The mountain peaks were dusted with white powder, gently whipped by the morning breezes. Eight thousand feet below, I was learning to snowboard. Since I grew up riding a skateboard, I thought it would not be very difficult to learn and I was correct. Within a half-hour, I mastered the basics and was ready to graduate from the bunny practice slope to the real runs.
I anxiously entered a lift and ascended the slope. Unfortunately, I misread the ski-lift signs and I found myself at the top of a double black diamond run. There was absolutely no way I could navigate through this run with my embryonic snowboarding skills. As I surveyed the initial daunting drop, my mind raced through possible solutions. Should I feign illness so that I could ride the lift down? Should I simply snowplow down with my snowboard annoying thousands of other skiers and snowboarders? Should I cry? I didn’t know what to do.
I was in way over my head!
But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.
Jude 9-10 (ESV)
In this remarkable passage from the Bible, Jude records that even the archangel Michael did not challenge Satan when they argued over Moses’ body. Satan was once the most powerful angel in God’s Creation but sin entered into his life and he believed he was the equal of God. Michael certainly could have battled Satan but he recognized that he was in over his head and chose to rebuke him in the Name of the Lord. Instead of relying upon his own strength, he turned to God for help.
Unlike the archangel Michael’s praiseworthy actions, I am often unwilling or too stubborn to admit or acknowledge the grim reality of my circumstances and turn to God for help. Instead, I fumble through an awkward or dangerous situation hoping, like an unreasoning animal, that my wits and skills will enable me to arrive at a resolution. The result is usually a disaster, hurting myself or others.
How desperately I need my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to shake the core of my unrepentant heart and turn me to His grace and mercy.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.