Long long ago…

It can be very easy to distance ourselves from those long ago events in the Bible that shaped history.  We easily forget that Bible characters were people just like us with same fears and emotions, and the same split personalities wrestling between doing the right thing and the wrong thing.

We can feel that it was easy for them to do what God wanted and can overlook the internal struggles many Bible characters went through, and feel that decisions are so much harder for us.

To refocus our minds it can be helpful to reread the story elements of the Bible and try to put ourselves in the shoes of these characters to understand their thought processes.  It helps to imagine the scenario, the geography, the political atmosphere of the time, and the social habits.

Take Moses – from prince of Egypt to an outcast and a killer hiding in the wilderness.  Is it any wonder he was scared and felt unable to speak on behalf of a people he barely knew? Yet he brought the Israelites out of Egypt to the Promised Land.

O my Lord, I am slow of speech … please send by the hand of whomever else You may send – Exodus 4:10/13

Take Paul – zealous persecutor of Christians to zealous Christian missionary.  Is it any wonder he felt a conflict between his past life and his future work, doubting his worthiness?  Yet he almost single handedly commenced the spread of the gospel to the Gentile world.

When I came to you, I did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom … I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. – 1 Corinthians 2:1/3

Take Peter – impetuous and spontaneous in his love for Jesus, recognising the truth of the Messiah, and yet denying him three times when trouble struck.  Is it any wonder he wept bitterly?  Yet his strength in the early church is shown in his inspiring epistle.

Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” – Matthew 26:75

Take Jesus – perfect son of God, but even he would have not gone through with his death if there had been any other way.  Is it any wonder his sweat was like great drops of blood?  Yet he gave his life for us, bringing salvation to all mankind.

O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will. – Matthew 26:39

Sometimes all it takes to get us back on track is to realise that we face the same sort of conflicts that believers have faced for centuries. And how do we make our decisions?  How do we make our righteous mind win over our worldly mind?

The same way that Jesus did – we need to pray.  So let’s remember the words of Jesus’ prayer to bring us comfort and reassurance:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14:27

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