This occurred to me in the shower this morning…
Possibly a couple of years ago, after I’d started going to church again but not immediately, I was reading the story of Moses from Exodus. I’d “had this thing about Moses” since my days in Newcastle i.e. it speaks to me, possibly because I expect it to.
Anyway I got to the part of the story where the Israelites have left Egypt but not crossed the Red Sea yet. Pharoah sends troops after them and they become trapped. We have this:
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.” (Exodus 14v13&14)
So for about a year I used to pray some variation of this most days. I would say “Fight for me God.” I would name my enemies, things like fear, lack of faith, etc.
I gave up eventually. Maybe I got disillusioned. Or maybe I just forgot. I used other prayers.
It occurred to me this morning that it’s all very well to be “still” and wait for God to fight for you, but this incident occurs after they’ve left Egypt. They’ve already set out in the direction God is leading them. Only when they reach a barrier they can’t overcome naturally – in that direction – does God intervene spectacularly.
I think I never left Egypt.
A wise friend asked me a while back, when I was complaining about not knowing what I should do about faith etc, whether there was anything outstanding that God has told me to do that I haven’t yet done. I said no. I wasn’t deliberately being dishonest but there is one thing. But it’s so big, so seemingly unachievable that I didn’t think of it as a possibility, so I’d ruled it out almost before bringing it to mind.
The trouble is it doesn’t seem possible because I can see the obstacles, I can see the Red Sea sitting there blocking my path.
But maybe, just maybe, I need to move in that direction anyway and then see what God will do.
And as I’ve written this I looked up the verses above and seen the next one which is:
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.