Moses is one of the great heroes of the faith mentioned in Hebrews 11. Many have heard the story of the burning bush and how he received the commandments from the Lord. When they think of Moses, they think of a great leader dealing with obstinate people. However, Moses, like many of us, had his own issues to deal with.
Moses was not perfect. I suspect that you, just like me, aren’t either. Too often we let our feelings of inadequacy keep us from launching out in faith. We fear failure and rejection. Sometimes, the negativity and criticism of others stops us cold. We get stuck. We sit still and wait for a miracle to move us. We might even question if we are truly obeying God. If we are following God, why are other believers opposing and criticizing us? Maybe we should just sit still and stop moving forward until the path is clear again.
God doesn’t always move the mountain in our way. I know it sounds cliché, but sometimes He truly does want us to climb it. There may be more going on behind the scenes than what you realize.
Exodus 14 tells a wonderful story that is very pertinent to the way we live and display our faith today. It also shows clearly that God may be at work in you and through you even when others criticize your actions.
Moses and all Israel had fled Egypt. Pharaoh and his army were following. The people, as most of us today would, begin to grumble and complain. They didn’t understand why Moses brought them out into the desert to die. They even question following Moses and his motives towards them. They would have been happy camping in Egypt where everything was certain…where life as usual could continue in predictable ways. Aren’t we the same? Who likes change? Especially if it is uncertain and requires us to move without seeing where we will end up! Moses encourages them to keep going. He reminds them that the Lord is on their side. He is doing everything possible to help them get past the fear. The problem is, Moses had stopped right along with them.
I absolutely LOVE what Exodus 14:15-18 tells us:
[Exo 14:15-18 NASB] 15 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. 16 “As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. 17 “As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 “Then the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD, when I am honored through Pharaoh, through his chariots and his horsemen.”
My little paraphrase, for what it’s worth:
Moses, why are you wasting time crying out to me? Tell them to get going! Choose Faith! As for you, do your part, what I tell you to do…as for Me, I will do my part! Then, they will know I am the Lord.
Moses obviously had a bit more faith than the Israelites! It is Moses who is trying to urge them on. It is Moses who is directly in contact with God. Maybe you are like Moses. Trying to obey the Lord, but being bogged down with the negativity of others. Keep going! Encourage them to move forward in faith with you, but don’t stop following the Lord’s leading just because they want to go back to Egypt!
Perhaps you are more like the Israelites. You see the mountain and have fear and uncertainty. You prefer just going back to the way things were. Yes, life was hard, but predictable! Stop complaining! Move forward in faith and watch the Lord work in mighty ways! He can use you to make His name great!
Isn’t that the purpose behind everything in life, even today? So others will know that He is the Lord and His name is great!
What is holding you back? Fear? Uncertainty? Hurt? Negativity of others? Listen to His voice. His Word is still relevant today. Stop being frozen and move forward. He wants to use your life to show others that He is the Lord.