Be Still and I Will Part the Waters for You

“He your teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your teacher. Your ears will hear a word behind you. “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right of the left.” (Isaiah 30)

God still speaks to his children by the voice of the Holy Spirit. God speaks to us through a “still small voice” and most often through the Scriptures. Sometimes a biblical passage will be the key to our deliverance. Whether it’s through the Scriptures or that still small voice, before we can hear His voice of direction, God requires something of us: We are to stand still and wait for Him to act.

Stand still and wait for Him to act. This is one of those principles that make easy preaching but difficult to implement. Somehow we think that our experience qualifies us to go ahead of God. Besides, God needs our help doesn’t He? I don’t think so. If we take the sum total of all our good days, it would not equal one of God’s moments of genius. God’s timing and method is always the best for our life.

Joshua was one of the few Israelites who were able to enter the promise land. As Joshua was leading the Israelites across the Jordan River God was saying to them, ‘When you get to the water, plant your feet in the water and just stand there. Be still, rest. Just wait for me to act and I will part the waters for you.’

The Hebrew word for “stand still” means to,“stop all activity, cease all striving”. I am sure some of the men must have said, “Let’s build a quick bridge. With the amount of workers we have we can have a functional bridge in a few days”. Some of the women must have said, “I can’t let my children stand in the water, they might catch cold. “

But in spite of all of the suggestions, and the grumbling, Joshua led the people to obedience and they waited on God, did just as God told them, and the waters departed and they crossed over on dry land.

The problem isn’t that God is not speaking, but the problem is that we are not being still long enough to hear His voice. In other words, we lack the patience to wait, and lack the faith that God will answer.

What is God saying to us through this passage? Stop all activity, cease all striving. Be still, rest…just wait for me to act and I will part the waters for you!

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)

Christ is Enough

Learning about your “Identity in Christ” is probably the single greatest discovery of a true follower of Christ. That’s because many believers wander through the Christian life like the children of Israel wandered through the wilderness.

They instinctively know that God has a plan for their life but they just can’t seem to put that puzzle together. Questions like, “What does the normal Christian life look like?” Or, “What am I supposed to do for God?” dominate their thinking.

I think most Christians believe that if they could just discover what God wants them to do, then they would have the key to the Christian life. After all, isn’t that what the Christian life is all about, doing things for God?

The Christian life is not about what we can do for God, but allowing Christ to live His life through us. He is the giver of divine life and we are the receiver of that life. Our journey is not one long test trying to measure up, but it’s all about rest – resting in Christ as enough.

God never meant for us to try to measure up to some imaginary standard of performance. His intention is to place a divine nature within us that becomes our very life. That divine life is Christ’s life. We become one with Him (John 17)

The moment we are saved we take on a new nature (2 Cor. 5:17). We become someone we have never been before. We are a new creation. Our righteousness is not something we obtain by good works, but it is imputed or given to us by God. So we could never do enough good works to earn God’s favor.

Therefore, God does not want us to “figure out what He wants us to do”, but rather He wants us to focus on the person of Christ, and in doing so allow Christ’s life to flow out through us.

God has provided everything we need to serve Him and bear spiritual fruit. (Col. 2) As we rest in Christ, and abide in Him, the will of God will automatically be done in our life. You can do more for God by resting in Him as enough, than you could ever do in a lifetime of striving to measure up to some religious standard.

The normal Christian life is acknowledging that “apart from Him I can do nothing” (John 15:5). It is totally and completely depending on Him to show you what, when and where. You don’t have to “help God out”.

Place your trust in the living Christ within you. Turn every area of your life over to Him and allow Him to lead you every step of the way. Be patient and wait on God. He has not forgotten you, forsaken you, nor is He neglecting you. He is always on time. When God speaks, you will know it, and so will those around you.

This reminds me of a song I that I use to sing as a child. I bet you know the song also.

Since I started for the Kingdom,
Since my life He controls,
Since I gave my heart to Jesus,
The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows.

