Friday, February 17, 2012
Today’s Topic: Stand Still and Move
Today’s Text: Isaiah 60:22b (NIV) “I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swiftly.”
It appeared to be a dead end. Dead was the operative word in their minds. In front of them was a great body of water that according to their human wisdom was not crossable. Behind them they could see the dust of thousands of chariots as the army of Egypt bore down on them. They cried out to their leader in anger and said, “What have you done to us?” Standing still meant certain death at the hands of the warriors. Moving meant drowning. It seemed hopeless.
Does this describe your life right now – a dead end? Standing still doesn’t change anything. Moving ahead is way too scary. Maybe if we just close our eyes it will all go away.
Well, I have some interesting news for you – standing still does change things and moving ahead is worth the risk, as long as God has directed you to do either one. No matter how it appears on the surface, God is working on your behalf. If He says stand firm, then do it. In His time He will act. If He says move, don’t look back and don’t fear what’s ahead. He has already been there, done that, and has everything all worked out, so move with Him no matter how swiftly you have to move.
For the last three years I have been standing still, because God said so. My church has stood still with me. There have been times when we tried to move because it made sense to us, but God kept slamming doors and telling us to wait. Now God has said move, and believe me when I tell you that He is moving swiftly – more swiftly than I can believe. All of a sudden, in a span of less than 4 weeks, He has put together the details of His move in such a way that only He could have orchestrated and for which He will receive all of the glory.
The hardest part is accelerating from a standstill to God-speed in such a short period of time. The only thing that makes it possible is that during the standstill, we were not inactive. All the groundwork for moving was being put in place so that when God’s time to act arrived, we were ready.
Standstills are never meant to be times of complacency. Want proof? What happens at a stoplight when you are driving? You check your phone, right? You quick throw together a text to someone, or listen to a voicemail, or read an email. Standstills are times of productivity. So instead of complaining about not moving, why not get prepared to move when the light turns green again?
So with all the preparation done, and all of God’s pieces being put into place, we are moving. Swiftly. Hang on tight. It’s going to be an awesome ride filled with opportunities to see God’s power and provision. It will require us to step out in faith and move into uncharted territory. But God knows we are ready. No looking back. No looking around. With eyes straight ahead fixed firmly on where God is moving, we will follow, and we will follow at His speed.
So what happened to the people at the dead end? Here’s what it says about them in Exodus 14.
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.” Then the LORD said to Moses, “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. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”
Stand firm on the promises of God. Move when God says move. Then we will all see the glory of God.