Waiting On God: Doing Our Part as He Does His
Today In His Word
(Ex. 14:13 NKJV)
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.
A THOUGHT TO PONDER:
There are times when we come to an impossible situation in which there truly is nothing WE in the flesh-- or in our strength-- can do. And if we have reached this point because God has led us to it; then all we can do is stand firm in our faith, and with the peace of God, and let HIM do what only HE CAN DO.
INSIGHT INTO HIS WORD:
In the NIV Bible, today's verse continues with "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still" (Ex .14:14 NIV). So often today we use this verse as a common thought... "just be still..." This is wonderful advice in situations where this is truly what God would have us to do-- "just be still and let Him work."
However in Ex.14; this isn't all God wanted them to do, and so often we miss the point of "being still." There are times when it simply means be quiet and LISTEN to God-- to come to a point of stillness in ourselves, so that we can HEAR what God would say to us. There are times when "being still" means to simply give it all to God, and just "worship Him as He moves on our behalf, or until He gives us further instructions." Then there are times like Ex. 14, when we are to "be still" internally BUT MOVE and do our part AS God does His. It is at times like this when "being still" simply means "DON'T BE AFRAID."
Look at Ex. 14:14 in a few different versions:
"The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent."
Ex 14:14 (NASB)
"The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."
Ex 14:14 (NKJV)
"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
Ex 14:14 (NLT)
When you continue reading Ex. 14; in verse 15 the Lord told Moses to tell the Israelites to MOVE! "Stay calm" YES -- BUT MOVE! You see there was something that THEY had to do! God could part the waters, but until the Israelites did their part, God could not "finish fighting the battle" for them. Can you imagine the waters parting, and the Israelites standing there just "being still" and admiring God's work saying, "WOW, would you look at that. That is really something..." God did something tremendous for them, but NOW there was something they had to do in order for the miracle to come to fulfillment. Plus, God had some place for them to go-- and we (too) have somewhere He will want us to be.
But just because we have our parts to play (and moves we have to make); doesn't mean we should "go off" on our own. We are not to direct our own steps-- but to follow God as He leads us. Somewhere along the way we have come up with a term that says "God helps those who help themselves." But really this is NOT Biblical. Proverbs 3:5-6 says; Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight (NASB). Did you happen to notice it says "Trust in the Lord?" It does not say to trust in ourselves.
However this doesn't give us permission to sit around and do nothing (or to be lazy). Also, don't kid yourself-- it actually does take "work" to be patient and wait for God! When God gives the command to "wait for Him" it hard, and takes stamina. Waiting is not passive-- because waiting can take the very most out of you, because it will TEST EVERYTHING IN YOU!
Whenever we go out and do our own thing-- and SEEK OTHERS-- that God has not led us; He is under no obligation to bless it. Often times in trying to "do it ourselves" we wind up going about it the wrong way, get involved with the wrong people, and flat out wind up in the wrong place!
In looking back at Ex. 14:14, it cross references to Isaiah 30:15 For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, "In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength"(NASB). You see once again the God's people were faced with an enemy charging down on them, but instead of seeking God's help, they sought help from "Egypt." In their fear they panicked and tried to figure things out for themselves, and started looking to "others" for help. But God told them that if they would stay calm, and rest in HIM-- then HE would fight for them-- but they didn't want to do that. So God waited for THEM to come to a place where THEY would come into a rest and confidence peace, and wait for HIM. God was willing to help them, but not while they were panicking and running to everyone else trying to save themselves.
There are times when the only way we can see God's miracles (and promises) fulfilled in our lives is to be still internally (and let nothing rob us of our peace), while we obey the commands God gives us. In 2 Kings 4, God did an amazing thing to save the widow and her children, however she had to do something first; she had to go out and collect jars for the oil. BUT she didn't "go out" until she had instructions from God.
- Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside” (2 Kings 4:1-4 ESV).
When the widow faced the end of her rope, she sought God. She went to Elisha seeking help. This would be the same as us in the New Testament age, praying and asking God for help. Notice that BEFORE the miracle was preformed, she was given instructions to follow. The battle hadn't been fought yet, but God was willing, and HE WAITED FOR HER to do what she COULD do, and then HE did the rest.
- So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her. When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing (2 Kings 4:5-6 (ESV).
And so often it is the same for us in our lives! God waits for us to come to HIM, and then He sets about working in our lives, charting our course and giving us instructions. And when we've done all that we can do-- at HIS LEADING and in HIS STRENGTH (not our own)-- and all that is left is to wait for Him, then He will do the very thing we can't. He will part the waters in our lives, but we still must MOVE according to His instructions, and then watch Him bring about deliverance and victory!
My friend, the next time you are "waiting on God" take a moment and ask yourself-- better yet, ask God-- is HE WAITING FOR YOU to do something? Has He given you instructions, and have you done YOUR part so He can do HIS? When you have, then rest in Him with confidence, while He does what only He can do.