Today I would like to share a frog story that totally changed my life.
In Exodus 8:1-11, Egypt is experiencing a plague of frogs – they are highly unpleasant and they are everywhere: “The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs. The frogs will come up on you and your people and all your officials.”
Then to make matters worse, even the magicians get in on the act and they make more frogs. Pharaoh obviously wanted them to do something, perhaps get rid of them. Frogs were a symbol of the Egyptian fertility god. The worship of this god was tied up in the birth of their children and so it makes sense that Pharaoh called in his specialists. Scripture says that they duplicated the frogs, but were not able to get rid of them. So when Pharaoh in his own effort tried to solve the problem, he just actually made the whole situation worse. As if the plague was not hard enough on the people (and everyone was suffering: Pharaoh, his officials and the people) they added to the number of frogs. Imagine having frogs everywhere, your bed, your bathroom, in your food, wherever you walk.
Finally, even Pharaoh has had enough. He calls Moses and asks him to pray for them, admitting that God is sovereign and powerful, and to please take the frogs away.
Moses politely asks Pharaoh: “When would you like me to do this?”
Pharaoh answers: “Tomorrow.”
Why would he want to live with the frogs for one more night?
They are everywhere, even in his bed. It could not have been pleasant. What would make you spend one more day with frogs? You see, Pharaoh is delaying a decision, perhaps hoping that if he delays it, the frogs will die off by themselves and he wont have to admit that He needs to sovereign Jewish God to take them away. He is delaying obedience in what he knows God wants him to do.
The frogs are a symbol, of what God wants us to admit in our lives, perhaps it is sin, or a change we need to make, or a decision that needs to be taken, or simply that we are not “God” of our own lives. We know the effect of our “frogs” in our lives, the evidence is everywhere and we know that God is calling us to make a change.
God asks us to deal with our frogs. He asks us, “When would you like me to deal with them?” and we say: “I hear you Lord. I know you want me to make right. I hear you, but I will deal with it tomorrow.”
There is a choice to be made, a line to be drawn.
We need to decide on obedience: no longer will I compromise, or stubbornly refuse to to make this change that He is calling me to, I choose to embrace His purposes for my life.
The truth is that God can get rid of the frogs, He stands ready to do it right now, He wants to do it. But we delay.
We sabotage our destiny: by delaying that decision to obey, to be conformed to his image.
What is your frog? What has God pointed out to you that needs to be changed? What is that one thing, that you know God wants you to get rid of in your life? Where are you delaying change in your life, in order to live with the frogs a little longer? Take the time now to identify what the frog in your life is.
Recognise how you are delaying obedience:
- We delay by avoidance: creating emotional and mental diversions, so that we do not have to address the issue.
- We depend on other stuff so long, so that we can keep the frogs of sin a little longer.
- We get busy, we plan to do it, we think about doing it, or we convince ourselves it’s done, but we have not done it.
Making the changes, choosing to obey and deal with issues and sin in our lives is scary; it is safer to stay where we are, convincing ourselves we’ll be fine, we can get by. But here is a thought…
In 2 Kings 6:24 there is another story where the land is under siege. Then in chapter 7:3, there are four leprous men and their situation is bad, really bad, they are literally falling apart. Whatever they do, they are going to die! Sometimes, we will die in our situation, if we just keep sitting. If these four decide to move, they could die too. If they make a change, the outcome could be no different. Sometimes we don’t know if taking action will bring about a difference, we cannot tell. What is wonderful about these four is that they don’t delay, they take action.
So they try something.
And God makes the four of them sound like an entire army! By making a decision to just try something, God meets their action and responds with power. He gets involved. He set’s them free and all the people. They don’t have to be beautiful, or intelligent, or spiritually enormous, they just have to be willing to take action. To obey, trusting a God bigger than them.
In 1 Sam 14:6, when Jonathan takes on the Philistines with his armour-bearer, he says: “Let’s do it. Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf.” He takes action with no promise of a positive result. God meets his action with His power and the result spills out to benefit others.
Don’t get stuck and only deal with it tomorrow.
Take a chance, obey, make changes, deal with your frogs and perhaps you will see the Lord work on your behalf.
I confess that I will no longer live with this frog in my life. I am sorry Lord that I have taken so long to be obedient to what I know you have wanted in my life. Forgive me for finding ways to avoid getting rid of it. I know that with Your help I can move on from here and get rid of this frog in my life. Help me to be so uncomfortable in delaying obedience, that my heart wants to obey immediately. I know you are ready to help me, I just have to decide to make the change. In Jesus name, Amen.
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