Ever feel like you’re “between a rock and a hard place?” Yeah, me too. Not fun times. There is pressure and stress and the constant temptation to keep our eyes fixed on the problem instead of the One who can solve that problem. Even though we would never volunteer for these moments, these are the times in which the Lord shows us His power and His love.
Sometimes we are facing circumstances where we feel like the Red Sea is in front of us and Pharoah’s army is closing in behind us. Sometimes our problems and concerns really are Huge. Whether they are physical, emotional, financial or relational, some situations are much bigger than our ability or power to change them.
When the people of Israel were in this situation, God said some very interesting things to them. It had already been a long battle trying to get out of Egypt. Moses and Aaron went before Pharaoh over and over again. God showed His power and His judgment over and over again. Finally, Pharaoh let the Israelites go and they fled Egypt in the night. Then, the Lord led them to the Red Sea right when Pharoah’s army came chasing after them.
I understand how the Israelites felt. “They were terrified and cried out to the Lord,” (Exodus 14:10b.) I get that. When our circumstances are so far beyond our ability to fix them, when we feel like there is no way out, fear takes over. The Israelites went to Moses. “They said to Moses, ‘Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” (Exodus 14:10-12.)
Their argument has some logic and they certainly weren’t afraid to say what they thought! But they were missing the whole point. God was bringing them OUT of bondage and OUT of slavery. So, no, it would not have been better to stay in Egypt as slaves. Now, at this moment, it *seemed* like they were going to die —and isn’t that how we feel, like we’re never going to survive this one!— but God had a much bigger plan.
Here’s the Plan
“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. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still,” (Ex. 14:13,14.) The Lord didn’t say to turn back towards Egypt and fight against the enemy bearing down on them. He said to “stand firm.” He said HE would fight for them and to be still. In our hearts, we need to stand firm and be still. We need to trust the Lord. We need to believe Him. We need to remember that He is fighting for us.
But after Moses gave this message to the people, he must have still been praying to the Lord for deliverance because the very next verse says this: “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen,” (Ex. 15:15-17.)
God of Miracles
And that’s exactly what happened. “Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land,” (Ex. 15:21a.) The Israelites crossed the Red Sea on dry land. All of them got across, and Pharaoh’s army did come in after them. But as the sun came up, when all the Egyptians were crossing that sea bed, the Lord caused the waters to come crashing back down on them, drowning them all. The Israelites were truly free, once and for all.
It’s so interesting how the Lord tells the people to “be still” and to “move on” at the same time! While we “stand firm” and “be still” in our hearts— in other words, we hold fast to a firm belief and trust in God’s power and plan, then with our feet and our face, we “move on.” We turn away from the bondage, the problem, the enemy that is chasing us down and we look forward and take the next step God gives us to take. We move forward. We do what we’re supposed to do and trust God to do the rest! We look for that path that God WILL open up before us and we walk. Step by step till we are across the Red Sea and God destroys the enemy behind us.
Be Still and Move On
God has a plan for us to be free. God has a plan that breaks every bondage in our lives. He still does miracles. In every area of our life, He can and will perform the miracles we need to be truly free once and for all. We just need to keep following after Him. We need to believe Him. We need to do what He tells us to do. We need to seek Him and cry out to Him. Then, once He gives us a plan or opens up a path through the sea, we need to follow Him, step by step. We have to anchor our heart to Him and get our feet in motion. We will see the enemy destroyed behind us. We will experience God’s complete deliverance. We need to set our face forward and take the next step.
A two-step path to victory. Be still. Move on.