gift we have. People are frail… best counter for gnashing on one another is to pray for one another… take plank out of own eye first… come in the opposite spirit… recognise and discern when the enemy is pressing your buttons so to speak through circumstances… and choose to love.. and believe that God has you in His hand and He will work it out for your good… scripture I live by… and I have seen it time and time again as God has been teaching me to trust and working on my poverty mentality and authority issues… and more issues I have : ). Stand your ground spiritually but also be sensitive to God working in your heart to bring healing and victory…

    Liked by 2 people

    • tstanleyjones@gmail.com says

      Thanks Kim. I’m year one into a similar venture with partner. The scarcity is starting to get to us and this insight is a very timely reminder for me.

      Arthur, thanks for following the Lord’s leading and digging into a passage you have scoured many times already I’m sure. Looking forward to seeing you in Calgary.

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  9. Joyful says

    “However, I know I can focus intently on not allow human relationships to blow up under the stress of the moment. And I know I can ask God to replace the fire of my self-pity with the fury of reverence for His majesty.”

    Amen!

    May our hearts blaze with a fire that burns all the wood, hay, and stubble that block our hearts from worshiping HIM in all His glory.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Holly says

    “…And I suddenly saw a facet I had missed before.” — At first glance, I thought the word facet was fawcet… 🙂

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