We live in a time in history where we have the Word of God and the history of God’s chosen people to read, listen to, and study. Many of us have heard the story of Moses and the Israelites many times. I want to encourage you to read this story and all the others as though you do not know the ending so that you can put yourself in the story and better understand the hand of God that was and is upon Israel and all of Gods people. Refrain from judging how Israel acts and rebels.
Emerge yourself in their story, remembering who they are (slaves) for 400+ years. When you have never known freedom and you get a small taste of it (Ex 14:8) and then suddenly your captor has you hemmed in with your backs to the sea and you have no weapons to defend yourself and your family and no place to retreat to, fear and anger is a common human reaction. If we do not put ourselves in the story it’s hard to relate to their actions and choices.
Exodus 14:10-12 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw the Egyptians coming after them. Then the Israelites were terrified and cried out to the Lord for help. They said to Moses: “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you took us to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Isn’t this what we told you in Egypt: Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”
Fear can immobilize us if we allow it to consume our heart and mind. It may feel easier to continue to live in the known world of slavery we are accustomed to than to step out in faith and face the fear of the unknown circumstances/battles we face as live in Christ Jesus. Israel takes her fear and anger out on Moses, but they are really upset with God.
The Word tells us over and over again to “fear not”. As you are reading the story of Israel exodus from Egypt, you will see how they seemingly turn on Moses who came out of his safety net and all of his inadequacies to deliver Gods people from slavery. The Red Sea is behind them and Pharaoh and his army are about to overtake them. There situation went from awesome to terrifying in a very short period of time. They did this out of fear.
Listen to Moses response to this Nation who had been crying out to God for 400+ years for their Savior to deliver them from their captors. Exodus 14:13-14 But Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation He will provide for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet.”
From Yahweh’s perspective there was going to be no question in Pharaoh’s mind or in the Egyptian people’s minds as to whom delivered Israel from her captors then and now. This is how God works and the more we allow ourselves to look at life from His perspective the closer we come to seeing His ways. Who might God be trying to convince of His love, grace, power, and provision through your temporary circumstance or battle?
Israel had some battles ahead of them in taking the Promise Land God would give to them. After being slaves all of their lives they were not prepared to take the land by the shortest route. There was some training that needed to be done. Faith building exercises that let us know God is in control of our temporary circumstances and our eternity are learned as we experience life in the wilderness, alone with God!
Fear is Satan’s best weapon. If he can defeat you in your mind, with thoughts of fear of what ‘might be’ or the ‘what if…’ he gets a foothold in your life. Fear immobilizes people. We get angry in our fear and often lash out at people with inappropriate talk. Moses told the people to be quiet. Do not speak out of fear! It’s better to use silence rather than giving voice to the fear Satan is trying to defeat you with. Do not speak negative or angry words into your life and those of others based on your fears. Practice being silent. Do not give the evil one a foothold to grab on to.
Moses went to God because Israel was taking out their fear on him. Look at God’s response. Exodus 14:15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to break camp. In other words, don’t just stand there, MOVE forward! God had given Moses direct orders and told him why they were to be exactly where they are, so why was Moses crying out to God? Out of fear and probably a lot of frustration and self doubt. Don’t you know Satan was whispering in his thoughts ‘see you can’t do this! You are not good enough! You are a murderer. You can’t even speak without stuttering!’ How many times have you heard him whisper his lies to you?
It’s hard to deal with peoples fear and all the emotions and negative talk that are born from it. Remember Satan uses fear to immobilize Christians. It’s his facade. Satan cannot take anything from you, only what you are willing to give to him. The best advice we can offer ourselves and others when we are in midst of a battle is break camp! Do not stand still. Moses told the people to stand firm in their faith in God not stand still in their position. God is always moving us forward. Closer to Him and further from our fear and our temporary circumstances. This is where our faith becomes the rubber on the road to Jesus who is the bridge that forges the gap and moves us out of slavery to whatever has a stronghold in our lives and into His presence and provision.
