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Hey, it’s downright tough being godly in an ungodly world—agreed? Daily we are slammed with temptation. Around every corner lurks an opportunity to sin. Let’s face it: glorifying God in every aspect of our lives can sometimes feel like nothing more than a pipe dream.
Welcome to The Point of Purity Podcast. Each episode is filled to the brim with all the tools you will ever need to build a lasting life of purity, integrity, and godliness. I’m your host, Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. Welcome to episode #42 as we continue our mini-series on How to live FOR Christ. Grab your Bible and come on in as we talk about dealing with the FROGS in life!
In Exodus 8:1-7 we read that God “said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your country with frogs. The Nile shall swarm with frogs that shall come up into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. The frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your servants.” And the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the canals and over the pools, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt!’” So, Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. But the magicians did the same by their secret arts and made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 8:1-7)
So, picture this if you will. Verse 2 of our text says the frogs covered THE WHOLE COUNTRY. In other words, this wasn’t a localized event. This didn’t just happen in and around the palace. Nope. This was a national crisis. Verse 6 tells us the frogs literally “covered” the land. That verb – to cover – translates to “blanketed.” The frogs “blanketed” the land.
Think about it this way, you go out on a picnic. You pick your spot and lay a blanket out on the ground. Wherever that blanket is, you cannot see the grass underneath it because the blanket is covering it over. Exodus 8:6 tells us that the frogs literally blanketed / they covered the land. In other words: everywhere you looked, everywhere across the land of Egypt the ground was one heaving mass of frogs.
Verses 3-4 tells us the frogs were in their homes, in their bedrooms, and in their beds. They were on people, in their ovens, on their food preparation areas. The frogs were literally everywhere! In fact, this was the very first Alfred Hitchcock thriller ever. Instead of “The Birds” it was “The Frogs.” Ok, ok, so for some of you that reference just went over your head and you have no clue what I’m referring to. That’s ok. Ask an old person – they’ll be able to explain it to you.
But can you picture it. Ladies, you go into the kitchen to make dinner. Before you can do anything, you have to push a dozen frogs off of the countertop and wipe off the slime. Once you’re done kneading the dough, you open the oven (scream) – 63 very hot frogs come pouring out.
Guys, you’ve just come home from a long hard day at work. Because of the frogs you had to work double-overtime. It’s time for bed. So, you lock up the house, turn off all the lights, and head down the hallway toward your bedroom. As you enter the room you see the form of your wife lying comfortably under the covers. However, when you pull back the covers to craw in to join her, you discover it’s not your wife – it’s 185 frogs staring up at you.
It’s middle of the afternoon. Two ladies are sitting on a park bench, trying to have a conversation. Frogs are in their lap, on their shoulders, even on their heads. One lady reaches up, removes the frog from her head, sets it down on the ground, only to have another one hop up and take its place on top of her head.
Oh, and by the way, these frogs are not domesticated creatures. They don’t wait to use the litter box. Just sayin’.
And remember, frogs aren’t quiet creatures. So, the noise – nationwide – had to have been deafening. And if that’s not enough, in verse 7 we have “Frogs 2: The Sequel!” You see, verse 7 tells us that Pharaoh’s magicians duplicated what Moses and Aaron had done. So now, all across the Nation of Egypt, they had a blanket of frogs – on top of – a blanket of frogs!
Oh, but wait, it gets better! Historians tell us that during that time period the Egyptians worshipped a frog goddess named Haquet (Hay-kwet). Who, by the way, was the goddess of fertility. So, think about the ramifications of this: because they worshipped a frog goddess, that meant they could not kill, they could not step on, they couldn’t even throw a frog away out of frustration.
So, when walking from point A to point B, you couldn’t walk a normal stride, un hunh – you might step on, you might squash your god. No. They had to shuffle along, carefully nudging their “god” out of the way.
Now, I want you to think about this: When those frogs first arrived, I’m willing to bet that the Egyptians thought their goddess was blessing them. They thought she was giving them an omen – a sign that their numbers were going to greatly increase. A promise that they would finally outnumber the Israelites. However, very quickly that perceived “blessing” turned into a horrible curse. What was their goddess doing? What was she thinking? She was overrunning their lives. Instead of blessing them, she was making them miserable!
OK, so with all of that in mind, listen to what Exodus 8:8 now says. “Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, ‘Plead with the Lord to take away the frogs from me and from my people, and I will let the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.” Now think about what I just read to you.
