January 30, 2014
Today’s Text of Encouragement:
“Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you, He will lift you up and make your lives significant.”
James 4: 10
Today’s Study Text:
“Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’”
Exodus 14: 13, 14, N.I.V.
“It is better to stand still and wait.”
Eric S. Abbott
Is there an experience in my life where it would have been better for me to “stand still” and wait for God’s deliverance than to try to run in and fix things for myself?
“You are standing before God in the presence of the hosts of angels. The Holy Spirit is about to set His seal on each of your souls. You are about to be drawn into the service of the great King.”
Cyril of Jerusalem
“Alone and in silence, I present the whole of my being to God. To say, ‘Here I am,’ is to place at His disposal the unique creation He has made. It is to give Him this body, with its weaknesses and strengths; this mind, with its confusion and clarity; this heart, with its hardness and pliability. To say, ‘Here I am,’ is to offer Him the talents He has entrusted to me, using them to their fullest potential. It is to follow Him wherever He leads, to stand ready in all situations to be His servant. To ready myself for such a commitment I have to become accustomed to frequent occasions when I stand peacefully and quietly before the Lord – alone and at the same time at one with Him. In this aloneness I try gently to quiet the many voices that besiege me in the pressures of daily life in order to listen to His voice in the depths of my being…The closer I grow to God, the more I am able to be with Him in all circumstances. Whenever He calls I am able to say, “Here I am.’”
Finding themselves in a predicament that looked as though death would come at the hand of Pharaoh’s army or by drowning in the Red Sea, the children of Israel, led by God’s leader, Moses, heard the call, “Fear not!” This was a seemingly strange thing to say in such dire circumstances.
However, this wasn’t the only instruction from God which Moses shared. God had a very distinct plan which He wanted Moses to lay before His children. As we learned yesterday, the first thing God desired of His chosen children was that they would not be paralyzed by fear from the oncoming army and the threat of the Red Sea.
Once God had the attention of His children, and they fully understood they had nothing to fear, God provided them with His next instruction which was: “Stand still.” This directive from heaven was a call for God’s children to be confident – stand erect – be prepared. They weren’t to be lazy or have a careless attitude. Their preparation for action was one, where in quiet confidence, the Israelites were to wait upon God’s call for further instructions. They were to be on high alert to say, “Here am I. I am ready to do all You want me to do.”
As I thought about Moses’ direction to the Israelites, “Stand still,” I was reminded of a troop of Boy Scouts I recently witnessed marching together. I could hear their leader calling out, “Stand up straight. Look confident. Don’t move around. Stand up tall and look as if you are prepared.”
This was the same message God had for the Israelites when they were literally between the “devil” from Egypt and the deep Red Sea.
God told Moses to have everyone stand still, be confident, and finally be prepared. This was not some “do nothing” group that God had in line, waiting for Him to rescue. Instead, God’s children were to “stand still” in preparation for His order to start moving forward toward the Promised Land.
I love the quote that begins our inspiration section today for we find that by standing still and watching God for all our instructions, we will be prepared, at every moment, to say to our Father in heaven, “Here am I – I’m ready for Your marching orders.”
Too frequently, in my own personal life, I find that in difficult situations I get so flustered, I end up running to and fro, searching for what I think will be the best way to solve my dilemma, when in fact, my Father has everything laid out ahead of time for me. And His plan always starts with “Fear not and stand still. Wait on Me for your next move!”
Lest you think this advice was unique to the children of Israel in the wilderness, I’d like to remind you of our study this last spring about King Jehoshaphat, found in II Chronicles 20, when the “triple threat” of the Ammonites, the Moabites, and the people of Mount Seir attacked without warning. God’s prophet, Jahaziel, came to the king and God’s children with a message and a plan:
“Be not afraid nor dismayed…stand ye still.” Does this sound familiar? It should for it is apparent that when we get into the tightest spots possible, when the outlook doesn’t just look bleak but appears impossible, God steps in and says “Wait a minute. I’m kicking into overdrive! I have a tried and true formula for your complete and total victory! Don’t be afraid…just stand still!”
Tomorrow, we’ll see, with our own eyes, what happens when we follow our Father’s pathway which quenches our fear and prepares us to say at a moment’s notice, “Here am I, ready and awaiting Your call for action.”
“Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves
and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while
He dwelt below.”
Katherine von Schlegel
“I will be still.”
Isaiah 18: 4, R. V.
“O troubled soul, beneath the rod,
Thy Father speaks, be still, be still;
Learn to be silent unto God,
And let Him mould thee to His will.
O praying soul, be still, be still,
He cannot break His plighted Word;
Sink down into His blessed will,
And wait in patience on the Lord.
O waiting soul, be still, be strong,
And though He tarry, trust and wait;
Doubt not, He will not wait too long,
Fear not, He will not come too late.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.