Are you like me in that sometimes when you pray, rather than wait patiently and prayerfully for God to move and provide direction, you instead grow impatient? Maybe to the point of complaining or worse yet, becoming outright fearful?
What if instead after praying we emulated Moses and simply stood still, waiting for and anticipating God to move on our behalf?
Consider Moses (here are cliff notes from Exodus 1-3), so-named by the daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh when she pulled him from the Nile River (Moses means ‘drawn out from the water’) and raised him, (with help from Moses’ real mother) in Pharaoh’s palace.
As a young adult knowing that he was of Hebrew descent (thank to his real mom) yet trained in the Egyptian army, Moses was walking the streets one day and saw an Egyptian taskmaster beating on a Jew. This enraged Moses so he unleashed his military know-how and quickly slew the Egyptian!
News of this killing spread to the Pharaoh, who now wanted Moses dead. Quickly he bolted to a faraway land called Midian. Meanwhile the rest of the Jews continued to cry out to God to be delivered from slavery in Egypt.
Fifty years later, living in safety and tending to his flocks, Moses saw a phenomenal sight; a bush that was burning but was not consumed! From the bush, God spoke; “Moses, lead my people out of Egypt.” The reply, “yes Lord, who should I tell them you are?” God proclaimed, “Tell them I am who I am. Tell them ‘I am’ has sent you.”
Side note: Are you listening to the voice of God in your life, as He might be directing you into an area of service? In 2005 I felt God leading me to teach His word and He gave me wisdom and a vision to start a neighborhood bible study. That study grew and as a result, I was invited to guest preach in our church. One invitation led to a dozen more over the past five years. One year ago I was led to start this ministry and God placed key people into my life to help launch it. Here was a bible promise for me…and you also; 1 Thessalonians 5:24.
So Moses returned to Egypt and reconnected with his brother Aaron. They convinced the elders (leaders) of Israel to back their plan to approach the Pharaoh and request their freedom. The leaders agreed but the problem was, Pharaoh didn’t!
- Exodus 5:1-2 (KJV- Moses to Pharaoh) Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let My people go that they may celebrate a feast to Me in the wilderness.’” 2 But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and besides, I will not let Israel go.
Fast forward– Moses returned nine times. Nine times he made a request and then stood still. Nine times he heard Pharaoh say “No.” Nine times Moses then spoke what God told him to say and then stood still and watched God move on Israel’s behalf, by sending a variety of plagues.
Finally on the tenth request (count ‘em, ten times now!) after hearing “No” again, Moses again obeyed God and the Jews celebrated the first Passover meal. The nation of Israel, with blood-covered doorposts from sacrificial lambs (a picture of what Jesus Christ would do for all of us as the Lamb of God, John 1:29), stood still while the angels of God moved in on the Egyptian homes and killed (ironically, per Exodus 1:15-16) the first born of their children and flocks. Pharaoh finally summoned for Moses that very night, NO became GO! Exodus 12:31-33
Nearly 3,000,000 Jews quickly departed Egypt en route to Canaan, aka the Promised Land (now called Israel). Yet on the 25th day;
- The Jews were unable to cross the Red Sea…
- Pharaoh had since changed his mind and the Egyptian army was closing in fast…
- The Jews were complaining to Moses and were fearful…
- This despite knowing first-hand that God had just miraculously delivered them from Egypt.
How could they doubt that God would leave them high and dry on the banks of the sea (pun intended)? Yet would we- check that, DO WE complain or worry about our circumstances, dire or not exactly dire, completely forgetting how God has previously moved and blessed and protected and provided for us? Or do we pray and stand still, asking God to move and provide direction and then, actually wait for Him to do so?
Here is what Moses said, and the story turned out good;
- Exodus 14:13-14 (KJV) And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (i.e. the physical deliverance) of the Lord, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. 14 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
Phil Henry is a financial adviser who founded and produces short videos and blogs at Phil Henry Power Gospel.