Ever feel stuck, caught, unable to make a good decision? There are a lot of situations we face that can push us into a corner. And there seems to be no real way out. Maybe you felt led by God to move in a new direction. You stepped out in faith. You took the job, or you started that friendship. It felt like the right thing at the time, but now it all seems so wrong. And now, you’re stuck between two impossible barriers. There seems to be no path to joy or fulfillment available. You’re blocked in.
I have felt like that in life and ministry. Every time I began at a new church, there was that time when I questioned everything. There are rubs, conflicts, etc. that make us wonder if we’ll survive this decision. And we get tempted to create our own path of escape, give in, or just “hide in a hole.” Actually I kind of thought I was the only one who felt like hiding in a hole until I mentioned it our Life Group a couple of weeks back. You see, when times are impossible, I want to hide in a hole down by the river. I know that doesn’t sound very promising. But I like being around water, it comforts me. And in a hole, no one would find me. So, give me a one-man hole and a view of the river… might not be so bad, right?
The Israelites felt like that. They were told by God to head out of Egypt toward the wilderness. Pharaoh had decided to pursue them even after he had said they could go. And God led them into a corner. A big wet sea ahead of them, mountains on both sides and an army coming up behind. The people were complaining that they had been brought out to the desert to die. Moses had a message from God that he delivered.
Exodus 14:13-14 13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
1. Believe what you believe! This is the “stand firm” part. This is the commitment of faith. We have to cling to what we believe. We believe that God loves us. We believe that God is busy working His redemptive purposes. We believe that God can overcome any obstacle the world puts in our way. Sometimes for me, I have to sit down and create a list of what I believe. This helps me have something tangible to hang onto.
2. Be Still. Here the promise was that God will do the fighting, the delivering. But you have to stand still! You have to let Him. Every try to take a splinter out of two-year old’s foot? I have. And the most important instruction is “stay still.” I can’t get to the splinter if the kid is squirming all over the place. They can scream all they want, but they can’t move! How many times has God said, “quit running around?” How long do we have to stand still? Until God is done.
What would the Israelites have missed out on if they hadn’t stood firm? Had they given up on what they knew about God, they would have rushed back into bondage. They would never have entered the Promised Land and may have been a footnote in history. What would have happened if they hadn’t stood still? They would have scurried up mountains and into caves, maybe made a swim for it across the sea. And they would never have experienced God’s kind of deliverance… powerful, creative and complete!
What might you miss out on if you give up on what you believe about God? What might you lose if you don’t wait for God to win the battle? So, with me… Stand Firm and Be Still. Let’s let God show us His deliverance. Let’s let Him fight for us.