Exodus 14:16-18 As for you, lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I am going to harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them, and I will receive glory by means of Pharaoh, all his army, and his chariots and horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh when I receive glory through Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”
All Moses had from the beginning of his faith journey with Yahweh was his staff. Not much of a weapon from the worlds perspective. There was a lot of power from God that used Moses faith and the staff to bring Israel where she was and where she would eventually end up.
The staff for you and I is our FAITH in Jesus Christ. As we break camp from our current position/circumstance and move forward with our faith raised high (even though we do not know exactly how things will turn out on this side of Heaven) the power of God is activated in our lives and those who are close to us will see Him moving about the earth on our behalf. He will be glorified!
Exodus 14:19-20 Then the Angel of God, who was going in front of the Israelite forces, moved and went behind them. The pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and stood behind them. It came between the Egyptian and Israelite forces. The cloud was there in the darkness, yet it lit up the night. So neither group came near the other all night long.
Just because you cannot see or feel the presence of Yahweh doesn’t decrease His power and presence in our lives. Jesus has our back now just as He did then and will forever have for those who put their faith in Him. Imagine Israel’s stress level increase when the Angel Of God (cloud) moved from in front of them to behind them. Israel was a large people so those who were accustomed to seeing the cloud of a Gods presence now did not see it! In their greatest battle so far, it appeared God had left them. Anytime your fear gets activated it’s time to silence it by moving forward towards God in faith of the promises in The Word. Do not give into reacting to fear. Respond with faith and if you need to speak, speak directly from The Word as that is your sWord (weapon of choice for all Christian believers). Encourage yourself and others with His promises for your life. We do this by reading, listening, and studying The Word. The book as its written is God’s instruction manual to us. Its where we go to find resources for our current circumstances. It what we ought to base all of our decisions on. It’s life to the believer.
Our promise for today; Isaiah 54:17 No weapon formed against you will succeed, and you will refute any accusation raised against you in court.This is the heritage of the Lord’s servants,and their righteousness is from Me.This is the Lord’s declaration’. This tells us that weapons will be formed against us, but they will not succeed! We will refute any accusation raised against us with our sWord!
Understand that weapons formed against you is a sign to you that God is moving to destroy your enemies for His glory. Are your loved ones saved? If this is not true, who is your enemy? Not the ones you desire to be saved, but Satan who has them enslaved in deceit, addiction, lust, and all other sorts of worldly escape routes. Would you not prefer to be moving forward towards your freedom in Jesus Christ even though your temporary circumstances are uncertain? Satan is the thief who comes to kill and destroy. Jesus said in Matthew 10:10 ‘I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance’ Jesus is the bridge that forges the gap between the abundant life on earth as it shall be in Heaven.
Journal Notes: One of my BFF’s is facing a diagnosis that no one wants to hear. Prior to my knowledge of any health issues the Lord led me to this section of scripture. As I read it, listened to it, and studied it the Holy Spirit’s presence was powerful. It was amazing how He revealed this story to me verse by verse. He let me see and experience the fear that Israel faced then and now. He also showed me Moses faith despite all of his shortcomings and mistakes. He showed me what it means to use our faith as a catalyst for forging ahead into unchartered territory even when the world is shouting at you to stop, be careful, don’t give up the certainty of your now for something that is not perfectly laid out before you. He impressed upon me how to use silence as a weapon against Satan. My BFF came to my house and had an urgent prayer request for a ministry that she and I follow, support and pray for called Out Of Darkness. This ministry rescues people enslaved by human traffickers. Her heart was heavy with a burden for the people to be reached through this awesome ministry. When she came in and asked us to pray, she, my son, and I gathered in our living room and prayed for the people who would be reached out to and offered freedom from their captors/abusers. The witness of the Holy Spirit was very strong and strongholds were being shot down in the spiritual realm as we prayed.
