Summary: Sometimes we let our circumstances, both good or bad, hold us back from moving in the direction God wants to go...forward.
For weeks now God has put in my spirit…to move forward. Now what that means to me & what it means to you might be 2 different things, but everywhere I look…the concept keeps popping up.
It’s what is stirring in me lately, it’s what keeps me going & I don’t believe it’s just for me – I believe it’s the season we’re in / the time that we’re in. The time is now & God wants His people to get have a “moving forward” mentality.
Exodus 14:1-18 (New King James Version)
1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “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. 3 For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.’ 4 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. 5 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?” 6 So he made ready his chariot and took his people with him. 7 Also, he took six hundred choice chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt with captains over every one of them. 8 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. 9 So the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zemphon. 10 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. 11Then 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? 12 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.” 13 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. 14 The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” 15 And the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. 16But 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. 17 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. 18 Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”
So God’s chosen people have been living in Egypt for 400 years. They’ve been living as slaves; overworked and underpaid, stressed and worn out, pushed down and held back AND the time comes when God says “enough is enough” – the time is now - I want my people to “move forward.”
So He miraculously delivers them from their enemy and they don’t get very far before their enemy comes after them to enslave them again & as soon as the Israelites see them:
10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid…
1. FEAR – the 1st thing that can keep you from “moving forward” is FEAR.
Your circumstances don’t seem very good, your situation isn’t any better, possibly even seems worse - & with your eyes on what’s around you – you are tempted to become fearful.
What does “fear” do to man – knocks the wind out of him, stops him, paralyzes him, and in the original language – kills him.
Fear does this. Max Lucado in his book “Fearless” states that fear corrodes our confidence in God’s goodness. It will unleash a swarm of doubts, it will give us the perception that we’ve lost control and it will shape the way we live.