November 13, 2013
It is absolutely amazing how controlled we are by fear! We are afraid of looking stupid in front of other people. We are afraid of people finding out what we are really like. We are afraid of others thinking less of us than we desire them to. We are afraid of others knowing what we really think. We fear going to the beach and being tempted to wear swimwear that might show our growing physique. We are afraid of confident people who make us feel incompetent. We are afraid of changes which make us feel out of control. We are afraid of failure — or misfortune and therefore purchase every kind of insurance imaginable.
Do you get the picture? We are fearful people! Some fears can be helpful. A healthy fear of death keeps me steering my car on the correct side of the yellow line. Fear of heart disease keeps me from living on hamburgers and fries or onion rings. Fear is a theme throughout all of Scripture as the question is asked, “Whom will you fear—man or God?
In Exodus 14, we see the nation of Israel backed up against the Red Sea. The armies of Pharaoh are in attack mode as they approach the “trapped” and “helpless” people of Israel. What was Israel’s response? They were terrified and cried out to the Lord! They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?” (Exodus 14:10b-11). They responded just like normal people would today! They feared for their lives, looked around them, and found the situation to be hopeless, so they cried out to God and began to malign the people who got them into the mess in the first place! How often have you found yourself in that position? We cry, wine, squirm, malign, and blame. We ask, “Why me? What did I do to deserve this? How can I finagle my way out of this? Why did you do this to me—you dirty rascal?”
The answer God gives Moses is the opposite of the crying out of the people. God said, “Stand still, be quiet, and watch!” In so doing, they are called upon to deny their (and our) human instinct to squirm and run, and instead be quiet and confident in God Who then can work! God moves His cloud of protection behind them, commands Moses to put forth his staff, then opens the Red Sea before them so they can pass. He guides and directs and destroys the terror confronting them.
What a lesson for us! Stand still, tell God, trust Him, and go forward in His leading.
Identify one of your major fears. Stand still, tell God what it is, and commit your way to the Lord, trusting Him to lead you to victory over that fear. He is able!