September 5, 2018

What to Do at a Dead End: Part 2

… they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress.” Psalm 107:27-28 (NIV2011)

Have you ever been there – at your wit’s end?  Maybe you are there right now.  You hit a dead end in your marriage, your career, your finances, with your kids or some sinful habit that you just can’t seem to break free of even though you know it’s self-destructive.  We’re learning from Israel’s experience at the Red Sea that when God delivers us from a life of slavery, His intent is to deliver us to a life of promise and blessing!  Getting out of Egypt is only half the battle.  He wants to get Egypt out of us!  He wants us to experience His divine destiny for our lives; to live in the freedom wherewith Christ has set us free and share that life with Him here on earth that we will share with Him forever in eternity!  Canaan in the bible is not heaven.  Canaan is the land of promise here on earth. This was Israel’s divine destiny.  He brought them out of Egypt that He may bring them in to Canaan!  Before they could get there, they had to face a dead end at the Red Sea. God used the dead end to teach them to trust in Him.  When we face a dead end what can we do?  Yesterday, we discovered the first of four directives that would deliver us from dead ends and turn them into the door that would lead us to our destiny.  The first directive was to stop giving in to fear.  You can’t help being afraid, but you don’t have to give in to the fear.  Instead, stand firm on God’s promises.  That is the second directive.  Here are two more:

3. Stop fighting and surrender to God’s power. When Israel saw the Red Sea in front of them and their enemies, the Egyptian army, behind them, they prepared for a battle.  But Moses told them,

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”  Exodus 14:14 (NIV)

I love the way the Psalmist puts this:

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 (NIV2011)

Could it be that you are fighting a battle that you were never meant to fight?  You are trying to accomplish in your own strength what only God can do in His mighty power.  Stop fighting and surrender to God’s power.  Just be still and see what God does at your dead end.  The bible teaches us that the battle is the Lords, but the victory is ours!  How awesome is that?

4. Start moving in faith and watch God make a way. This is my favorite directive of all!  The people of Israel were crying out to Moses in fear and Moses was crying out to God.  Then God says something to Moses that seems so strange.  He tells him to quit praying!  Stop praying and start moving out in faith!  Take a step of faith.  God only parts the water when we begin to move out in faith and not before.  Could it be that this is right where you are today? You’re crying out to God for an answer He has already given.  You’re asking for something He has already done!  Could it be that instead of you waiting on God, God is waiting on you to take a step of faith and watch God make a way?

I love these stories in the Old Testament because they offer us practical examples of living in faith and the process that God uses to grow us spiritually.  He begins with a dream of what He can do in and through you when He moves into your life.  Then He begins remodeling you from the inside out, changing your character and renovating your relationships to honor Him.  His blueprint for change involves demolition of old sinful habits and ways.  The demolition leads to delay and we wonder if He will ever accomplish His purpose.  But God is patient.  He continues the good work He began in our lives even when He leads us to dead ends.  Those dead ends can make us feel desperate and hopeless.  Yet, they are the very door that opens God’s destiny for our lives.  Dead ends lead to deliverance!  If you are at a dead end today, you are in a good place!  Just don’t given in to fear, stand firm on God’s promises, stop fighting and surrender to God’s power to make a way when there seems to be no way, and then start moving in faith and watch God make a way!  This is the adventure of faith!  Enjoy the journey!