The Honor of God and Decisions of Faith

| August 8, 2017

decisions-of-faithThe course of our lives, and the success of our businesses, is largely determined by the decisions that we make; and the decisions that we make are in turn governed by the priorities that we establish. As Christians, we should set as a high priority the Glory and Honor of the Lord.

Exodus 14 records the famous account of crossing the Red Sea. What gets most of the attention is the dramatic parting of the waters and the amazing escape of Israel from Egypt. What is most instructive is the dialogue that went on there between the Lord and Moses, which gives us the Lord’s take on the whole situation:

“Then I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord.

But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen. Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.
(14: 4, 16, 17)

The people were focused on their immediate position; but the Lord was focused on His own Honor. As Christians, we need to have the same mindset, to center on the Honor of God, and not just on our own situation. This is where many Christians lose their focus, and so lose the direction that the Lord desires in their lives, and why some even lose their faith in difficult times.

As a lawyer, many people come to my office with business and personal problems, and what they want is for me to make the problem go away. Get me out of this. Fix this mess. What is the fastest, cheapest, most expedient way out of this present problem?

That is often the way we pray: we ask God to make the problems go away.

But that is not how the Lord surveys the situation. Rather, the verses in Exodus 14 tell us that the Lord is acting so that He will be glorified on the earth. Israel’s deliverance was a by-product of His glory.

This is from Psalm 106:

Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders;
They did not remember the multitude of Your mercies,
But rebelled by the sea—the Red Sea.
Nevertheless He saved them for His name’s sake,
That He might make His mighty power known.

Some Christians today do not understand His wonders – they do not understand that God acts for the sake of His holy name.

In Ezekiel chapter 36, the Spirit of God looks far into the future, to the gathering of Israel out of the world — how the Lord will cleanse them, and put a new heart in them, and make a new covenant with them — and says this (v. 22, 23):

“Thus says the Lord God: I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake … And I will sanctify My great name … and the nations shall know that I am the Lord, says the Lord God, when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.”

In John 9, Jesus saw a man born blind. The disciples asked who sinned, this man or his parents? The disciples asked: what was the cause, what was the problem? Jesus said that this blindness was so that the works of God should be revealed in him and that God would be glorified in his life.

So the operative question in decision making should not be: what is the fastest, cheapest way out of this problem? Your question should be: what action would most glorify God in this situation? What would most honor Jesus Christ? What would be the greatest testimony to the Lord?

When you ask the right question, the right answer is usually obvious, as it was at the Red Sea: And the Lord said to Moses, Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward…. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. (Exodus 14: 15, 16)

Christians should be patient and wait on the Lord, and not to have the hysteria of action. But we should not have the hysteria of inaction or paralysis either. The Lord said to Moses: Tell the people to move forward.

Some years ago, the phrase WWJD – what would Jesus do? — became all the rage, and appeared on plaques, bracelets, and T-shirts. The problem is that what Jesus would do, I usually can’t do. If there was someone sick, Jesus would heal him. If the people were hungry, Jesus would feed them with five loaves. If somebody died young, Jesus would raise him to life. I can’t do that.

I suggest that rather our operative question should be WWFD: what would faith do? Or in other words, what is the next logical step of faith?

Faith often takes the hard way – the way through the Sea – but at the end is the Honor of God, and no other result can compare.

Category: Faith

About the Author ()

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Email | Website | Thomas Schetelich is a founding principal in the law firm of Ferguson, Schetelich & Ballew in Baltimore, Maryland, and a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar. He heads both the firm’s corporate/ business law practice and its personal legal services department. He is an AV rated attorney awarded for highest standards of professional skill and ethical practice. Mr. Schetelich devotes much of his practice to assisting charitable and religious organizations, and is the President of The Christian Professional Network. He is a frequent speaker on Biblical and legal matters throughout the United States.