Pharaoh is saying, “Alright! I give up! I’ve had enough! Ask your God to remove these frogs from my life and I’ll let you go worship.” On the surface that sounds great – right? I mean, if we didn’t already know the end of the story it would appear that Pharaoh’s finally getting his act together. In fact, that’s precisely what Moses thought. In verse 9 we read, “Moses said to Pharaoh, ‘Be pleased to command me when I am to plead for you and for your servants and for your people, that the frogs be cut off from you and your houses and be left only in the Nile.”
In essence, Moses was saying, “Pharaoh! I’m so glad to hear you say you want the frogs gone! I’m so glad that you finally realize all the misery these frogs are causing not only you, but everyone around you. I’m so glad you finally understand that ONLY God can save you and your people. In fact, Pharaoh, tell you what I’m gonna do. To help you save face with your people, I’m going to give you the privilege of determining when. When do you want God to remove the frogs from your life?
Now, let’s hit the pause button for a moment here. Pharaoh’s response to Moses’ question totally blows my mind. In verse 10 Pharaoh responds with a singular word. “Tomorrow.” Tomorrow? Are you kidding me?
I can imagine the shocked look on Moses and Aaron’s faces. The frogs are croaking. The frogs are hopping. The frogs are everywhere. The servants are constantly scrambling to keep the frogs off of the mighty Pharaoh. And I can just hear Pharaoh saying, “Thank you Moses! I’m so glad your God is ready to get rid of these frogs in my life – but I want 1 more night with the frogs! Oh, please don’t misunderstand me Moses. I know the frogs are bad. They stink. They’re unclean and unhealthy. I get all that. I know these frogs are making me and everyone around me absolutely miserable. You wouldn’t believe all the complaints that have been pouring into our administration since these frogs arrived. However, in spite of all that, I just want one more night with the frogs. Let’s have God deal with the frogs in my life TOMORROW!”
Let me interject this word of warning to you, my friend. Don’t judge Pharaoh too hastily. Don’t bring the gavel down too quickly. Why? Truth-be-told you and I are just as guilty as Pharaoh. You see, every one of us listening to this podcast have “FROGS” in our life.
Let me explain. By “FROGS” I’m referring to Frequently Recurring Obstacles to Growing Spiritually. Frequently Recurring Obstacles to Growing Spiritually. “F.R.O.G.S.” frogs. We all have things that are getting in the way of our spiritual growth. We all have sin issues in our lives that are making us miserable. Things we consider to be “sacred.” There are FROGS that we are worshiping in the place of God. There are FROGS in our lives that are affecting not only us, but everyone around us. There are sins we want to hold on to, things we don’t want to let go of. Oh, how we love our FROGS.
And I promise you – as sure as I’m sitting here in front of this microphone and recording this episode – just like the frogs of Exodus 8, your “FROGS” will multiply. They will begin to cover, to take over every part of your life!
So right here and right now I challenge you to grab a piece of paper – any sheet of paper will do. If you can, pause this episode and grab that paper and a pen. Here’s why. I want you to write down your FROGS. I want you to write on that piece of paper the sin issues you know you need to deal with. What are the sins you know you need to get rid of? What are the FROGS that are hindering your relationship with God? You know you need to get rid of those FROGS, but you keep holding on to them until “tomorrow.” Go ahead and write them all down now.
Ok, assuming you wrote them down on that sheet of paper, now I want you to look at that list. I want your FROGS to stare you in the face with all of their warts and ugliness. Now, as you’re looking at that list, let me ask you this: What is so special about those frogs that you are willing to put them in the place of God in your life? What are they doing for you that God cannot do? Why are you so willing to sacrifice a closer walk with God, why are you so willing to hurt those around you, just so you have one more night with those FROGS? Why are you waiting until “tomorrow” to get rid of them?
In Exodus 20:3-5 God commands, “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol (a FROG if U will) in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God.” And in Deut. 6:13-15 we see that we are to: “Fear the LORD (our) God, serve him only (not your FROGS) … do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God”
Oh, please listen to me my friend. Please hear what I have to say! Right here, right now get rid of the foreign gods (the “FROGS” if you will) that you’ve been holding onto until “tomorrow.” Whatever is in your life that is taking the place of God, PLEASE get rid of it today – right here, right now! Don’t hold onto your FROGS for one second longer! Don’t spend one more night with the frog goddesses of your life!
