But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:13 -14 (NLT)
“Just stay calm.” Have you ever heard that before? When you’re anxious about the future and facing problems you can’t handle, calm is probably not what you are feeling. We may not be able to control our feelings, but we can grow in faith to access the power of God for our response. That’s the difference between being reactive and being proactive. It’s natural to react to stress with fear and anxiety and to complain about our situation, but that only compounds the problem. It never resolves it. Problems are often God’s way of developing our faith. Since He lives in the past, present, and future, we can trust our lives to Him and learn to access His power for the future. But, how? The first step is to admit I’m weak without Him. The Apostle Paul learned this when he faced an issue he couldn’t resolve. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 he wrote,
But the Lord said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
You can’t cling to the strength of God if you are holding on to your own self-sufficiency. Sometimes, God will allow problems in our lives to bring us to the end of ourselves. Our extremities are His opportunities! Israel realized this at the Red Sea. The only problem was that, rather than taking their problem to God, they began to complain and take it out on Moses for leading them there! They said to Moses,
Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, “Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!” Exodus 14:11-12 (NLT)
Often, God will turn what I think is about to be the worst thing that could ever happen into the best thing! Moses showed us how to access God’s power for the future. Unlike the complainers who took things out on him and drew false conclusions based on their circumstances, Moses admitted how weak he was without God. That’s when the Lord spoke to Moses and said,
Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the people to get moving! Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground. (Vs. 15-16)
Moses’ encounter with God helps us know how to access God’s power. Throughout their wilderness journey, we will see it repeated. If you want God’s power for your future, the first step is to admit you’re weak without Him. Make a determined effort to pray when you feel like complaining. It will lower your stress level and prepare you to listen for what God has to say.