What is it that hinders us? Do we ever feel that just when things are going well, the rug gets pulled out from under us and then we are further back than when we began? Do we every feel like the Israelites wandering in the desert? The Israelites had seen the mighty hand of God as He released 10 plagues against Egypt. They had watched God make a powerful distinction between themselves and the Egyptians. They had witnessed great favor as the Egyptians gave over to the Israelites their own wealth as they left Egypt. And now, they are up against their first obstacle. They are approaching the Red Sea and they see the Egyptians approaching They literally have been penned in by the enemy. Scripture says…
Exodus 14:9–15 (NLT) — 9 The Egyptians chased after them with all the forces in Pharaoh’s army—all his horses and chariots, his charioteers, and his troops. The Egyptians caught up with the people of Israel as they were camped beside the shore near Pi-hahiroth, across from Baal-zephon. 10 As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the LORD, 11 and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? 12 Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’ 13 But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. 14 The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” 15 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!
Are we ever guilty of doing what the Israelites did? God had just performed incredible miracles on behalf of the Israelites. He showed tremendous favor and distinction for them in Goshen and now they have come upon an obstacle. But this obstacle was intentionally planned by God so that once more He could prove to the Egyptians that He alone is God. (14:1-4) How did the Israelites respond? Did Moses let them in on this important piece of information that God clearly revealed to him? Could this intel have made a difference in the mind of the people had they known they were a part of God’s plan to destroy their enemy?
Regardless, the people of Israel “panicked” when they saw the great army of Egypt coming upon them. They cried out to the Lord and then they began to grumble and complain. And worse yet, they longed for their familiar past slavery over freedom. The bondage and oppression they had been living in was deemed a smaller price to pay than the cost of their freedom. And, they would have returned had God not intervened. (vs. 12)
Have we viewed the price of freedom a greater cost than living in the slavery and bondage of the enemy? Do we every panic when we see the oppression around us and are we ever too hasty to lay down our arms and retreat, rather than moving forward? What is the price that you will NOT pay for yourself and for those generations following you? Israel coming out of slavery was not just for that generation and time, but for the generations that would follow. Do we see beyond the temporary situation and understand the ramifications if we do not do something to remove the enemy from our life, our family, our nation? Where will the next generations be? We must move forward!
What causes us to give up? The same as with the Israelites…FEAR. They panicked. They were afraid. And they did not understand that the Lord had orchestrated events to reveal His might and His glory to the unbelieving Egyptians. Did they think that God had brought them this far to abandon them? God had written the script for this part of their life, as He has also written for us. Do we ever fear and run back to the very bondage that has kept us enslaved for years? Do we ever fear that the price for freedom is too great a price to pay? Do we ever realize the ramification of our decisions on the future generations?
As people on the victorious side of the cross of Christ, we have been given assurance that we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). We are assured that we are seated with Christ in the heavenly realm at the right hand of God, far above every ruler, power and authority in heaven and in earth and blessed with every spiritual blessing available. (Eph1-2) We have literally been transferred out of the kingdom of darkness and into the marvelous kingdom of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. (Col 1:13). Every accusation of Satan against us has been handled out of court by our advocate, Jesus. (Col. 2:6-15)
So, we are not as the Israelites who panicked when things did not seem to go as they should. We do not fear and look back longing for the slavery and darkness we have been delivered from by Christ. We continue to move forward, fully understanding we are now a part of a kingdom that cannot be shaken and manipulated by the forces of evil and the world.
There is no “neutral gear” in God’s plan in our life. We do not panic! We do not complain! We keep moving forward declaring the Kingdom of God in the earth.