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« Who Do You Think You Are? | Main | What to Do When God Lets You Down »

Where Do You Go When You Can’t Go Anywhere?

“And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.’” Exodus 14:15-18. 

Israel was in a dilemma. They had just escaped the clutches of Pharaoh, but they were pursued by his army. The Red Sea in lay in front, the Great Sea to the north, and wilderness and mountains to the south. There was no place to go. Success looked a whole lot like failure!  Backing out of the dilemma seems to be the first answer.  Always, after the deliverance, comes the test. “You can’t do this. You’re a fish out of water. Living for God means too much pain.” But going backwards is not an option! “If anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But, we are not of those who draw back to perdition.” Hebrews 10:38-39.  

There is nothing to go back to! “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.  For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them …’A dog returns to his own vomit,’ and, ‘a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.’” 2 Peter 2:19-22.  Go back to what? The loneliness? The guilty conscience? Thinking you’re losing your mind? The suffocating emptiness? The waves of remorse? Why go back to that? 

Well, if you can’t go back, maybe you can go sideways. But, after you find the truth, there is nothing else! “Buy the truth and sell it not.” This is where many people lose their focus. Distractions. Spiritual boredom. Attitude problems. Don’t lose focus.  After famed pitcher Sandy Koufax retired, a reporter asked, “What was your favorite pitch when you had the bases full behind you?” Mr. Koufax answered with a perfectly straight face, “My boy, I don’t recall ever having to pitch with the bases full.” Focus on the positive aspects of the past and forget the bad. 

So—when you can’t go back, turn right or left, only one option remains – GO FORWARD!  “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.” Exodus 14:13-14.   Moses did not upbraid the church.  He knew that fear had gripped their hearts.  Stay in the church.  It is your only hope. Move forward, even though there seems to be no place to go. 

Israel had forgotten two things:  The FIRE and the CLOUD.  Now, look at what God was doing during their dilemma. And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them.” Exodus 14:19. The angel changed places.  First, he positioned himself between Israel and the army and hid Israel from their enemies.  Second, God was issuing new instructions to Israel: “I was in front of you to lead you out of Egypt. Now, step out by faith and I will back you up!” 

Finally, God looked at the enemy.  “Now it came to pass, in the morning watch, that the LORD looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians.  And He took off their chariot wheels, so that they drove them with difficulty; and the Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the LORD fights for them.’” Exodus 14:24-25. 

Keep moving forward, even when you think you can’t.  You will discover that God’s blessings lie—not backwards or sideways—but in the unlikely place just ahead!

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