As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 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 14:10-12
It’s 7 degrees here. That’s right, 7, and snowing. Because I am on Christmas Break and not having to drive to and from work, or get up early in the morning, I really am enjoying it. We’ve had lots of time to watch movies and just relax. And I don’t watch movies often, especially movies on Christian networks, but last night as I perused what was available for my viewing enjoyment I found a movie about the Old Testament.
The acting left a little to be desired, but I found myself watching it anyways. As it drew to a close with the Exodus of the Israelites, there was a moment that captured me. The moment the Israelites wanted to turn back. They were led out from years of bondage and captivity. Years of turmoil and slavery. And yet the moment danger threatened…they panicked, turned their backs on the promises of God, and tried to run back to what they had known before – slavery and false gods.
I wish I could say I am different. That I have learned from reading the Bible. That I always trust God and His promises. That I never panic, but the truth is, I do panic at times.
But why? I have seen God prove Himself faithful over and over again. But when I feel the breath of the enemy on my back I have no choice but panic? Right? Isn’t it only natural to be afraid when our enemy stalks us like a lion ready to pounce?
Yes, it is only natural. But it is far less than supernatural. And you my friend are blessed with supernatural. The supernatural power of God with us, Emmanuel, Jesus, living in our hearts and minds – the Holy Spirit with us, empowering us to live above what our natural response might be. So when the enemy creeps up on us like a monster in the night we don’t have to panic. We can lift up our staff, call on the name of the Lord in prayer, and access the all-encompassing power of Jesus Christ to part the Red Sea right in front of us. A sea that lets us through with safe passage, but knows exactly when to come crashing down upon our enemies.
So it turns out, we aren’t doomed to a fight or flight biological reaction. We ARE equipped with the power of God. Not only can we fight or flight, but we can free.
We can free ourselves from fear knowing that the possibilities are limitless with God.
Maybe He is going to equip us to fight an army that seems impossible. Maybe He is going help us swim easily across perilous seas. Or maybe He is going to make a way where there seems to be no way, like when He parted the Red Sea.
The freedom He offers is limitless. It is everlasting. And the only way we will ever return to bondage is if we return to it on purpose. And even if we do go running back to Egypt, the beautiful thing is, He is always willing to illuminate the path back to freedom. There is always a way to home to Him.
So as I sit in my house, cuddled under the blankets, on what just happens to be New Year’s Eve, freedom is bubbling new in my heart. A new year, with new possibilities, and no matter what surrounds me, I know that freedom abounds right here – in this place – where God sits quietly with me. Ready to equip me fully for whatever happens next.