Have you found yourself in a tight spot? A place where you are experiencing stress to the point you are unsure of the next step to take? This tight spot may be a result of circumstances you brought on yourself or a situation God is allowing to help you move on with the things of God.
A story from the Old Testament highlights the way we can navigate a tight spot. Let me set the stage. Moses was leading the nation of Israel out of Egyptian captivity and towards the Promised Land. Thankfully, Moses did not face this task alone. God’s visible presence led the way in the form of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
As the nation was fleeing, God told Moses to have them set up camp by the sea. This instruction made no sense from a human perspective. In fact, the instruction placed God’s people in harm’s way because it land-locked them and made them vulnerable to attack. (Hello, tight spot!)
As the Israelites camped by the sea, Pharaoh and his army pursued the nation in order to recapture them and take them back to Egypt. Exodus 14:10 says, “As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD.” (NIV)
In response, Moses encouraged the Nation to remain focused on the Lord. Verse 14 states, “Moses answered the people, “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. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Moses must have been experiencing some fear because God gave him a very clear instruction. “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.” (vs. 15)
Before we get to the rest of the story, let’s pause and see three truths that will help us navigate our tight spot so we can move on with the things of God.
- Stand Firm! In verse 13, Moses encouraged the nation to stand firm in the deliverance of the Lord. To stand firm means to stand one’s ground. As believers in Jesus Christ, we have the right to stand firm in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Because of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, we are free. Nothing in this world is greater than the God we serve. Therefore, no task is too difficult for us to accomplish through the empowering of the Holy Spirit. Standing firm in Christ forces us to stop trusting in ourselves and invites us to place our hope in the deliverance God provides.
- Be Still! In verse 14, Moses encouraged the nation to be still and know that God was fighting for them. To be still means to make no moves. When I think of Moses’ instruction to be still, I can’t help but think of Psalm 46:10. “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Being still is an attitude of the heart. Being still is much more than stopping our outward movement. Being still demonstrates an inner assurance that God is in control and that He is ultimately directing the events of our lives.
- Move On! In verse 15, God encouraged Moses to stop crying out and to move on. To move on means to set out. This was an important instruction for Moses to hear because it reminded him that the tight spot set the stage for a big step of faith. (Anyone need to hear that your tight spot can lead to a big step of faith?) I find it interesting that God called the nation to “move on” through the obstacle of the sea. What seemed like an impossible situation became the platform for sweet victory as Moses and the nation took an actual step of faith through parted waters.
The rest of the story is exciting. Moses stretched out his staff and the nation walked through the sea on dry ground. The Egyptian army pursued the nation into the sea and all of them were swept away by the water. Friends, don’t ever think that your situation is too difficult for the Lord. He is able to lead you through your tight spot! Daily we can stand firm in the deliverance of the Lord, be still and know that God is God, and boldly take steps of faith that lead to spiritual progress by moving on with the things of God! The outcome in our lives will be the same outcome the nation of Israel experienced, “the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him.” Exodus 14:31!
(To continue the conversation with Andrea and other Arkansas Baptist Women on the topic of pursuing God’s vision and focus for life, subscribe to the Inspire on the Go with Andrea Lennon podcast available on all podcast platforms or at www.absc.org/inspireOTG.)