DayBreaks for 7/21/16 – Get Your Toes in the Water
From the DayBreaks archive, July 2006:
Exodus 14 recounts an amazing moment in the history of God’s people. Get the picture clearly in your mind: Moses, an itinerant shepherd for the past 40 years, has gone to Egypt and told the most powerful man in the world, Pharaoh (by the way – many think that the pharaoh of the exodus whom God humbled was none other than Ramses II, the greatest and most powerful pharaoh of all time), to let his fellow Hebrews go. After a test of wills between God and pharaoh, Ramses gives in and the people leave. The children of Israel head east, being led by God in that direction. In the distance Moses starts to see a shimmering that looks like water, but initially he probably wasn’t sure whether it was water or a mirage. But, with each step it starts to look more and more like water. Soon – he’s sure. And it isn’t a little puddle, either. We’re talking serious waves here!
About the same time, Moses starts to hear the sounds of warriors, chariots and hooves behind him, and the angry shouts of the Egyptian soldiers out to take revenge on the Israelites for the deaths of their firstborn sons. The Israelites start to cry out to Moses, “What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?…It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” They were catching a vision, too – a vision of their bones bleached dry in the desert sands by the Red Sea.
Moses tries to calm their fears in verses 13-14 by telling the people to “stand firm” and that they “need only to be still”. Verse 15, however, is where I want to focus: Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. I can almost hear Moses: “Well, OK, Lord, but in case you haven’t noticed, we have a bit of a problem here. You see, we can’t move forward. There’s a huge body of water here.” God’s answer: “Get your feet wet!”
What’s the point? Moses told the people to be still and wait. He apparently cried out to God in prayer and was going to sit around, wait and watch what God was going to do. That wasn’t what God wanted. God doesn’t work that way. His response to Moses was: “What are you sitting around and waiting for? Move on!” In his book, For Those Who Can’t Believe, Harold Schulweis made the observation: “Faith…(in God) is necessary but not sufficient for authentic prayer. Covenantal prayer calls forth the faith to go forward.”
Are you stuck between the proverbial rock and the hard place? Are you at a standstill in your walk with Him? Have you been praying and then sitting back to see what God was going to do, instead of praying and moving forward? God will act – but not until you move forward in faith that He will act. The seas were parted, but the children of Israel still had to move forward in faith through the towering piles of water.
God has heard your prayers – now He is watching to see if you’re going to move!
PRAYER: Father, we want to be spectators too often in the church and in matters of faith. We want to watch You do spectacular things, but only when our neck isn’t on the line or we don’t have anything at risk. We want to see You move first. Help us to know that once we’ve committed our way to You in prayer, since You’ve promised to hear and answer, to discern Your voice and then move forward into the waters of deep faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.