Watch Out for the Mud!
Intro: Today is Mother’s Day. One of the things I can always remember Mama saying was, “Watch out for the mud!”
I. The Mud of Carnality
You remember where you were when God found you?
We were in the “miry clay”
- Psalms 40:2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
ILLUSTRATION: Notice that when God made a way for the children of Israel to leave Egypt on their way to the Promised Land, He chose to make a dry path. The Bible says it no less than three times:
- Exodus 14:21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
- Exodus 14:29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
- Exodus 15:19 For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.
- Psalms 66:6 He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.
- Hebrews 11:29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
It is clear that God had seen their hard times in Egypt.
God looked down in Exodus 1 and saw:
- Exodus 1:14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.
He saw the increase in hardships in Exodus 5:5-21 where they had to find straw and make the bricks.
That whole process involved stomping in the mud; mixing straw with mortar.
God’s attitude was simple: “I’ve taken you out of Egypt where you spent the last 400 years playing in the mud. I want you to cross the Red Sea, and I’m going to make the sea bed become dry ground. I want you to WATCH OUT FOR THE MUD! I saved you out of the mud. I delivered you from a life of mud. Now stay out of it!”
The Bible likens us to clay found by the Potter.
He found us in the slime-pits and mud bogs of this world.
He reached down, picked us up, delivered us from a life of sin and condemnation and transported us to the Potter’s house.
It was there that He began to transform us and make into the image He desired.
The world is a type and picture of the life before salvation.
God’s people need to watch out for the mud and stay out it!
ILLUSTRATION: Forty years after the Children of Israel walked across on dry land, they came to the river Jordan. Canaan land lay just on the other side of the river. The Bible tells us that God performed another miracle.
- Joshua 3:17 And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.
Notice God’s definition of PURE RELIGION AND UNDEFILED:
- James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
- Revelation 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
II. The Mud of Compromise
In this story, Jeremiah has been brought before the king to tell him what God said.
When Jeremiah relayed God’s message in verse 3, the people were angry at his message.
In their effort to punish him for speaking the truth, and to try to get him to change his message, they took Jeremiah and put him in a dungeon and let him down with cords.
The Bible says the pit was full of mire; and Jeremiah sunk in the mire (vs. 6)
This was an attempt of Satan to get Jeremiah to compromise from what God called him to do.
It’s amazing at how hard Satan tries to derail God’s people by creating an environment that will get them to compromise.
He will make it seem you are the only one trying to do right, and live right.
He will create so much pressure and discomfort in his efforts to get you to go along with the crowd.
Notice what Isaiah said in chapter 57 and 58
- 20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
- 21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
- 1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
III. The Mud of Complacency
There is nothing that will bog a person down like mud.
Nothing will impede your forward movement like mud.
I’ve seen 4×4’s bogged down in the mud.
I’ve seen Caterpillar bulldozers bogged down in the mud.
I’ve seen huge tractors stuck and helpless in the mud.
Satan would love nothing more than to stop a believer from going forward by filling their path with mud.
The mud of discouragement – it robs you of your joy.
The mud of distractions – it robs you of your focus.
The mud of disappointment – it robs you of your faith.
It robs you of your desire to go on.
It robs you of your motivation.
It robs you of your passion for God.
The mud of complacency has been a very successful trap of Satan.
ILLUSTRATION: When a sheep gets caught in the mud, they can get top-heavy. The mud in their wool can cause them to fall over and not get up. The terminology that shepherds use is the word “cast”. The sheep is “cast”. They have gotten into the mud and are in distress.
The Psalmist David many times used that phrase.
- Psalms 42:11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
How important is it that we as Christians WATCH OUT FOR THE MUD?
II Peter 2:20-22
- 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
- 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
- 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.