Tug-of-war with God — weird concept, I know, but bare with me here.
We are in this never ending game of Tug-of-war with God. God Almighty. And that is where the first problem lies —we are trying to compete with the Almighty… it is inevitable that He is going to win. But, we are humans and we never lose and we can do it on our own and we are “fine” and we are invincible, right!?
So often, in all honesty, I try to do it on my own. It is that constant struggle over control — and that constant struggle is the tug-of-war game with God I am referring to.
Some days, I really do believe that He is Almighty and that He (and He only) holds the rope. But, other days I fall in to believing that I can fight Him for the control. Or I think that I have to prove to Him that I can win, or at least give Him a tough game. Or I doubt that He even has a hand on the rope because I don’t feel the pull. Or, I simply don’t want His hand on the rope because I want my way because I am too scared to wait and see what His way is.
Maybe I fall in to believing these things because of my competitive side… or maybe my disbelief, doubt, and desire for control stems from the time I don’t spend with the Lord. I’m going to go with a little bit of both, but mainly my second point. Whenever I run from Him I, in turn, start to pull a little harder on the rope in the tug-of-war. I pull harder only to slip into the mud-pit below me. I have my roommate, my young life leaders, and my friends warning me this… but, even still, I stubbornly won’t let go.
I won’t let go… until, I return. The second I return to Him and spend time in His Word, I realize that the tug-of-war game has already been won. It was won at the cross —way before I could have even been a player in the game.
So…I drop the rope.
It was never mine to hold onto in the first place.
And that is where Isaiah 43 led me tonight. His Word won and it continues to win. It always will. And praise Him for that.
I want to share with you the words in Isaiah 43 that brought me to drop the rope. But when you read these words, where ever it says “you” fill in your own name.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God. ”
“Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you.”
“Fear not, for I am with you.”
“You are my witness” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior.”
“I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.”
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; not it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert… for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drinks to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.”
Wow. How can you not drop the rope after reading all of that?
His Word, His truth, and His love is power — and nothing can stand against it. Nothing. No matter how hard we fight that. He is telling us this;
- I created you
- I have redeemed you
- I will be with you in the waters
- I will not let the rivers overwhelm you
- I will not let the fire burn you nor the flame consume you
- I am the Lord your God
- I am the Only Savior
- I am Your Holy One
- I am Your King
- I see you as precious
- I call you mine
- I honor you
- I love you
- I am doing a new thing in your life – I am at work
- I will make a way in the wilderness
- I will give you rivers in the desert
- I have chosen you
Friends, this is HUGE! This is why He holds the rope.
I don’t know what wilderness you are sitting in. I don’t know the desert places of your heart. I don’t know the waters you are floating in. I don’t know the fire that is coming your way. But I do know that He has you. He will provide water in the wilderness. He will fight for you. He will lead you out of the desert. He will not let you be overtaken. HE is your God. He is Almighty. He is the ONLY Savior. And He loves you endlessly.
You and me both, lets drop the rope.This is the best game we could ever lose. Lets allow the Truth to dominate the lies. And lets surrender our grip of control—it is not ours and it never will be.
“I have called you by name, you are mine.” – Isaiah 43:1
You are His.