Free Christian Sermons: Do I Go Back, Stand Still? Move Forward?



When Pharaoh was told that the Israelite slaves had left, he took all the chariots of Egypt with captains over each of them and pursued the children of Israel.

When the Israelites saw the Egyptian army marching after them, they became very afraid and cried out to the Lord.

Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have brought us out here to die here in the wilderness? 
Why did you bring us out of Egypt? 
Did we not tell you when we were in Egypt to leave us alone so that we may continue serving the Egyptians because it would have been better to serve the Egyptians than to die here in the wilderness?”  

Moses replied and told them, “Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of God, what He will accomplish for you today.” 


And God said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod and stretch your hand over the sea and divide it. (Exodus 14:1-16)

Do I Go Back?
The Israelites were walking away from a horrible past of cruel enslavement by their Egyptian masters for The Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with harshness and they made their lives bitter with hard bondage – in mortar, in brick and in all manner of service. (Exodus 1:13-14)

They then cried out to God and He delivered them from this bondage with His Mighty Arm after He unleashed the 10 plagues on Egypt. The Israelites were now marching towards their glorious future of living in freedom in their Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey.

However, as they marched through the wilderness towards their promised future, they arrived at the shores of the Red Sea and on looking back, they saw their enemies in the form of Pharaoh’s army hurrying towards them.

This made them very afraid and they began to think of surrendering and going back to their bitter bondage rather than face what seemed like certain Egyptian annihilation. 

We can see that they were thinking of retreating because they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? … It would have been better to serve the Egyptians than to die here in the wilderness?” (Exodus 14:11-12)


Do I Stand Still?
Moses without a doubt also saw the advancing Israelite army but when the Israelites began to ask him questions that suggested retreating back to Egypt would be the better option considering the current challenges they were facing of the Red Sea and the Egyptian Army, he said to them, “Do not be afraid. Stand still” (Exodus 14:13)    

1. Do Not Look Back
The first life lesson from this tough situation is that you should never look back at your past, at the life of bondage that you are leaving behind regardless of whether it is a dead end job or an abusive relationship or a drug addiction even if you find yourself facing a Red Sea of rising debts or crushing loneliness or severe withdrawal symptoms.

This is because looking back at your past when you are facing mammoth challenges in your present, will color the problems that you left behind and make them seem less horrible than they really were. 

Looking back at your past will make you think thoughts like:
At least when I was working at that minimum wage job I had some money coming in.” 
OR
At least when I was in that abusive relationship I had someone to spend my days with.” 
OR
At least when I was using drugs regularly I never felt this bad.

Such thoughts can make you consider surrendering any progress you may have made as you walk towards your future and make you move back into the bondage of your past.

Therefore, when you are facing by harsh problems in your present that are hindering your progress, do not reminisce over the few good times you may have had in your generally bad past.

Do not look back especially if you have been following God’s leading to your future because we can see that the Israelites had camped right in front of the Red Sea under God’s direction for God said to Moses, “Tell the children of Israel to turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the Red Sea.” (Exodus 14:1-2)


2. Do Not Fear
The second lesson is that you should not be afraid if you find that a Red Sea of problems stretching itself out in front of you as far as your eyes can see but you also have to deal with problems from your past that are hurrying to catch up with you like Pharaoh’s army to ensure that you do not cross over from your current wilderness and enter your Promised Land of freedom.

These problems from the past can include a former employer who does not want to release you or a stalking partner who will not let you go or a drug dealer who does not want to lose one of his former best customers.  

Therefore, if you have been obedient to God in leaving the bondage of your past and you find your progress hindered by a mighty Red Sea of problems and Pharaoh’s army of problems is still chasing you, heed Moses and “Do not be afraid. Stand still.” (Exodus 14:13)

Fight the fear of Pharaoh’s army by having faith that God will see you through all your problems. We can see that Moses tried to build up the Israelites faith in God ability to save them by telling them, “The Lord will fight for you and you shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:14)

Therefore overcome the fear of fighting with the Pharaoh’s army from your past that is chasing you regardless of whether it is a politically connected employer or a powerful spouse or a ruthless drug dealer by believing that God will fight for you.

So fight the fear by believing that “The Lord will fight for you.” (Exodus 14:14)

How to fight fear with Bible verses


3. Be Still
The third lesson is that you have to be still and hold your peace so that you do not defeat yourself with your mouth by contaminating your present and future with your own negative words since The tongue has the power of life and death. (Proverbs 18:21)

To calm down when you are trapped between Pharaoh's Army and the Red Sea, you have to believe that God is still in control over your situation.

So Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10) so that you do not speak like the Israelites and say things like “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have brought us to die here in the wilderness? 
Why did you bring us out of Egypt? 
Did we not tell you when we were in Egypt to leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians because it would have been better to serve the Egyptians that to die here in the wilderness?” (Exodus 14:14)

In your case it might be saying things like,
Why did you tell me to resign? Did I not tell you when I was working in that Corporation to leave me alone so that I can continue earning a minimum wage because it would have been better to serve under those harsh conditions than to die here of mounting debt in the wilderness of starting a home business or ministry?”
OR

Why did you tell me to leave that relationship? Did I not tell you when I was living with my partner to leave me alone so that I can continue enjoying the few good times we had together when they were sober because it would have been better to live under those harsh conditions than to die here of biting loneliness in the wilderness of singlehood?”
OR

Why did you tell me to stop using drugs? Did I not tell you when I was using those drugs to leave me alone so that I can continue enjoying my life because it would have been better to continue having my highs than to die here of these harsh withdrawal symptoms in this wilderness of rehabilitation?”


If you have already spoken such or similar negative words, pray and ask God to forgive you and then decide that you will never utter another negative word about your situation again.    


In addition to not speaking negative words about your situation, you also have to stand still right where you are and do not give up any ground that you have gained back to the enemy.

Therefore do not abandon the business or Christian ministry that God has asked you to start and start looking for another job. 
Do not begin returning your former partner’s emails or calls. 
Do not begin using drugs or drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes.    


Be determined to stand still in your position until you hear from God what your next step should be. 

4. Wear Your Armor
The fourth lesson is that you have to wear your armor.

To be able to stand still in your position when you are besieged by problems from all sides, you have to Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand in the evil day and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness and the shoes of the Gospel of peace.

Above all take the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the enemy.

And put on the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ensure that you are always praying in the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:13-18)

Click on the link to learn How to Put on the Armor of God
How to put on the armor of God


5. Change Your Mind

The fifth lesson is that you have to change your mind.

To know what God would like you to do, you have to Be not conformed to this world. Instead, be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you can prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2) 

This means that you should not let your thoughts conform to the negativity around you brought caused by being trapped by Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea. Instead, you should transform yourself from the inside by renewing your mind with the positivity that comes from the Word of God.

To be transformed by the renewing of your mind, you have to meditate on Bible verses that nullify all the negative thoughts in your mind.

Therefore find Bible verses to meditate on and replace all the thoughts of defeat or retreating or surrendering to the enemy or any other negative thoughts in your mind like The Lord will fight for you. (Exodus 14:14).

Once you have replaced all negative thoughts with the Word of God, you will be in a better position to discern what God would like you to do in your current situation.   



Do I Move Forward?
5. Obey God
After hearing from God or discerning His perfect will for you, you have to obey Him.

We can see that the Israelites begun to move forward after God said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to move forward.” (Exodus 14:15)

As you obey Him, obey Him in totality so that you do not drown in the Red Sea of problems in front of you. We can see this from the fact that God told Moses “Lift up your rod and stretch out your hand over the Red Sea and divide it.” (Exodus 14:16) 
  
Therefore, understand that doing exactly what God has told you to do is very important and be determined to obey His instructions up to the minute details even if what He tells you to do seems improbable like stretching out a hand holding a rod to part a sea because With God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

So, if God asks you to lift up the standards of your products and stretch your marketing efforts over a certain niche, do it even if your efforts seem useless in the face of the severe competition in that market because with God’s power all things are possible.

If God tells you to lift up your mingling efforts and stretch your socializing to Christian circles, do it even if your efforts seem useless in the face of all the other personal problems you are facing because with God’s power all things are possible.

If God tells you to lift up your efforts for being clean or sober and stretch your quest for help to a Christian addiction treatment center, do it even if enrolling in another rehabilitation center seems useless in the face of all the numerous programs you have been through because with God’s power all things are possible.    


6. Focus on the Future
The sixth lesson we learn is that God did not tell Moses to lift up his rod and stretch out his hand over the camp of Pharaoh’s army because He does not want you to focus on your past. He wants you move forward by looking forward towards the glorious future that He has planned for you.

Therefore, concentrate on solving the Red Sea of problems stretching out in front of you and believe that God will deal with the problems from your past Himself just as He dealt with Pharaoh’s army until they recognized that it was God Himself dealing with them for they said, Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the Lord fights for them (Exodus 14:25) when He took off the wheels of their chariots so that they drove them with difficulty.

So, as you move forward into your future through the path that God has parted for you between your problems, do not concern yourself with the enemies from your past who are still chasing you. Focus on where God is taking you and leave Him to deal with your past.

Do not be tempted to look back and take one small peak at the army of Pharaoh that is following you at full speed because what you see may cause you to be so afraid that the fear may permanently paralyze you and you may become like Lot’s wife who looked back at the past from which God was delivering her from and she became permanently immobilized as A pillar of salt. (Genesis 9:26) 

How to pray effectively

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Subscribe to our Newsletter to Get our Blog Posts and Special Offers

* indicates required