Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Way Forward

"Then the Lord said to Moses,'Quit praying and get the people moving! Forward March!'” Exodus 14:15

You have probably heard the saying, “Showing up is half the battle”. The first time I heard the concept of showing up, was about nine years ago when I was complaining to God about how unprepared I felt for a speaking commitment. I kept on whining to myself day after day about my need to be prepared for a message.  Sometimes I complained in prayer, but mostly it was a nagging thought of guilt that stole my joy away.  Finally, as I came to God with my cares, I heard His still, small voice say, “Show up.” Up to that point I was blind to the fact that each day that went by I did everything but “show up”.  The next morning, I woke up very early, sat at the kitchen table and there is where God met me.  I did my part in showing up and God did His part in inspiring me to write a message.

I can’t help but think of a story in the Bible in the book of Exodus. God had just delivered the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt. Moses was their appointed leader by God to lead approximately two million people through the desert to their appointed promise land. Throughout their travels in the desert, it was God who enabled Moses and the people to keep moving forward.

As the Israelites were encamped near the sea, the Egyptians decided that they had made a huge mistake in letting the Israelites free (Little did they know that their power was limited by God). The Egyptians – all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops – pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea. As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw the Egyptians marching against them. The Bible says in Exodus 14:11 that the Israelites were terrified and cried to the Lord. They turned to Moses whining and this is some of what they said, “Have you brought us out here to die in the desert because there were not enough graves for us in Egypt? Why did you make us leave Egypt?” Moses responded by saying this, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch, and you will see the wonderful way the Lord will rescue you today. The Egyptians you are looking at – you will never see them again. The Lord will fight for you, and you won’t need to lift a finger!”

What God said next to Moses was something very interesting to me.  God said in Exodus 14:13 “Quit praying and get the people moving! Forward March!” God instructed Moses to hold his rod over the water and by God’s power - the Red Sea opened up a path for the Israelites to safely walk through on dry ground - saving His people from Pharaoh and all his men.

More than likely, if we want to accomplish anything, we will be called to “show up”. If in faith we do “show up”, God will part the red seas in our lives and we will confidently and successfully be able to accomplish what God has placed in our hearts to do.
FATHER, how gracious you are!  Thank you for your protection and for the effective and powerful ways You use to encourage us to move forward – sometimes it is through a gentle word and other times it is through a strong command. Thank you that we can always trust in your unconditional love and your perfect will for our lives. In Jesus’ Name we pray – Amen

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