I woke up that morning, and suddenly the thing I had been fighting for all those months before – just wasn’t important. My usual, “Thank you, God for the day you have given,” before my feet hit the ground prayer, just wasn’t there. My heart was heavy, and my mind distracted. Life at this point was hard. I was waging a spiritual battle walking through something I never anticipated. Mental, physical, and emotional stress led my faith to exhaustion.
Out of habit, I reached for my Bible, opened it, and began to read one of the many accounts of the life of Moses.
On this day, my Bible plan had me in Exodus (13:17 – 15:21)
I’ve read this account, who knows how many times – but this time, something was different.
Repetition unlocks revelation
Have you ever read a piece of scripture multiple times, and suddenly felt the hand of God reach down and unlock new understanding?
It’s as though, the word transforms into a chisel. The more you read it the more it purposely chips away at your humanity to unlock a hidden gem that sits inside.
That’s what happened to me, as I sat reading this familiar encounter. I revisited their complaints, and was appalled (again) by their preference to live the life of a bound slave then die free in the wilderness. All of these things were familiar to me, but what wasn’t was the glaring parallel that appeared between their desire to go back to a life of bondage and my sudden apathy to the fight I was enduring. I sat there, in my exhausted faith questioning, “Is this really worth fighting for?” As a result of that question, my chest tightened and I realized the foolish nature of the Israelite people (the ones I’m consistently baffled by) was the same foolishness I demonstrated.
Same thought patterns 1,000’s of years in between
There in my bedroom I sat…and there the Israelites stood 1,000’s of years prior. They stood complaining, I sat considering.
They faced a moment of impossibility when they looked toward the Red Sea. Their surroundings consumed them, and they forgot the miracles and blessings, (and all the others) that led them to that place.
In my mind…I saw the same, I knew the battle I’d been fighting, and saw the expanse that still laid ahead. The feeling of defeat was so overwhelming that I too was blinded of the steps God ordered that brought me to that point. Why was bondage now so appealing to me?
Exhausted Faith – The need to press on.
Reading further we find that in the midst of their exhaustion, God does something astonishing, but before doing it he tells them;
“…Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
Stand still? Stay calm? My carnality at this point, makes me push back, and say, “Lord, I love you – but stand still? Stay calm…do you see what’s going on?”
Obedience of standing still. Power in staying calm.
Trust led the Israelites to follow Moses’ word from the Lord. They overcame their compulsion to turn back, and stood still. As a result, they witnessed God transform impossibility into the miraculous. The waters part. The ground is dry, and the Israelites walk across safely to the other side and not only that, but their enemy, the one who has been after their people for 400 years, was destroyed. God’s plan prevailed. His promise was realized.
You and I have never physically stood before a sea and witnessed the hand of God part the waters. Honest reflection, however, reveals spiritually – He has time, and again. It also reveals to us a pattern of our Enemy.
The devil fights us hardest, right before our miracle.
Have you ever been in a moment when life feels like taking one more step, praying one more word, reading one more scripture is just too much? Your faith is exhausted causing you to consider life before this point wasn’t as awful as you thought.
Be careful with this thought…
That’s the exact thought of the Israelites, and the same many of us sit mulling. It’s one that purposely robs our joy, shifts our focus, and subsequently sends us running straight for the bondage we were once held captive. The bondage God has already freed us of.
But God’s word tells us, to “Stand still. Stay calm.”
I wonder today if you find yourself similar to the Israelites considering, “Should I go back down the path I came? Or should I trust God to make a way where I cannot see?” My encouragement to you, is obedience to the word of God, “Stand still. Stay calm.”
Exhausted Faith and a call to stand.
Understand you’re not alone. We all experience times when we grapple with our faith in the midst of our exhaustion. Read the Exodus, and discover again, how God performed the miraculous. As you read these words, allow yourself to be just as awestruck as the Israelites must have been watching it all unfoldI – and just as you get to what you think is the end when Pharaoh is destroyed – keep reading and learn of the revival these events led them into. When you do, you find them in awe as they acknowledge God single handedly made a way for them, and it stirred something in them.
A Red Sea Revival for them, and for us
Miriam knew the immensity of what had just happened. She saw the closeness of God, that His promises are true, He is for His children, and it ignited a praise to rise up. Her exhausted faith was revived, and the praise she felt could not be contained. She took up her tambourine and began to celebrate, and her celebration caught like fire as she led the people to praise God with the song of Moses.
God desires the same for us.
God opened my eyes as I read the Exodus that day. I faced my own Red Sea. Intimidation, however released its grip and the revival of the Israelites beckoned me to move. At that point I knew if I could just press through, there was something powerful waiting for me. I knew without doubt if I pressed on, I was going to see the same demonstration of God’s power. Revival was on it’s way. I wanted it.
How about you?
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”
Our Heavenly Father knew we would reach this point of exhausted faith. Deep waters, and rivers of difficulty surprise us. In God’s Omniscient though, nothing surprises him. His love for us is always preparing us for things to come. These situations easily overwhelm us. We anticipate them and surmise the form they will take and in doing so overlook his promise that says, HE WILL BE WITH US. We WILL NOT drown.
4 Promises from God
- Isaiah 41:13, “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
- John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
- James 1:12, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
- 2 Corinthians 1:20, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”
Time to decide
Waters of decision surrounded me, as I sat on my bed that morning. Would I give up and go back where I came from? Or was I going to press on and continue fighting the battle he’d been helping me with to that point? As I sat reading his word, it became a lamp to my feet and light to my way, through His reminder that His plan for me (and you) is hope and future.
God yearns to draw us to a life of freedom and abundance through his provision. Abundant life is dependent on our reliance on him. How much do we trust, and how bad do we want it? Does the path ahead look difficult? Does it seem insurmountable? Do we not see a way? Can we muster the energy to press through our exhausted faith?
God word shows us repeatedly that He uses times like this to demonstrate His greatness, and consistently, all He asks of us is obedience. If we choose to listen our faith grows exponentially, and our praise becomes so deep it ushers us into our own Red Sea Revival.
Do you need to be revived?
If you are ready to make this next step, obey the word of God, “Stand still. Stay calm.” Allow God, just as the Israelites did, to take you by the hand. Let him lead you. When doubt sets in pray God’s promise back to him.
As moments of struggle hit, declare in your adversary’s face, God is with you. You will not drown. God is holding your right hand. He will help you. The Almighty has overcome the world. You will persevere. Stand the test. Press on toward the crown of life, and it all begins with a decision to make, a decision that as you stand declaring the promises of the One who created you, begins to breath new life to your exhausted faith, and suddenly there’s only one obvious choice. Join me today, Choose Him.
For more encouragement in facing the trials of life: