Summary: Going to the End with Faith guiding you there.
The Adventure of Faith
Scripture: Exodus 14:1022, especially verse 15
Introduction: Faith is an adventure, a way of life that involves interactive steps and crucial decisions. Faith often begins with a vision or revelation from God. It usually induces excitement and enthusiasm. However, obstacles will arise to test our faith, often leading to doubt and fear. The key question today is: What will our response be, to go forward, to stay still, or to fall back? Let’s look at these responses in more detail.
1. Let’s Go Back (vv. 1012). In Exodus 12--13 we read of God’s provision for the Israelites. Following the Feast of the Passover and the death of all the Egyptians’ first-born children, the Egyptians begged the Israelites to leave. The Israelites not only were allowed to leave, the Egyptians gave them silver and gold to take with them. After this, who could doubt God’s providential care? Adventures of faith always start exciting. Then comes an obstacle and we begin to doubt God’s leading. Pharaoh and his army were that obstacle (Ex. 14:10). Israel was afraid because they focused on the Egyptians instead of on the Lord. When we fear, we focus on circumstances instead of on God and the vision He has given us. The Israelites retreated to their "fond" memories of Egypt
(Ex. 14:11, 12), the place of their former slavery! Has God called you to do something? Have you allowed fear to cloud your vision? Don’t go back.
2. Let’s Stand Still (vv. 13, 14). When a challenge to faith comes, some don’t say, "Let’s go back," they instead say, "Let’s stand still." They halt in the present. In the midst of opportunity, they become paralyzed. Standing still is the right thing to do at times. That is what Moses challenged the people to do (vv. 13, 14). There is a time to pray and reflect but there is also a time to act. Moses said, "Stand still." God is going to say, "Go forward."Moses knew it wasn’t right to go back, but he didn’t yet have the faith to go forward. It is never enough to stand still where we are, to be apathetic. Churches do not ever really stand still; they either make progress or they fall backward. Christians do not stand still; they either grow or they decline in their spiritual life. We must not stand still when God says to go forward!
3. Let’s Go Forward (vv. 1522). In the adventure of faith, there’s a time to pray and reflect but also a time to act: "And the LORD said to Moses, `Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward’" (Ex. 14:15).Going forward involves risk. God asked the Israelites to go ahead by faith, not by sight. God also calls us to walk by faith, not by sight. This doesn’t mean we do something crazy, but it does mean we need to trust God. Sight says, "We can’t do it; we don’t have the resources." Faith says, "We can do it; God has the resources." Faith always stretches us beyond where we are. If you can see every step of the way, it is not really faith, it is sight. We go forward for three reasons:
A. God’s Glory Is Displayed (v. 18). The words of verse 18 make clear that the Lord will be glorified when we move forward, "Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained honor for myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen."
B. God’s Protection Is Displayed (vv. 19, 20). The pillar of cloud that had been in front of them to guide them, now moved behind them to protect them from the enemy. God gave them a supernatural protection between them and their enemies.
C. God’s Power Is Displayed (vv. 21, 22). Moses lifted his rod and the very sea divided to provide dry land for the Israelites to walk through!
Conclusion: Has God been leading you to take a personal step of faith? But have you allowed fear to stop you in your tracks? Perhaps you need to take a step of faith to trust Christ for the first time to save you from your sins and grant you a new life in Him. Whatever the case may be, the Lord is calling us to go forward in faith despite what obstacles may be in the way. The Lord who called you is responsible to provide the way; you’re simply responsible to obey.