In The Ring
The LORD will fight for you; you have only to be still. (Exodus 14:14)
My husband sometimes watches college wrestling on TV. He enjoys it. He understands it. He wrestled in high school and college. I rarely watch with him. I don’t understand it and I don’t enjoy it. That’s sometimes how I feel about life. It’s like a wrestling match or a fight. There are so many “hards” swirling around me. I don’t enjoy it. I don’t understand it. I want to be out of the ring, but life persists and I find my friends and myself in the midst of the fight.
Several years ago I memorized Exodus 14:14 (above). I don’t remember the circumstances at the time that would cause the truth of that scripture to stand out. However, recently I found myself remembering that verse again. Then that very same Scripture was used in a testimony I heard during a worship service later that day. Hmmmmm. I returned to Exodus 14 to remind myself of the story.
Pharaoh, Moses, and the Israelites
Pharaoh had released the Israelites from slavery and Moses had led them through the wilderness to the edge of the Red Sea. Then Pharaoh changed his mind and came after the Israelites with the entire Egyptian army. The scriptures record three responses from the Israelites.
- They were totally afraid ~ understandable.
- They cried out in terror to God ~ a prayer of desperation.
- They complained to Moses ~ so human.
Moses had three responses for the Israelites.
- Don’t be afraid.
- Stand firm.
- Watch what God will do.
Scripture summarizes this for us:
The Lord will fight for you; you have only to be still. (Exodus 14:14)
Be still, the key.
I began pondering, what does it look like to be still? To me it seems that stillness and quietness can be synonyms. I Peter 3:4, tells me that a quiet spirit in God’s sight is precious. When I’m in the middle of the ring, quietness is not often how you would define my spirit. Yet, that is God’s desire. I’m learning how to get there.
The journey to stillness.
I need to remember God’s faithfulness to me in the past. He rescued me from the ring before and I trust he will do it again.
… In returning and rest you will be saved;
in quietness and trust shall be your strength.
I need to recall God’s love for me. It hasn’t changed.
… He will quiet you by his love … (Zephaniah 3:17)
I must be living out my righteousness with a praying lifestyle.
… and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. (Isaiah 32:17)
For me, journaling is an important key. By recording the words of God with thanksgiving, I am encouraged. God was faithful; He will continue to be faithful.
Be still and know that I am God … (Psalm 46:10)
I must resist complaining. Complaining gives an unhealthy permission to justify my reality.
A fool gives full vent … a wise (wo)man quietly holds it back. (Proverbs 29:11 )
Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, I need to be still and trust God is with me in the burning fiery furnaces of my life.
But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt;
and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him …
(Daniel 3:25, 28)
And I’ll use Pharaoh and his army to my Glory on display …
(Exodus 14:4, 17 The Message)
I love that God uses the same words before and after the verse in Exodus 14:14. Being still and allowing God to fight puts His Glory on display!
Father, in the midst of the hard realities of our lives, please help us to remember Your presence, Your love, and Your faithfulness. Help us to be willing to be still. Amen.
By Sue Tell, Guest Writer