Choose right here, right now to throw away your FROGS, and fully yield your heart to the Lord TODAY! Not tomorrow, today. Not sometime later, now!
In 1 Samuel 7:3, speaking to the whole house of Israel, Samuel says, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods (in other words: get rid of your FROGS) and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he WILL deliver you!”
I have a question for you to consider. Why do we wait until “tomorrow” to get rid of our FROGS? We know we need to get rid of them. We know they’re not doing us any good. We know they’re messing us up, so why do we hold on to them? I think, at least in part, that tickling in the back of our mind is this thought: “I definitely plan on getting rid of my FROGS, but first I want to enjoy life for a little while longer! I want one more night with my FROGS, then I’ll fully surrender all of my life to God.”
Do you understand the error of this thought process? Can you see the subtle lie of the enemy weaving its way through that argument? I am wrongfully assuming that when I choose to live for God, I will no longer be able to “enjoy life.” I falsely believe that my FROGS can bring me more joy than God can.
My friend, I submit that there is no greater joy – NO GREATER JOY – than living a life that is totally and completely, unreservedly sold out for God! But you must first choose to live for Him “today.” Don’t put it off until “tomorrow.”
Here’s a question for you to consider: When does “tomorrow” come? Seriously. When does “tomorrow” come? The answer? Never. Tomorrow has a funny way of always being tomorrow, never today. In Luke 9:57 we read, “As (Jesus and the disciples) were walking along the road, a man said to (Jesus), ‘I will follow you wherever you go’.” Now stop for a moment and think about that statement. Doesn’t that sound great? Here is a man who apparently gets it. It’s worth following the Lord! Lord, I’ll follow you wherever you go!
Maybe he heard that stirring message Jesus delivered known as The Sermon on the Mount. Maybe it challenged his soul and convicted his heart. Or maybe he was just a Jesus groupie and saw all the things Christ could do and wanted in on the action. I don’t know. But whatever the reason, he cries out “Lord, I will follow you wherever you go!”
I’ll be honest with you – that is my heart’s passion for you. That is one of the biggest reasons why I write and record each episode of this podcast. I want you to cry out from your heart, “Lord, no more FROGS! I will follow you totally, completely, unreservedly for the rest of my life!”
So, here’s this guy who approaches Christ and declares his intentions to follow Christ. How does Jesus respond? In Luke 9:58 He says, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” In other words, Jesus is saying, “you want to follow me? Great! Come on along! But understand this: if you choose to follow me, life is going to be tough. Hey, it’s tough being a Christ-follower isn’t it!?
Truth-be-told, we’d much rather have an “easy” life. So, when given the choice between living sold out for God right here and right now or worshipping our FROGS for just one more night – we tend to choose our FROGS because they promise us an immediate (albeit temporary) pleasure.
Ok, now let’s go back to Luke 9 and look at the first part of verse 59. “(Jesus) said to another man, ‘Follow me.’” Now wait a minute. What happened to the man of verse 57? “Lord, I’ll follow you wherever you go!” What happened to him? Where did he disappear to? The Bible doesn’t say, but I wonder if he had second thoughts about his commitment to Christ. I wonder if, when he heard Jesus’ response, he began to measure the perceived cost and concluded it was too much for him. I wonder if he spun around on his heel, headed off in the other direction thinking “Ok Lord. I’ll follow you ... tomorrow. If I’m gonna have to give up some things, let me spend one more night with my FROGS first.
So, we don’t really know what happened to that guy. But here’s what we do know. Jesus (in verse 59) turns to another guy and says to him, “Follow me.” Wow! To have the Almighty, most Holy God Himself look you directly in the eye and extend to you a personal invitation to follow Him ... what an honor! What a privilege! How did this guy respond?
Luke 9:59-60 tells us that “the man replied, ‘Lord first let me go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’” Here’s what I want you to think about. When confronted by the personal call of God in his life, this man chose to wait until “tomorrow” to respond. “Lord, I’ll follow you – sure! Tomorrow. Today it’s ME FIRST.” This man put himself and other things first in his life. He wanted one more night with his FROGS.
Luke 9:61 continues this storyline. “Still another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord: but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.’” Whom do you think was the priority in this guy’s life? He started out well. “Lord, I’ll follow you!” Awesome! Matthew 12:34 says that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. In other words, your words will reveal your heart every time. So, who do you think was sitting on the throne of this guy’s heart? Hint: it wasn’t God. “Let me first go back and say goodbye.” I’ll follow you Lord – TOMORROW. Today it’s ME FIRST.
