“Tell the people to move forward.” Exodus 14:15 NIV
“Life requires leadership for the success of your journey.”
My thoughts today are about “stops and starts.”
Life is a journey, and on any journey there is a place from which you begin and a place where you hope to arrive; in between are a sequence of stops and starts along the way. The problem comes when you are stopped when you should be starting, or starting when you should be stopped. Wisdom is to know when you should do which. There is a rhythm to your life that is unique; timing is everything. The right thing at the wrong time isn’t right and the wrong thing at the right time doesn’t work.
Israel seemed to have bad timing. They were stuck in Egypt and Moses, with God’s help, could barely dislodge them. It took a miraculous deliverance to get them started and on their way out of Egypt. Then they were stuck at the Red Sea, with an impassable obstacle ahead and a pursuing army behind them. They wanted to go anywhere, but there seemed no where to run. That’s when God spoke through Moses, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today . . the Lord will fight for you and you shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:13-14 NKJV. Stand still? When they were ready to be anywhere except where they were, God said for them to stay put. Ever happened to you? Sometimes God allows life to have you where you are because there is something you need to learn about God in that place and situation.
I find it interesting that the very next instruction from God through Moses was this, “Tell the children to go forward . . (they) shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” Exodus 14:15-18 NKJV. Stand still; go forward; it’s confusing. Go forward? How? Obedience in the moment releases the miracle that is just ahead for you. Your willingness to obey even when you do not fully understand allows God to work in ways you could not foresee. See Ephesians 3:20.
How is a person to know what to do and when to do or not do it? Life requires leadership for the success of your journey and that comes from those who have been where you have not yet been and know what you do not yet know – people who care and share – caring about your progress and sharing from life experience. Leaders are not smarter, just more experienced from their mistakes and successes; with the benefit of their experience you can be smarter, exceeding their success and being spared their mistakes while you gain experience and wisdom to share with others who will follow you. Moses had to learn to listen and obey God; Israel had to learn to trust God to speak through Moses. It is my opinion that an individual does not fully develop a sensitivity to hear and obey God well, until learning to recognize the voice of God spoken in the words of others.
The Bible says, “The steps of the Godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Proverbs 37:23 NLT. Someone once suggested that both the “steps and the stops” of the Godly are directed by the Lord! I find the latter – the stops – the harder of the two to hear and heed. When God says to stop, it is wise to stop. When God signals you to start, it is a mistake to stay. Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV. Your best success will always be found in the center of God’s will.
My prayer for you today is that you learn to recognize and follow God’s rhythm for your life.