A triumphant stand, part two

In my last post I looked at Moses’ words in Exodus 14 as he stood on the shore of the Red Sea and watched the Egyptian forces sweeping towards his people to slaughter them. After all of his doubts and hesitations and uncertainties, Moses had a moment of triumphant faith in this perilous moment. There’s so much to love about this moment. One thing that I really got out of it that blessed me greatly is the way it shows that prior failings and doubts don’t limit our ability to grow into great faith. Moses had shown some pretty weak faith in previous situations. Much like most of us have at one point or another, Moses had doubted God in the past. Moses did it even when engaged in a straight up conversation with God! And yet, these past failures, these past moments of flimsy faith, they didn’t define Moses’ future, just like they don’t define ours. Moses struggled, sure, but those struggles didn’t define him. Coming up short once, or twice, or even a hundred times doesn’t mean we can’t get it right on time 101. My weakness of today can be my strength of tomorrow, just like Moses’ weak faith at the burning bush blossomed into a powerful display of full and absolute faith on the shore of the Red Sea.

When it comes to triumphs of faith, this is definitely one of my favorite examples. Moses’ growth up to that moment is so beautiful and it’s also so inspiring because we can all relate. We’re all a work in progress, and this moment in the Bible shows us that wherever you are today or wherever you started out from, you can move beyond it. There can be a moment of triumphant faith in your future.

I feel like I can’t stop writing about this until I really look at it one more time. God appears in the burning bush and tells Moses to go free the Israelites. Not me, Lord, I’m not the guy for the job. God tells him assurances of victory. Not me, Lord, I don’t speak very well. God tells him He’ll do the talking through Moses, that it’ll all be taken care of. Not me, Lord, send someone else. Moses finally agrees to go, but when Pharaoh doesn’t play nice Moses again doubts. It’s not going according to plan, Lord, why isn’t it working out like I thought it would, why did you even send me. Finally, the Israelites are released, and God positions them on the shore of the Red Sea, and Pharaoh and his army are charging in to destroy them and all the people cry out, blaming Moses, wishing they were still slaves. And Moses stands tall and tells them this.

Exodus 14:13-14 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

Moses reminds me in this moment that my character isn’t set in stone. I can grow, I can learn to be more than the sum of my past shortcomings. God can build me up and instruct me and guide me and just like Moses, I can reach a place where I stand tall and display triumphant faith. In my darkest hour, in a moment of certain defeat, just like Moses did, I can place all my trust and faith into God and know that my Lord’s about to do something miraculous on my behalf. God tends to turn the darkness to light, He tends to flip the bad times to good, and praise His holy name, He tends to turn the doubtful, reluctant, weak people into mighty people of faith.

PRAYER AND CLOSING

Father God, today I am filled with thankfulness that you are the God of new beginnings.  You’re the God who doesn’t hold my past against me, the God who knows I am weak, that I stumble.  Yet you love me no matter what, you position me to grow as a man, in faith and character.  You don’t hold my moments of flimsy faith against me.  I see this story in Exodus, this moment in history that you recorded for me to read thousands of years later, and I’m so inspired by it.  Build me into a man of great faith, Lord, I ask that of you today.  I’m pleased with the growth I’ve had to this point but I want more, and you and I both know that I need more.  I’m guilty of allowing my faith to lie dormant these past months as I sat at home and recovered, but I say right now that I don’t want to be a man of dormant faith.  Activate it within me, grow it within me, God, bring me back to a place of great faith.  I don’t just want what I had, I want more.  More of you, more of your Holy Spirit, more faith, more everything.  Lord Jesus, today I thank you for new beginnings.  You don’t look at me and see my failures from yesterday, you see more in me.  Start a new thing in us today, Lord, in all of us.  Awaken a hunger for greater faith, for more of you, for a bigger role in the kingdom.  What can we do to further your cause?  Show us in our dreams, give us waking visions, speak directly into our lives, and build us into faith filled followers who will hear your voice and heed it.  Thank you for loving me, God, and thank you for saving me from myself.  Thank you for not being done with me, for not leaving me as I am, but working in me day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute.  Thank you for new beginnings, and the immense, unending love that you have for us.  Your patience and your love are unlike anything else in the universe.  I know I don’t deserve either of them, but you say differently.  Jesus, you died on the cross and said that Aaron is worth this sacrifice.  I’ll never understand that, I so wish that didn’t have to be the price, but Lord I’m forever thankful that you thought that much of me.  I love you in return, Jesus, with all of my heart, and I’ll thank you for all of my days that you loved me so much.  In the precious name of Jesus I pray, amen.

I love all of you out there and I hope you have a safe and enjoyable weekend.  A pastor I adore said something last week that I want to say to you now.  Jesus isn’t disappointed in you.  He loves you.  That was hard for me to hear, because I was feeling like Jesus was a little disappointed in me.  He just wants to love us, and if we let Him love us and accept that love then He’ll do a great work in us.  He won’t leave us as we are, because to live within His love is to be transformed by it.  I’m telling you now, that whoever you are, however bad you might think you are, however numerous and crushing your sins may be, none of it excludes you from the love of Jesus.  You are the person He died on the cross for.  He looked forward in time, saw your face, and as He endured undeserved agony and torture He said that you are worth it.  Accept Jesus’ love today.  Be you christian, or unsaved, or whatever, just take a moment today and go to Him in prayer and experience the love He wants to pour into your life.  It will transform you into something greater than you could ever become on your own.

 

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