The Christian life is a journey of faith, a pilgrimage toward the “Promised Land” God has prepared for us. Just as He promised the Israelites, the Lord wants to bring us into “a good land”:
The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper (Deuteronomy 8:7-10).
But, as happened with the Israelites, sometimes we hit what seems like a brick wall on the way to our Promised Land. In their case, the “wall” was actually a body of water known as the Red Sea. And to make matters worse, Pharaoh was pursuing them from behind with fierce warriors mounted on chariots.
What a disheartening situation this must have been! After more than 400 years of slavery in Egypt, God’s people were finally on their way to a new land. Yet now they were hemmed in by the sea on one side and Pharaoh’s army on the other side. What could they do?
There were three options…
1. Go back. The people grumbled to Moses that they never should have left Egypt in the first place: “It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness” (Exodus 14:12).
2. Stand still. Moses responded by giving the Israelites advice that sounded quite spiritual, but which was incomplete:
Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. … The Lord will fight for you, and you
shall hold your peace (vs. 13-14).
Moses was correct that the Israelites shouldn’t be afraid. And He was right that the Lord wanted to fight on their behalf. But it definitely was NOT God’s will for them to “stand still.”
3. Go forward. Amid this crisis, God told His people to do something that seemed quite impossible: “Tell the children of Israel to go forward. … And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea” (vs. 15-16). Instead of looking back toward Egypt or being stuck at the edge of the Red Sea, God told them to press forward toward their Promised Land!
God’s Word to You Today
My friend, I’m convinced that God would speak the same message to you as He spoke to the Israelites: “Go forward!”
He certainly doesn’t want you to go back to bondage in Egypt. Nor does He want you to passively “stand still,” stuck to your present circumstances.
However, in order to move forward, you may need a miracle today — something only GOD can do! He is ABLE and WILLING to help you cross the obstacle that stands in your way—but you must heed His instructions on how to do that.
The Lord told Moses, “Lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it” (v. 16). From a human point of view, this seemed like another impossibility. How could an ordinary shepherd’s rod part the sea?
But a key to the miracle in this story was that Moses had already surrendered his shepherd’s rod to the Lord (Exodus 4:1-5). No longer was it an ordinary piece of wood—it became “the rod of God” (Exodus 4:20).
What Is in YOUR Hand?
God made a way for the Israelites where there seemed to be no way. When Moses held out his rod, the Red Sea parted, enabling the Israelites to journey onward on dry land. And when Moses held out his rod again, the waters returned and drowned the Egyptian army.
This story would have had a much different outcome if Moses hadn’t given the Lord his shepherd’s staff. The pivotal moment came in Exodus 4:2, when God asked Moses the same question He asks each of us:
“What’s that in your hand?”
When the Lord asked this question, the only thing in Moses’ hand was a crude shepherd’s rod. It wasn’t much. Just a piece of wood. An inanimate object. A tool of Moses’ trade.
God was commissioning him for the daunting task of delivering over a million Israelites from slavery in Egypt. And all Moses had in his hand was the wooden staff he had used for 40 years to tend his flocks of sheep.
Do you see how powerful this message is for you and me? Like Moses, we’re being called to do great things … supernatural things … things much bigger than we could ever accomplish without divine assistance.
Yet too often we think our problem is that we lack some important ingredient or resource needed for success. “If only I had this or that …” we complain.
But notice that God wasn’t asking Moses to give Him something he didn’t already have. Instead, He asked Moses, as He is asking us today …
“What’s that in your hand?”
Although Moses had been carrying around that ordinary piece of wood for many years, nothing dramatic had happened as a result. But after Moses surrendered the wooden rod to the Lord, it enabled Moses to part the Red Sea, bring water out of a rock, and defeat enemy armies.
What is in your hand, my friend? Money? Time? Possessions? Influence? Some kind of special God-given aptitude?
If you’re honest, the thing in your hand probably seems totally inadequate to meet the needs around you. However, you’ll be amazed by what can happen when you surrender it to the Lord.
- Samson slew hundreds of Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey.
- David defeated Goliath with a slingshot and five smooth stones.
- Jesus used a young boy’s lunch—five loaves and two fish—to feed thousands of hungry people.
So go ahead and give God what you’ve been holding onto. It’s not doing you much good in its present condition anyway, is it?
You’ll discover that anytime you transfer what’s in YOUR hands into HIS hands, He will perform miracles and bring increase. In all likelihood, He will give you back the rod you’ve surrendered—but this time it will be infused with supernatural power to change the world.
Because of Moses’ obedience, “the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians … Thus Israel saw the great work which the Lord had done” (vs. 30-31).
In the same way, I’m praying you will experience God’s “great work” on your behalf today, my friend. When you trust Him and follow His instructions, He will make a way for you!
God bless you,
David Cerullo is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Inspiration Ministries, located in Indian Land, South Carolina – a ministry dedicated to impacting people for Christ worldwide through media. The son of international evangelist Morris Cerullo, David took a less traditional approach to ministry, graduating from Oral Roberts University with a degree in business administration and management. He has authored over 20 books, and operates a global media ministry that powerfully impacts the world for Christ. More from David on Inspiration.org.
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