On our spiritual journey: Keep calm and carry on

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Today's post comes from Anita at Scattering the Stones


'The Lord went ahead of them.

He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud,

and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire...'

Exodus 13:21 NLT

On our spiritual journeys we walk hand in hand with faith and trust. We learn dependence on the One who gives us life, who directs and guards our path.

The closer we walk with Jesus, the stronger the pull; as we feel the strength, call, and direction of the Holy Spirit.

As the Lord spoke to Moses and the Israelites, and directed them on their road, we see a story of pain, fear, mercy, grace, trust, faithfulness, and victory.

What can we learn from the story of Moses and the Israelites, on their journey through the wilderness and the Red Sea?

1. Sometimes short cuts are not necessarily better
As the Israelites followed the guidance of the Lord, in His wisdom He knew that if they faced a battle they may be tempted to change their minds and go back to Egypt (Ex 13:17-18). Because He knew them so well, He brought them through the wilderness, the path less travelled. His protection guarded their footsteps. They did not know the way, so they had to fully trust and depend on the divine presence through the smoke by day and fire by night.

How often do we try to take the short cut, only to find that if we had listened to God, it would have been so much better, even if it had taken us longer?

2. In Him we find rest
Not only did God plan how He would direct His people, but He also pointed out places for them to rest! As we know on any journey, taking regular rest is one of the most important things we need in order to complete it.

We can be so focused on our time short tasks that we exhaust ourselves physically and mentally and either ignore the oasis that God provides for us because we 'must' finish a task, or we just don't see it.

Rest isn't just for the weak, it is recognising that we need it to keep us strong, in Him.

Have you spent time resting in God's presence lately?

3. He provides us with all that we need
The Lord provided everything that was necessary, considering their needs each step of the way; He provided a covering for His people to protect them from the day's heat, as well as providing light at night (Ps 105:3).

When we are looking to Him for His provision, it tests our faith. Do we really believe that God will provide all that we need? Let's place our trust in the Jehovah-­‐jireh - the Lord will provide!

4. God displays His glory through His perfect plan
In order for the Egyptians to see that He was indeed the LORD, His plan considered how best His message could be seen and heard through the path travelled by the Israelites. God hardened Pharaoh's and the rest of the official's hearts, and the force of their assault was huge, as they got ready to attack! Understandably, the Israelites were frightened, and questioned both Moses and God about this supposedly great plan that in their eyes didn't make any sense, for they didn't see the larger picture!

I think we can all relate to the confusion that the Israelites felt, confused by God's plan. The very essence of faith is by not leaning on our own understanding, but by placing our complete trust in God and His ways (Prov 3:5).

In their humanity and their fear, they pushed back against God's plan and complained, asking why they had been brought on this journey. Suddenly their familiar past (even though it was painful) seemed much more comfortable, than what they were facing.

Moses replied -

'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.'

Exodus 13:11-14 NLT
5. He will protects us from our enemies
Our enemies may try to harm us, but we belong to the Lord; as His Spirit dwells in us.

God's glory shone brightly as He sheltered the Israelites from their enemy at night (Ex 14: 19-20) and twisted the Egyptians chariot wheels to stop them in their tracks -

' "Let's get out of here - away from the Israelites!"

the Egyptians shouted.

"The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt." '

Exodus 14:25 NLT

As God protected the Israelites from their enemies, He will do the same for us, as He is our strength and shield (Ps 28:7).

6. The Lord's great plan can never be defeated.
Moses was required to stand in faith and follow the instructions given to him by God; to pick up his staff and divide the sea for the Israelites to walk through on dry ground (Ex 14:16) !

This journey was not an easy path to take. Yes the Lord had faithfully guided, protected, and provided for His people each step of the way through the wilderness, but when it came to stepping out in faith again into what seemed impossible, fear started to dig deep and creep into their hearts.

We may look at this story through familiar eyes, be in awe of God's glory and how He used Moses and provided for His people, but we need to remember how God does the same for us daily.

As God said to Moses -

'I have planned this in order to display my glory...'

Exodus 4:4 NLT

As Jesus brought us from a place of death to everlasting life. Our lives display the glory of God, by what He has done for us.

As we depend on God for His strength for whatever we are going through, we can place our trust in the footsteps already trodden by the One who goes before us; the King of Kings.

As Moses was used to divide the waters, and the Lord directed and protected the Israelites on their journey, everyone saw God's power and that His plan could not be stopped, so they believed that He was the LORD, and placed their faith in Him (Ex14:31).

Let's remember together
Whatever we are facing today - whether we are struggling in a valley moment, or praising Him on top of the mountain, we have a God who turns the impossible into the possible (Lk 1:37); who commands the seas to divide and moves mountains, who defeats our enemies and guards our path.

For our journeys display the glory of God! So let us remain calm, for the LORD will rescue us and is fighting for us!

Just as He took care of the Israelites, He will guide us along the best path for our life, as He advises us and watches over us (Ps 32:8), because He loves us! :)

Let's pray
Lord we are in awe of your Majesty!

We praise you for your great purpose and plan.

We thank you for your great love, mercy, provision and protection.

We come before you, asking for your rest and refreshment for the journey you have called us on.

Help us to remain in you, placing our complete trust in you for all that we need.

May our hearts be willing to hear your calling.

May our lives glorify you today!

May your love shine brightly through us, so that all may see that you are the King of Kings.

In Jesus' name


Anita x


I hope today's devotion has blessed you.
If you would like a copy of the above image as a free PDF, please visit my blog :)

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