“I have been the Lord your God ever since I brought you out of Egypt. You must acknowledge no God but me, for there is no other savior. I took care of you in the wilderness, in that dry and thirsty land. But when you had eaten and were satisfied, you became proud and forgot me.” Hosea 13:4-6
I’ll never forget the time my son and I got swept out to sea in a dinghy. We’d been so busy paddling, and chatting, saying to each other how easy it was to row. Suddenly we realised we were uncomfortably far out we were, and sort of right in the main shipping line! If a ferry had come along at that moment I don’t like to think what might have happened to us.
“Ok, no problem”, we laughed, as we turned our tiny little rubber boat around and started rowing back, thinking in our over-confidence that it would be just as quick and easy to to get back to the beach as it had been to get to where we were now. We rowed, and rowed. After about 15 minutes I looked over at the line of rocks in the distance, parallel with us and could have wept. We literally had not moved! We were rowing against the tide. I decided we should get out of the boat and swim, pulling it behind us. We tried this for around 10 minutes and found the same problem – we were just treading water. Then, just as we were becoming exhausted and more than a little afraid, a man arrived on a jet ski and towed us back to the beach, where my hubby was standing waiting- not amused.
Why was it that we made it so far out with such ease but coming back we just could not make any progress?
We had underestimated the strength of the current – It was that powerful current that had actually carried us out so far, not our feeble, inexperienced attempts at rowing. And then when we had seen what ‘progress’ we were making, so quickly, we had become cocky and over-confident.
Sometimes, in our relationship with God something similar can happen. Going with God’s flow and being carried by him can cause us to believe we’re stronger than we actually are. When life is easy, and work, family and ministry are going well, our minds tell us that our own strength and effort got us here. We become proud and self-confident; self reliance kick in. Then we run into trouble and we realise just how little strength we actually have and how helpless we really are.
Hosea 13:4-6: “I have been the Lord your God ever since I brought you out of Egypt. You must acknowledge no God but me, for there is no other savior. I took care of you in the wilderness, in that dry and thirsty land. But when you had eaten and were satisfied, you became proud and forgot me.”
“Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 8:14, 17-18
He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.”
I never want to forget how far our Faithful God has brought me and in whose strength I have got to where am today. Without Him, we can do nothing.