Swimming Upstream: A Call to Faith and Obedience

Published on Sep 29, 2023
Category: Devotion

Deuteronomy 30:15-16
See, 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 you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

As the world grapples with unprecedented challenges, from wars to natural calamities and the lingering impact of a global pandemic, the questions that fill our minds are real, and uncertainties can be petrifying. The pain and loss around us are mind-boggling, and fear is palpable. Amid this chaos, we find ourselves at a pivotal moment similar to the Israelites standing on the brink of the promised land.

Moses presents a profound choice — a choice between life and death, where life and prosperity contrast sharply with death and destruction. The call to love and obey the Lord echoes through the ages, connecting adherence to divine commandments with the promise of blessings. While disobedience leads to death and destruction.

Just like the people of Israel, we face a similar choice. Are we content to ride the tide of fear, or do we choose to swim upstream, intentionally letting faith rule?

To swim upstream against the tide is a choice

  • A choice to obey God even when it is not easy. To choose to live under His banner rather than give in to worldly standards and lifestyles.
  • A choice to remember that though life seems so unpredictable and scary, and everything out of control, the Lord has not fallen off His throne but He remains in sovereign control of His world. To remember how God has led us, faithfully over the years, through various challenges and situations.
  • A choice to walk the stormy waters rather than focus on the lashing waves of uncertainty. Keep your eyes fixed on Him through His Word and in prayer rather than focus on the challenges of difficult situations before you.
  • A choice to live each day by faith and in hope in this God of the Bible, even though those around you might not always understand or might even take you for a fool!
  • A choice to give, as an expression of your faith and hope. A choice to bless those you can with the talent, time, and resources that you have been given. To give out of your limited, even depleting resources in obedience and faith to Him in His Word. To give sacrificially.

God continues to plead with you and me today – choose life! Each day in the big and small things of life, you and I have choices to make that lead to life or death. Would you answer the call to swim upstream, against the tide of the rushing world, and choose life, trusting God for greater things?

Lord, give me the strength to swim upstream against the tide of doubt and fear, to trust you and obey.

  1. How do you remind yourself of God’s sovereignty during times of uncertainty?
  2. How has fear influenced your decision-making during challenging times? In what ways can you distinguish between responding out of fear and responding in faith?
  3. Are there areas in your life where you’re currently going against the tide, and how can you strengthen your resolve to swim upstream?


Preethi Alice Jacob

Preethi Jacob is the author of the yearlong devotional At the Potter’s Wheel, Day by Day. Her journey includes teaching a Bible Study Fellowship class, teaching and leading the Sunday School ministry in her church, leading Bible studies, besides counselling young women. She serves on the Global Mission Team of the United Bible Societies and lives in Bangalore, India with her husband and two young adult children.

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