Opening Scripture: (Encounter at the Red Sea)
Exodus 19:4, 5, 7, 9, 11-12 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine;’ So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the Lord had commanded him. The Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever.” Then Moses told the words of the people to the Lord. And let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.
Before we recount all the reasons why these Israelites should have trusted God, let’s reflect on our own lives.
Cornered, out of options with seemingly no place to turn, we waiver, knowing that faith got us here but not sure that it will get us through. Just when we think we have gotten through, we hear the rumble of the chariots from our past pursuing us. The failures of my past soon overtake me and hope along with faith seems worthless.
Have you ever been chased by something? Israel was being chased and Exodus tells us they were overtaken.
Exodus 14:11-12 “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”
They would rather live in bondage than to die in freedom. Isn’t it interesting that when the battle is right in front of us, how easy it is to think fondly about the past.
Israel was excited about this plan when it was easy, willing to be led as long as it didn’t cost them. Choosing to leave your past was easy but what about when your past finds you? Walking away from that toxic person was easy but what about when loneliness finds you?
Exodus 14:23-25 Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea. At the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion. He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from Israel, for the Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians.”
We know that if God is for us no one can stand against us.
Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.
It doesn’t say no weapon shall be formed against you, but that it will not prosper. It wasn’t chariots that destroyed Israel’s faith, it was their complacency. One entire generation died in the wilderness, not because of the chariots, but because they quit fighting.
The only thing that can kill your destiny is your complacency. Faith stops growing when we stop moving.
Satan knows that he cannot defeat us, so he attempts to make us complacent by attacking our confidence. Israel had been delivered from 400 years of bondage and watched God perform miracles, but it wasn’t their calling that failed but their confidence.
Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
The enemy is powerless against your calling. Because Satan knows that, he will try to convince you you can’t. God doesn’t change His mind just because you lost yours.
Is your faith bigger than your failures? Have you lost confidence in your calling?
Our weapons are mighty and able to destroy fortresses. We serve a God who wages war against our enemies.
Hebrews 7:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
You have stayed on the sidelines because you thought you were disqualified; you can hear the chariots all around you and have felt like giving up.
This is your time of testing. God did not stutter when He called your name. Your past has no hold on you; the enemy has no power over you.
It’s time to rise up. The seas are parting before you; God has a plan. He is drawing the enemy in close so He can destroy him.
No weapon, no threat, no failure will prosper against!
– Think of a time that you felt like giving up and God came through for you.
– What might keep you on the sidelines?