‘The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still’ Exodus 14:14
This is a verse that I have leaned on at various times in my life. It is one that God has led me to when I needed to be reminded of it. Either someone has directly referred me to it (shout out to my little brother, Sahr!), or God will speak it to me directly when I am shrouded in concern about something. It is a powerful verse to draw upon.
The context surrounding Exodus 14:14 is that the Israelites were scared. In fact, they were terrified. Their enemies, the Egyptians, were fast approaching them. Now, God had already revealed to Moses that they would. Being a believer does not shield us from battles and challenges at all! It is a certainty that we will face battles, adversity, and situations that test our integrity, character, strength and resilience. That is life. It is how we approach those situations that reveals where our hope lies.
Not only had God warned Moses of the approaching danger, He had also assured him that He would deliver the Israelites and that this would be a witness to the Egyptians. He would rescue them. The Lord would be victorious over the challenge they were about to face into. They could trust in Him to bring them through.
“And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them [the Israelites]. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord”… Exodus 14:4
However, once the Israelites saw the Egyptians approaching, they allowed fear, doubt, worry, stress, and sheer terror to take over. You can sense the high levels of anxiety and panic as they question Moses and blame him for bringing them into this perilous situation. They start to ramble irrationally and get highly emotive in what they are saying. One can sympathise with their plight. How often have we found ourselves acting similarly?
‘They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”’ Exodus 14:11-12
There are times in life when we allow fear, worry, stress and anxiety to completely overtake our minds. To consume us and make us blind in the process. Blind to the bigger picture or purpose. Blind to the positives. Blind to the opportunities to seek God, to see God, and to experience His favour and grace in our lives. Blind to the One who is truly in control. We scramble to figure out a way to solve things with our own strength. We become overwhelmed and doubt our ability to turn the situation around for good. To escape the danger. To come out of the situation unhurt, undamaged, without humiliation, or shame or upset. Often times, we respond to life’s adversities just as the Israelites did.
Moses waited and listened. He heard the concerns, the fear, the terror, the stress, the panic.
And then he responded. Like a solid rock – firm and fixed. Unswayed by the fear and commotion and impending danger. He did not allow the frightened Israelites to shift his own perspective. He maintained his faith and knowledge in who was in control. He did not allow the approaching challenge to distract him from what he knew to be factual truth. God would deliver them. God was in control. God was on their side. God was for them.
‘Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still“‘ Exodus 14:13-14
He COMPLETELY shifted the perspective and lifted the burden. ‘The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still’.
We get ourselves into twists and tangles and worry and confusion. We think we have to do it all ourselves. No! The Lord will fight for you! You need only to be still.
So what does it mean to ‘be still’? It certainly is not a passive, do-nothing-and-hope-for-the-best sort of a job.
Being still is resting. Resting in His presence. Soaking in His presence. Affirming your trust in Him. Waiting expectantly for His deliverance. Surrendering to the truth that in your weakness, His strength shines through. And all glory belongs to God, your Father.
‘But he 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. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong”‘ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
‘The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’
‘He makes me lie down in green pastures’. We are very resistant creatures! Trying to do it all on our own. Unnecessarily allowing burden after burden to take up our minds, to weigh us down, to make us sick. Do not give in to the spirits of fear, terror, panic, worry.
Actively trusting, actively praising your heavenly Father, actively believing, actively surrendering. Whilst being still. Rest in His presence, knowing that He will fight on your behalf.
What a relief. What a weight off the shoulders. Be still and know that I am God.
Let Him fight for you.
‘For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.’
Love, Abbie x