There are many stories in the Bible where patience, endurance, and perseverance were necessary to obtain the promises of God. These are wonderful traits and all of them are helpful in our Christian walk. The life of Joseph and Abraham are just two examples of patient endurance. But sometimes, sometimes, God moves suddenly.
The book of Exodus tells us the story of Moses. A Hebrew by birth, he was raised by Pharaoh’s daughter. Growing up, he enjoyed the luxuries of a royal household. But when he was grown, Moses was despondent over the Hebrew oppression and had compassion for his brethren. So much so, Moses killed an Egyptian after witnessing him beat a Hebrew slave. Pharaoh soon heard of the murder and sought to kill Moses, who then fled Egypt to dwell in the land of Midian.
It was forty years of desert living before God spoke with Moses. Speaking through a burning bush that was never consumed, He instructed Moses to return to Egypt.
“Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:10 (NKJV)
God promised to deliver the Israelites from oppression and bring them into a land flowing with milk and honey. Moses took God’s Word to heart. He believed God would help the Hebrews.
In faith, Moses returned to Egypt and confronted Pharaoh. It took time, and several plagues to convince Pharaoh to “Let My People Go.” But sure enough, Moses eventually collected the Israelites and God (Pillar of Cloud or fire) led them to the Red Sea.
By now you must be wondering where it is that God moves suddenly. So far, Moses has had to endure a season of waiting, unlikely detours, demanding tests, and roadblocks. But God promised Moses that the Israelite’s would inherit a land of plenty, and He is faithful. As we continue on with the Israelite’s trek to the Red Sea, we discover an example of God working suddenly to fulfill His promise.
Pharaoh decided to pursue the Israelites, intent on bringing them back to Egypt. When the children of God saw the Egyptian army they panicked, thinking they were trapped. On one side stood the Egyptians and on the other side the Red Sea. There seemed to be no escape. They forgot God had promised them freedom and that He was faithful.
“And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Ex 14:13-14 (NKJV)
Moses did not know how God would deliver them, but he had faith God would find a way. When God speaks a promise to us, we must persevere until its fulfillment. Trusting God’s provision, when all around us we see impossibilities, can be a very difficult challenge. It is often a real test of faith. But for God, nothing is impossible. ‘Impossible’ is not in His vocabulary.
“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NKJV)
“For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does.”
Psalm 33:4 (NKJV)
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” Numbers 23:19 (NKJV)
“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.” Genesis 28:15 (NKJV)
God then told Moses to move the people forward, toward the Red Sea. He then added,
“But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.
Exodus 14:16 (NKJV)
Suddenly, when all seemed lost, God provided a way for the Israelites. He caused the sea to fall back, and with miraculous power God made a way for His children. They moved forward in their quest for freedom.
If God has spoken to your heart a promise, prompted you to move in a new direction, or awakened a desire that is of His will, move forward! Trust Him to make a way. There may be detours (Hopefully not 40 years of wilderness wandering), times of silence, and even disappointments, but keep the faith. Stand on His promise. Remember, He just might act suddenly. Will you be prepared to move, even if there is no clue He is about to act?
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
“Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people, since the events took place so suddenly.” 2 Chronicles 29:36 (NKJV)
“I have declared the former things from the beginning; They went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it. Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.” Isaiah 48:3 (NKJV)
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)
“My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.”
Psalm 89:34 (NKJV)
“God will do this, for He is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited you into partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:9 (NLT)