When Israel was leaving Egypt under the ministry of Moses they came to the Red Sea and camped. Shortly afterwards with the Red Sea in front of them, mountains on both sides, and Pharaoh with his army coming up from behind them they began to lose faith and worry. And, of course, they began to complain.
Moses speaks to them and tells them to “stand firm”. He is telling them to have faith in their God who has just, with a series of miracles, freed them from slavery in Egypt. He also tells them to “be still” which meant to have inner peace and not to worry or be anxious. This when they were likely experiencing great fear and total panic.
Then God says: “Tell the Israelites to go forward.” In other words, “move on”. Go forward! (this story can be found in Exodus 14:10-15)
When God tells them to “go forward” it seems like an impossibility. Mountains on two sides, a sea in front and a sea of men, horses and chariots behind them. So they complain. People who are not moving forward in the things of the Lord tend to do that – complain!
God speaks once again to Moses. Moses has been complaining – relaying the people’s concerns and adding a few of his own concerns birthed out of frustration. God comments that Moses needs to use what he has in his hand and go forward. Moses held the staff that the Lord had given to him. A symbol of authority and power. God tells Moses to lift that staff up over the Red Sea and command the sea to part. In other words, God was saying: “I have given you power and authority to use that power, so use it!”
Then, the Lord took the pillar or cloud that had been leading the people and moved it to the back between the people and the Egyptians to protect them while the sea parted, the land dried, and they could all get across to the other shore. Eventually as Egypt entered into the channel across the Red Sea in pursuit of Israel – the Lord looked down from the cloud, brought confusion upon the Egyptian army and began to personally fight against Pharaoh to defend His people. Moses then stretched out his hand and the staff once again and the waters came back together and destroyed Egypt’s army.
The key is to note the role that Moses played. He had to use the authority (staff) that the Lord had given to him. He had to release the power that the Lord had commissioned him with. Then, and only then, was Israel delivered and the enemy destroyed. (see Exodus 14:16-31)
The Lord would say to you – and the Church – stand firm. Have faith in Me that I am able to free you from your situation and deliver you from all adverse circumstances as well as from apathy and indifference; from complacency and contentment; from unresponsiveness and lukewarmness. Be still and know that I am God. Receive my peace both of mind and heart that you may walk in confidence in these last days. I have already given you My authority and appointed you My ambassadors – sending you out to share My message, the Gospel, with everyone you meet. You also have My power and anointing just as I promised when I said that ‘you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you’. My power and My authority have been given to you that you may not fear or be anxious regardless of the situations and circumstances that you face for I, the Lord, will fight your battles and bring confusion upon the enemy. And, you already have my authority and power to defeat anything that opposes the work that I have called you to do and the journey that you are on. Raise your arms and declare my goodness; speak to situations and circumstances that rise up against the work I have called you to do. Go forward in the things of the Lord and use the power and authority that I have bestowed upon you to push back the darkness and rescue the lost bringing them into My Kingdom. Cast off your apathy for the lost, remove indifference from your heart, no longer tolerate complacency or contentment but raise your level of passion. It is time to rise up and go forward!