I submit for your careful and serious consideration, that God is extending you – right here and right now – a personal invitation to follow Him. But in order to do that, you must first get rid of your FROGS. What are you going to do? How are you going to respond to His invite? “Lord, I’ll follow you ... tomorrow. Today it’s ME FIRST?”
Look at your list of Killer FROGS. Look at that list of sins you have chosen to hold onto until “tomorrow.” Who is sitting on the throne of your heart? Who is taking first place? In front of you should be your list of FROGS. They should be staring you in the face with all their warts and ugliness. Hopefully you’re beginning to see just how ugly they are and how miserable they are making you and everyone around you. What are you going to do with them? What should you do with them? WHEN are you going to get rid of them?
In Deuteronomy 30:15-16 God says, “I set before you TODAY life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you TODAY to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; THEN (tomorrow) you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you….”
So, here is a very basic, very fundamental question for you. If you can, shout out the answer. WHEN should you get rid of your FROGS? The answer? Today, not tomorrow. Now, not later. WHEN should you walk in total obedience to your Heavenly Father? The answer? Today, not tomorrow. Now, not later.
Here’s one more question for you. Again, if you can, shout out your answer. Do you want – truly want -to glorify God in your life? I hope you just shouted, “YES I DO!” But consider this: simply wanting something isn’t going to make it happen. If you truly want to be a godly man. If you truly want to be a godly woman, you need to be asking yourself this question: What am I doing RIGHT NOW to achieve that goal? Right now, right now, right now.
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 gives us the five marks of a godly person. Number 1: Fear the Lord your God. My friend, when are you going to do that? When are you going to get rid of your FROGS and consistently put God first in every aspect of your life? Are you seriously going to wait until “tomorrow?”
Number 2: Walk in all His ways. When are you going to do that? When are you going to get rid of your FROGS and focus all of your life around Him? When are you going to choose to walk in total obedience to your Heavenly Father? Tomorrow?
Number 3: Love Him! Again, I ask, when are you going to do that? When are you going to remove King Me from the throne of your heart and willingly sacrifice everything you have and everything you are for the One who sacrificed it all for you? When?
Number 4: Serve the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul. When my friend? When are you going to make every aspect of your life all about honoring and glorifying your Creator, your Savior, your Redeemer, your Shepherd, your Heavenly Father? Tomorrow?
And number 5: Obey the Lord’s commands and decrees. So, once again I ask you: when are you going to do these things? When it’s convenient for you? When you happen to think of it? When it fits into your calendar? When it doesn’t interfere with your TV show, or movie, or ball game? When it doesn’t get in the way of all the other things you want to do and accomplish in life? When are you going to get rid of the FROGS in your life, and life that life totally, completely, and unreservedly sold out for God? When?
So, I have this closing question to pose to you. What are you going to do with this episode? What are you going to do with what you’ve just heard? I believe with all my heart that the Holy Spirit is clearly speaking to every one of us here: “STOP holding onto your FROGS! Those FROGS are not a blessing to you – they are a curse. Nothing good can come from those FROGS. Get rid of your FROGS ... NOW!
Are you ready to do that? If so, then here’s what I’d like you to do right here and right now. I want you to take that list of FROGS and fold it in half. Then would you please tear it in half. Tear it in half again. And again, tear it. Keep tearing it until you have a handful of confetti.
Now, hold those torn up FROGS in your hand and listen closely to the words of God in Joshua 7:13. “Get ready for tomorrow by purifying yourself (today). There are cursed things in this camp (there are FROGS in your life if you will). You won’t be able to face your enemies until you have gotten rid of these cursed things (until you’ve gotten rid of your FROGS).”
Are you still holding on to those torn up FROGS? Here’s what I want you to do now. Get up and walk over to the nearest trash can and throw those FROGS away. And as you do, pray. Give them over to God. Tell Him – from your heart – tell Him “Lord, I choose to follow you ... today, not tomorrow. I choose to follow you now, not later. Father – NO MORE FROGS!”
Finally, if you have made this choice. If you have torn up your FROGS and surrendered the throne of your heart and your life over to the leadership and Lordship of God in your life ... would you jot me an email and let me know. I want to pray specifically for you. I would like to send you a .pdf of Scripture verses to encourage you in the follow through of this decision. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s email@example.com.
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So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.