In last weeks post ( Life between the chapters: Click Here), we began to look at the story of Moses and it is in this story that I would like to continue our study, because I believe with all of my heart that 2015 is the year for barriers to be overcome in the life of the believer.
The barriers that stood in our way in 2014, in many cases, did not go away with the turn of a calender page, and I believe that the barriers that we are allowed to face have been allowed to strengthen the grip on the relationship that we hold IN Christ.
Moses was tasked, in Exodus chapter four, with leading the people of Israel out of bondage and spent the majority of the time that spanned ten chapters, overcoming barriers of different proportions. Life is not easy and life is not fair but life has purpose and God's purpose, not His fairness, will dictate the circumstances of our lives.
So we saw Moses in chapter three of Exodus "Hunk a hunk o burnin love"(Click here), learn his identity to God and when you learn identity, you will always discover your purpose.Identity always brings purpose (Click here) We saw in chapter four where God opened Moses' eyes to see that he had been equipped, long before he was aware of his purpose, with everything that he needed to accomplish his purpose.
Moses' tools and gifts included a simple stick and we saw that God allowed Moses to use that gift that seemed so insignificant in size and effectiveness to part barrier after barrier. The call in last weeks post was to examine what we have already been given in light of our purpose and to ask Father to open our eyes to see how He wants us to use that gift in light of our barriers.( You had it all the time: Click Here)
We know the story. The water parts, the people cross, Pharaoh is destroyed, and the people go on about there way.
This is how I read it, however I would like to put us in the story for just a moment because I honestly feel as though God has NEVER stopped parting monumental barriers for His children. We seem to love to read about events like this or hear stories in other peoples lives, but they are difficult to take when we struggle with our own barriers and God seems silent.
I would like to propose to you that God has NEVER stopped talking, leading, or parting barriers. I would propose in fact that God parts the barriers but many times, we stand on the banks of the sea and fail to cross because God's parting of our barrier does not look like the way we have asked that it be parted.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen." ~ Exodus 14:15-18
Let's quickly look at the spiritual pictures here for a moment. They are being led by God who has the ultimate plan. They face a barrier that seems to hold them back in their purpose and quickly approaching from behind is a slave mentality of "I can't". That mentality will chase any dream or goal that you are led in and being aware of what it actually is, a lie, is key in defeating it! It could very well be that we are so focused on asking for a barrier to part that we fail to ask the right questions.
I want to give you three simple thoughts on "what to do when the water parts". What do I ask God for when I face my barriers?
1. AWARENESS TO HEAR HIS PLAN AND FOR FAITH TO ACCEPT HIS PLAN.
God's purpose led His people to the waters edge because His purpose stretched far beyond the barrier. Our first questions we ask when we come to difficult and seemingly impossible barriers of our life are the wrong ones. A: How can I get around this barrier or B: How can I get over this barrier. God's purpose is NOT about getting around or over our circumstances, but rather getting through our circumstances WITH Him!
David said, in psalms 23, "Though i walk THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death..."
Why didn't he fear? Because, "Thou art with me".
The waters part for us so many times and yet we stand on the bank praying for deliverance because we have ultimately decided how that deliverance should look like.
Say you have a relationship that is estranged because a loved one walks away into a wilderness season of life. We pray that God would heal them and restore them. We picture in our mind that loved one walking back like the prodigal son and falling on their knees at our feet in repentance. We sit at that barrier and we weep and pray fervently with that pictured result as the answer we are looking for when in reality, the water parted three days prior when God put that person on our heart with the thought to call them and express love.
We stand on the bank, praying because our plan is not seen as becoming a reality, when in fact God's plan was waiting.
Instead of standing there in insistent that your plan be followed, ask Him to make you aware of His plan and for the faith it requires to accept His plan. I love this passage, "And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me?" Quit praying about what I have told you to do and start walking IN what I have given you!
Next, ask God for :
2. AWARENESS TO SEE HIS WAY AND FOR STRENGTH TO WALK HIS WAY.
God's purpose in our life can only be lived out IN Christ and the truth of the matter is, if you try to walk His path for your life in your own strength, you will most certainly fail. Ask God to make you aware of His path when it presents itself.
"Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word."
~ Psalms 119:48
"When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, you knew my path." ~ Psalms 142:3
"But the path of the righteous is like the dawning light, that shines more and more until the perfect day." ~ Proverbs 4:18
"Thus says Yahweh, who makes a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;"
It is never God's lack of a provided path through a circumstance as much as it is our lack of awareness of that provided path. His ways are higher than our ways and His ways can often come in the form of a loss, a sacrifice or even task that we mould normally pass on. Ask Him to open your eyes to recognize His path and the ask Him to give you the strength to walk that path.
"And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left." ~ Exodus 14:21-22
Next, ask God for :
3. AWARENESS OF WHO YOU ARE TO HIM.
Paul said in Romans 5:1-5 something that is absolutely beautiful and it's understanding or lack of is what determines our response to God and His allowed barriers.
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." ~ Romans 5:1-5
It was Paul's understanding of who he was to God that allowed him to give thanks in every situation and barrier that he came to and through. Sometimes the path through a barrier for him was jail time, shipwrecks or even beatings. I can see him telling God that he could be more effective in his purpose if people would not try to kill him, and the red sea parting for him was handed out in the form of escaping in a basket out of a window.
"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" ~ Philippians 1:6
Paul could rejoice and cross the sea bed in confidence in who he was to God. He was given peace with God through Christ Jesus and the barriers for him were not looked at as anything other than God developing and growing him for his purpose.
Your barrier and your crossing of that barrier will lead the way for more than you could ever know. When He shows you your path THROUGH your barrier, start walking!!!
Climbing with you,