Free Christian Ebooks: Do I Go Back? Stand Still? Or Move Forward?


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Free Christian Ebooks: Do I Go Back? Stand Still? Or Move Forward?

Do I Go Back? Stand Still? Or 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 he 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 said to the Israelites, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of God, what He will accomplish for you today.” …

And the Lord 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?

There are several life lessons that we can learn from the Israelites when they found themselves trapped between a rock and a hard place in the form of the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s advancing army. (Exodus 14:1-16)

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)

The Israelites 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.

But, 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 begun to think of surrendering and going back to their bitter bondage rather than face what seemed like certain death at the hands of the Egyptians. 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)


Free Christian Ebook: Do I Go Back? Stand Still? Or Move Forward?


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DO I STAND STILL?

Moses without a doubt also saw the advancing Israelite army but when the Israelites begun to ask him those question that suggested that retreating back to Egypt would be the better option considering the current challenges they were facing of the Red Sea in front of them and Pharaoh’s army behind them, he said to them, “Do not be afraid. Stand still” (Exodus 14:13)    
Do Not Look Back
The first life lesson that we can learn from this situation is that we should never look back at our past, at the life of problems that we are leaving behind even if we find ourselves seemingly trapped by problems the way the Israelites found themselves between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army.

Therefore, regardless of whether you are leaving behind a dead end job or an abusive relationship or a drug addiction or any other problematic situation and you now find yourself facing rising debts or crushing loneliness or severe withdrawal symptoms or any other problem, do not look back at where you have come from.

This is because looking back at your past when you are facing mammoth challenges in your present, will color the bitterness that you left behind and make it seem less horrible than it really was and it will make you think thoughts like, “At least when I was working at that 12 hour 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 and nights 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 work your way towards your future and make you consider moving back into bondage.

Therefore, when you are faced by harsh problems in your present that want to hinder 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 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)


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Do Not Fear

The second lesson that we learn is that we are not to be afraid if we find that we have to deal with many problems like the Red Sea of problems stretching itself out in front of us as far as our eyes can see as well as problems from our past which are hurrying to catch up with us like Pharaoh’s army and ensure that we do not cross over from our current wilderness and enter our 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 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 large sea of problems and see an army of problems from your past chasing you, heed Moses and “Do not be afraid. Stand still.” (Exodus 14:13)

Fight the fear of the problems that are chasing you by having faith that God will help you solve 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 army of problems from your past 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.

To do this simply believe that The Lord God will fight for me.(Adapted Exodus 14:14)


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Hold Your Peace

The third lesson that we learn is that we have to hold our peace and not defeat ourselves with our mouths by contaminating our present and future with negative words since The tongue has the power of life and death. (Proverbs 18:21)

Therefore, 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 the money I was making because it would have been better to serve under those harsh conditions than to die here of mounting debt in this wilderness of starting a home business or a 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 this 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. 

Then, counter the negative words you have already uttered by confessing positive scriptures about your situation. For example to fight fear you can confess the following Christian affirmations from the Bible:
1. I will trust and not be afraid for Yah, the Lord, is my strength. (Isaiah 12:2)

2. I shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at my side and ten thousand at my right hand but it shall not come near me. (Adapted Psalm 91:5-7)


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Stand Still

The fourth lesson that we learn is that we have to stand still in our current position.
Therefore, stand still right where you are and do not give up any ground that you have gained back to the enemy.

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 abusive partner’s emails, texts or calls. Do not begin using drugs or drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes.   

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

To be able to stand still in that 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)

To put on this armor of God that will enable you to stand still in your position, you have to do the following:
1. Speak the truth at all times
2. Do the right thing in the sight of God
3. Read your Bible every day
4. Believe God and His Word because your faith will help you neutralize the attacks of the enemy
5. Get saved if you are not saved or if you have backslidden. To do this, say with your mouth that “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that when He died for our sins, God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
6. Speak the Word of God over your situation
7. Pray all the time


After putting on the armor of God, be determined not to let negative thoughts about your situation like those of defeat or retreating or surrendering to the enemy take root in your mind or heart because they will then grow into negative feelings and destructive behaviors.

To keep the negative thoughts from entrenching themselves, you have to replace all negative thoughts in your mind with positive Scriptures so that you are Not conformed to this world, but instead you are 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) for you in your situation.

This means that you should not let your thoughts conform to the negativity around you brought on by being trapped by the problems from your past like Pharaoh’s army or the problems in your future like the Red Sea. Instead you should transform yourself from the inside by renewing your mind with the positivity that comes from reading, believing and meditating on the Word of God.

Reading, believing and meditating on God’s Word will also make you better able to discern what God would like you to do in your current situation.

Therefore, transform yourself by renewing your mind by meditating on Bible verses that pertain to your situation.

For example instead of thinking negative thoughts of defeat because of the problems from your past and your future that you are facing, think thoughts of victory by meditating on Bible verses like:
Thanks be to God who always leads me to triumph in Christ. (Adapted 2 Corinthians 2:14)

I am confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in me will complete it. (Adapted Philippians 1:6)


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DO I MOVE FORWARD?

After discerning God’s perfect will for you or hearing from Him what you should do, you now have to move forward in that direction because we can see that the Israelites begun to move forward after God said to Moses, “Tells the Israelites to move forward.” (Exodus 14:15)

Therefore, whenever you face challenges as you move towards your future, do not retreat. Stand still in your current position until you hear from God and then move forward in the direction that God shows you next.

Obey God

The fifth lesson that we learn is that we have to do what God tells us to do as we move forward because that is what will stop us from drowning in the sea of problems in front of us.

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 very 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.    


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

Do not be tempted to look back and take one small peak at the army of problems that is following you 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)


Do I Go Back, Stand Still? Or Move Forward is part of our Free Christian Ebooks Series


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2 comments:

  1. Good lesson on facing forward and not being pulled back to the past. "Press on" as Paul told us in the New Testament. So important to allow God to take you to new places! thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that is the key - Allow God to take us there- by trusting Him.

      Delete

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