Step into a new season
The first month of the year is almost over and you have probably already done your personal assessment of last year and are looking ahead with plans for 2016. Maybe last year left you in a predicament; between a 'rock and a hard place'. In scripture, Moses and the people of Israel found themselves in a predicament. They found themselves trapped between Pharaoh's army and the Red Sea before God gave them a way to step over into a new season.
The Israelites were in captivity for 400 years and then Moses sent by the Lord came to set them free. Exodus 13:18 NKJV tells us, "So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt."
Exodus 14 shows us how God guided the children of Israel when they had their 'backs against the wall'. This passage provides us the opportunity to learn to face our own predicaments as we go through 2016. It teaches us FOUR THINGS ABOUT GOD'S PLANS.
1. GOD'S PLANS ARE NOT ALWAYS LOGICAL
In Exodus 14:1-2, God ordered a change of direction which to many of the children of Israel must have at best seemed strange and at worst, risky and dangerous. "Then the Lord said to Moses, tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon." Their course was to take a direction which in a very short time would place them with the Red Sea on one side, on the other side trackless wilderness and in front an insurmountable barrier of mountains. They couldn't go back and they couldn't go forward, but they had been led to the place by God Himself. GOD'S PLANS MAY NOT ALWAYS SEEM LOGICAL but the bible account lets us know that ...
2. GOD'S PLANS ARE ALWAYS MADE IN ADVANCE.
Verse three of the passage tells us, "Pharaoh will think, 'The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.' 4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord." So the Israelites did this."
God had it all arranged ahead of time, He always does. And Pharaoh fell for the plan, but Israel was afraid because they had their eyes on the Egyptians and not on the LORD. It is interesting to consider that Israel had trusted God for their deliverance but not for their circumstances
God led the Israelites to this point ... "...I will gain glory for myself ... the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord." Exodus 14:4 NIV. God does things in our lives so that we will know that He alone is God. God has carried you to this point in your life, even in this crisis so that you will lift your eyes up and see Him.
3. GOD'S PLANS DO NOT NEED YOUR HELP, ONLY YOUR OBEDIENCE
God's answer through Moses to the murmuring Israelites is found beginning in verse 13, "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."
God's three-fold instructions through Moses can also be applied by us:
a. "Do not be afraid." There are so many things that can cause us fear but with Almighty God nothing is impossible.
b. "Stand firm" - this is not a passive place but an active faith ... do not let your hearts fail or stagger through unbelief, but with quiet minds LOOK UP TO GOD.
c. "See the deliverance" God does not need your help. You don't need to fight; you need to stay out of the way. Just watch Him work.
God then spoke to Moses and said in verse fifteen, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on." God told Moses to stop praying and start moving. There is a time to pray and once we have direction, we need to stop praying and start moving; we need to STEP OVER.
4. GOD'S PLANS ARE NOT LIMITED TO WHAT IS HUMANLY POSSIBLE
In verse 21 we read, "Then 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. The waters were divided" God parted the RED SEA! God did something unbelievable.
He may also put us in positions to display His glory and for us to come to salvation. The Lord wants to meet us at the point of our need but ultimately it is about the condition of your soul. God wants us to come to faith in Him. Coming to the Red Sea is just as much a part of God's plan, as crossing it.
A predicament in God's hands is only a highway to the Promised Land. Why does God allow these predicaments to happen in our lives? Because it often takes these tight place to get us to look up to Him for our help. How will you respond to Him?