The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows,
The more that I love Him, more love He bestows.
Each day is like heaven, my heart overflows,
The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows.

Waiting on God

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it could go no further. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He cut off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly soon emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man expected that the wings would enlarge and expand to support the body, which would contract in time, but neither happened. Instead the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never flew. In his kindness and haste the man didn’t understand that the restricting cocoon was God’s way of forcing fluid from the butterfly’s body into its wings, so that it could fly once free from the cocoon.

Sometimes our struggles are exactly what we need. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong and we could never fly! With our flesh we fight life’s struggles. We are impatient during the learning curves. We fail to understand that our obstacles are the very thing that allows us to soar. Jesus said, “If you reign with me you will suffer with me”. The context of this verse has to do with becoming a true disciple. That means suffering, by way of life’s struggles, is necessary to be called a legitimate disciple of Jesus Christ.

I like to refer to our daily struggles as God’s way of bringing a little brokenness. Sometimes that means a sense of “momentarily being out of control.” Being out of control gives us a feeling of having no place to turn but God. That’s exactly where God wants us to be – acting on our faith and trust in Him. Besides, even if the struggle and discomfort is a direct attack from the enemy, God always means it for good.

Joseph had the proper perspective when he explained to his brothers, “You meant it for evil but God meant it for good.” So next time you get in a jam – don’t try to exit from the cocoon too soon, more struggle may be necessary. Wait on God’s natural timing so you can fly.

“Consider it all joy, my brother, when you encounter various trials, know that the testing’s of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

God is always on time…if we wait on Him

One of the most difficult tasks a believer encounters is waiting on God. Our experience, knowledge and impatience seem to get in the way of waiting on God.  Of course, we are not the only generation that has that problem.King Saul had a similar problem prior to encountering a major battle against the Philistines.  The Israelites were out manned, had inferior weapons and were relatively inexperienced.  They needed God’s instructions on how to do battle against the enemy. Per God’s instructions, Samuel told Saul to wait on him at Gilgal on his arrival before going into battle. Samuel would be there in seven days to make the necessary sacrifices prior to the battle.When the morning of the seventh day came, Samuel had not arrived. Saul panicked, his soldiers began to scatter and Saul didn’t have the Lord’s direction for battle.  Saul could have stood his ground and said, “even if Samuel doesn’t show up until days later, I am going to trust God’s Word and wait until I hear from the Lord.” But he didn’t, he took matters into his own hands.We learn from 1 Samuel 13 that Saul took matters into his own hands, and ordered the on-site priest to make sacrifices without Samuel.   In doing so, he sinned against the Lord and committed a grievous sin.  This failure to wait on God cost him his kingdom.

Samuel did show up on the seventh day, just as he promised. It may have been late in the day, but he arrived on God’s timetable.   Saul’s impatience cost him his throne. Samuel said, “Your kingdom shall not endure…God has sought out for Himself a man after his own heart.”

Saul faced a crisis, a pivotal moment in his life.  His decision to “not wait on God” changed his potential and even altered his destiny.  From that moment on his life was filled with trouble, personal tragedy and eventually suicide.

It’s a time of crisis for us when we are forced to decide whether we will wait on God by faith, or get impatient and take matters into our own hands.

God’s character is the same today as it was in the time of Saul. He’s never too late or too early, He is always on time, regardless of how dire the circumstances may appear.    It doesn’t matter if things seem out of control; we are to walk in total confidence in His ability to deliver us.   It’s a matter of walking and living by FAITH.   

Yes, it’s difficult to learn to wait on God, it’s a lifelong lesson.  We must go through seasons of crying out to God and then experience the pain of waiting on Him to deliver us.  But the rewards and blessings of waiting on God far out weigh the pain of taking things into our own hands.  We must learn to experience the pain of discipline by waiting on God, or we will experience the pain of regret.  In the end the pain of discipline weighs ounces but the pain of regret weights tons.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings of eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on unto your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
He is risen indeed!  Have a blessed Easter