EXODUS 14:13-16: “Moses answered the people, “Don’t be afraid! Stand still, and see what the LORD will do to save you today. You will never see these Egyptians again. The LORD is fighting for you! So be still!” Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to start moving. Raise your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide the water. Then the Israelites will go through the sea on dry ground.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: What are you waiting for? This is the word I felt rush to my heart as I read these verses from Exodus. The children of Israel had been freed from Egypt. They fled Egypt with great riches and blessings. No doubt, they thought that they were home free. The former struggles were behind them, and a new future was before them. That was…until they looked back and saw that the Egyptian army was pursuing them and a host of chariots were fast approaching!
Isn’t that a lot like our experience when we come to faith in Jesus Christ. We experience the wonder of being forgiven, the sweet presence of the Holy Spirit, and there is an awesome sense that everything has become new. A new future, a new life is out there before us. The old struggles are over! And then we look and discover that there are new battle lines that have been drawn by the enemy of our souls. He will not relinquish his control over our lives without a fight. And we find ourselves in the same quandary as the children of Israel.
The children of Israel cried out to Moses,
- “…Did you bring us out into the desert to die because there were no graves in Egypt? Look what you’ve done by bringing us out of Egypt! Didn’t we tell you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone! Let us go on serving the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” (Exodus 14:11-16 GW)
We may be tempted to think – “Things were easier before I became a Christian.” Like the children of Israel, we may look back fondly on our old life and be tempted to think that our former bondage was more acceptable than our present struggle. To think like this is to fall directly into the snare of the enemy, and to miss the most important point of all – GOD WILL ALWAYS BRING US INTO VICTORY! Like Israel, we do not have to settle for bondage to our old sins and live in our brokenness and shame. The Lord Jesus Christ stands ready to lead us into His victory. And, like Israel, it is a victory that He works on our behalf. It does not come through our own personal struggle. It comes through our personal surrender and obedience.
As Israel was crying out to the Lord, the Lord said to Moses – “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to start moving!” In essence, the Lord was saying – “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?” This word reminds us that the victory is already won. Jesus Christ has conquered both the penalty and power of sin on the Cross of Calvary. All the power of the enemy has been broken, and the sting of death has been vanquished. We do not have to cry out wondering when the battle will be won. We simply have to begin walking in the victory that is already ours! Walking in faith and obedience is simply putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward in obedience to God’s Word!
Moses had to lift his staff (the rod of God). The children of Israel had to break camp and begin marching. All of this had to happen in obedience to God’s Word, and all of it had to happen before they saw the first drop of the Red Sea begin to part. As long as they stood on the shoreline crying – nothing would happen. When they responded to the command of God in faith and obedience – it was at that moment that Grace met them with the provision of victory. The Lord brought a strong wind from the East and dried up the waters. The Israelites marched to safety, in the midst of a wall of water on the right and left, on dry ground! They did not send the wind, they did not part the waters, they did not dry the ground. All they could do, and all we can do is – put one foot in front of the other in faith and obedience!
So this morning, do you hear the voice of the Spirit? What are you waiting for? What has God called you to do? What victory have you not realized because you are still in the camp crying out to the Lord, when the victory has already been won. Don’t be fooled by the fact that you do not see the victory. The victory was proclaimed from the cross when Jesus said – “It is finished!” We are called to walk by faith, and not by sight. If we stand and look at the sea, but never take the first step, we will not see the sea part, revealing the pathway to our victory. Lord, gives us ears to hear Your voice, a heart to believe Your Word, and feet that are swift to walk in obedience and enter into the victory we have in Christ Jesus!
What am I waiting for?
In Jesus Name!