Lesson 4 -- third quarter 2009
June 28, 2009
© Copyright 2009
"Fear ye not" -- do I even know how to do that?
How do I hold my peace when the "Egyptians" have me hemmed in?
Would I march out into the midst of watery peril like the Israelites did?
Are any of my "Egyptians" too strong for God to overcome?
Has God done any great work for me?
Moses was "stuck" and he knew it was time for God to execute the next phase of the master plan. I imagine that by now Moses had seen enough of God's phenomenal and imaginative power that he was anticipating something spectacular indeed. I wonder what his immediate response was to God's instructions. The idea of holding out his walking stick over the sea surely seemed ludicrous, even laughable. But Moses also knew by now that God always honors obedience. So Moses held out that old stick as God told him.
Now imagine you are an Israelite camped up against the Red Sea. Moses has just informed you that God is going to get you out of this latest "pinch." You wonder just how God proposes to do it, but you are sure that He can accomplish it. You wait while everybody gets ready, and soon you can see Moses coming back through the multitude to take his place at the lead. Now comes the suspense. What will God do? What will Moses do? Will Moses do anything? Maybe God will just abruptly destroy the advancing enemy, thus allowing all of you to retrace your steps and find the route around the Red Sea. Or maybe God will harden the water so you can walk across it. Or...then you see Moses climb a rock, steady himself, and hold out is cane. And before you can get over your shock at such antics from an 80-year-old man, the wind begins to blow vigorously and the sea begins to split right before your astounded eyes. Then you hear Moses' voice boom out, "March on through the sea! God will keep the water heaped back. The sea floor is as dry as the desert sand. Forward! This is Jehovah's victory!" I ask you, would you march? Your situation had been quite precarious with the Egyptians closing in behind you. Now, suddenly, your predicament has become even more perilous, with the sea threatening to close in around you as well!
See how Moses and each Israelite had to contribute to this victory? If Moses hadn't held his rod, the waters would not have parted. I am just as certain of that as I am of the fact that no Israelite would have made it across had they not walked between the towering water walls. God did the impossible, but it would have been to no avail had the humans involved not done their part in full obedience.
Now, what about you? It is the same for you as it was for the Canaan-bound Israelites. Every Christian must contribute to his own victories. God honors active faith and obedience in His people. God expects you to strive for the mastery, to fight the good fight, to stand against the wiles of the devil, and to press for the mark.
Review the battles and challenges you face. What does God expect you to do? You cannot just sit back and hope and pray, waiting for God to bring about a miraculous victory for you. You must fight, my friend, you must move forward in obedient faith.
Take the matter of individualism, for instance. You will not find deliverance until you begin to act (even contrary to your feelings and wishes) in ways that deny yourself in favor of others. Or unresolved conflicts. No deliverance for you in that area either unless you forgive your offenders (every time you think about the matter, if that is what it takes). Or spiritual inertia. You will not experience growth if you are unwilling to push yourself into action -- taking notes during church, writing questions pertinent to the topic, making a prayer list.
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