My BFF finished praying and I then began to pray aloud for the missionaries and the people they are reaching out to. I heard myself praying for my BFF’s healing and His provision for her life with a great passion and burning urgency. After we prayed I began to wonder silently why the Holy Spirit prayed for that through me. She and I left to go on a few errands together and she began to talk about an irregularity in her mammogram that she had recently. I was listening and thinking about when she told me this? She was talking to me as if I knew about it. I realized that she had NOT spoken to me about it at all. Immediately I understood why the Holy Spirit had prayed the way He did just a few minutes earlier!
I am going to be honest and tell you that my gut wrenched within me and the fear of the possibilities ahead of her gripped my mind and my heart. I wanted to SCREAM out loud, NO NO NO! I was mad at Satan and his darn tactics. Her life is on track for great blessings and her children lives were headed in a better direction and now this! Come on! Because of this scripture, my study of it and the power of the Holy Spirit through that process I understood that I had to use silence as a weapon against the evil one who seeks to kill and destroy God’s children. He cannot and will not have my BFF!
In my silence and listening to my BFF, our promise for todays Art Journal came to mind. I silently prayed it over her as we talked, shared and encouraged one another. I have continued to pray this and other scriptures on her behalf, fully trusting in Jehovah Rapha to heal her completely in Jesus name. I was crying as I prayed for her earlier that day. My son held me in his arms and assured me it was going to be okay. I knew ahead of time, but there was no fear at that point, only the Spirit of truth and healing. Its only when I allow my thoughts to go ahead to the what if or worst case scenarios that fear and anger rise up in me. I cannot and will not allow fear to guide my thought, my prayers, or my actions. I will stand firm in my faith that bridges the gap through Jesus Christ and I will walk through this process at her side, offering encouragement via The Word of God, prayers, and some good crafting time. She is more than a conqueror in Jesus Christ. She is healed by His stripes in Jesus name.
While she and I do not know the specific details as to how Jehovah Rapha is going to take this healing process and the lives that will be forever changed by her journey of faith and promise, we do know His mercy endures forever. We do know Him as our healer and Savior. We do know that we will spend eternity together in Heaven and that we will grow old together on this earth. We count His promises as truth for our lives and that of our families and generations to come. We share our faiths journey to encourage others along the path. We do know that ALL will know that this weapon formed against her and you is a sign to us that God is moving to destroy our enemies for His glory and encourage other believers in their faith journey. This test of faith will produce her testimony for Jesus Christ and I am sure it will be shared with many!
The bridge came from my wanting to paint with a pallet knife. I’ve watched many You Tube videos about how to use the pallet knife for different looks and techniques. A bridge sometimes has all the lines that a pallet knife makes easy. As I picked colors and prepared my paper palette with them carefully mixing colors and practicing with the pallet knife and paint brush I was reminded how simple tools that are not very threatening in the worlds eyes can create and wield a picture (vision) of the path we choose to travel. The bridge symbolizes Jesus who took our place on the cross and paid for ALL SIN for ALL PEOPLE if they choose him as Lord and Savior. He according to The Word is the only way to Heaven. We can travel through those weapons Satan forms against us with Jesus, knowing in our spirit, trusting in The Word in our minds and thoughts, speaking The Word as our sWord to thwart the fiery darts of the devil and moving forward through the battles ever confident of God’s love, His grace, His defeat over death, his healing powers, and his promise for provision for ALL of our needs. I know when my BFF’ feet hit the floor everyday, Satan indeed trembles. He is fearful of losing ground with people she loves. The Holy Spirit has been equipping her for this very battle and its not fallen on deaf ears. She is equipped and ready to use the sWord to dismantle the evils ones plans to destroy her witness.
We are going to church in just a few minutes and will praise and worship our Savior. We will be fed by Him who is the Bread of Life. We are not afraid. We stand firm in faith in Him who gives us life and all its blessings. He has gone before her and you as well.
Be enocouraged! Love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul. Stand firm in faith in Jesus Christ. Encourage yourself by study of His Word. Know His Word and speaking it accordingly to the battles in your life. Do not be dismayed, for He is with you all the days of your life.
Blessings and Peace,