Go Forward

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I will bring the blind by a way they did not know;
I will lead them in paths they have not known.
I will make darkness light before them,
And crooked places straight.
These things I will do for them,
And not forsake them.

~Isaiah 42:16

Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zemphon; you shall camp before it by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, ‘They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.’ Then I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD.” And they did so.

Now it was told the king of Egypt that the people had fled, and the heart of Pharaoh and his servants was turned against the people; and they said, “Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” So he made ready his chariot and took his people with him. Also, he took six hundred choice chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt with captains over every one of them. And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the children of Israel; and the children of Israel went out with boldness. So the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea…

And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD. Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”

And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

And the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.

But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen. Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

~Exodus 14:1-18

Someone shared something from this Exodus passage with me the other day that really convicted me. For months I have been resting on the edge of the "Red Sea" in my life, too afraid to go forward, unable to go back. For a while, I sensed God's "wait," and I did not despair, because I knew He was at work.

Yet these last few weeks, something more has been stirring in my soul. "It is time to go," I hear the whisper in the chambers of my heart. "It is time to gather your courage and speak. It is time to live again, and to desire Me for all that I Am."

But how do I move from my near-complacency and cynicism again to desire and passion? I whimper. I cry. I am weary, and tired of being weary.

When my friend shared the Exodus story with me the other day, it was as if God stirred my heart: "Why are you crying out to Me? Go forward!"

But where? I do not know for what purpose I am to go, or what mission I am to find. Yet He is a God who leads the blind by a way they do not know, and wherever I go, He will not forsake me. If He can part the Red Sea, how simple making the crooked places straight must be for Him!

I no longer want to be frozen on these shores, paralyzed by my fear.


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