Scripture Reading: Exodus 14:1-14
What can you do when your back is up against the wall, when you can’t go forward, and when you feel like God doesn’t want you to go backward? Sometimes the best thing to do is the hardest thing to do: to “stand firm.”
A few years ago, my family was moving from Texas to Illinois. We had a very short timeframe to sell our house and make the move. As I prayed about it, I felt God wanted us to make the move between February 15th and February 28th, a two week window of time―that was less than two months away.
I was fighting for my faith on this one. I felt I was supposed to sell the house without a realtor, which can often take longer than with a realtor, and I didn’t have any time to lose. Then I got a letter from a realtor that almost totally undid my faith. It read:
“It’s now been a couple of weeks since you began trying to sell your house by yourself, and for your sake I do hope you will be successful―although the odds are not with you. I say this because currently in this area there are some 470 full-time real estate professionals who are working 7 days a week to sell homes like yours. Yet even with so many professionals on the job, it is still taking an average of 30-120 days to get a listed home sold. Now, if it takes 470 full-time professionals over 4 months to get a house sold, how long will it take you―working part-time by yourself?”
I wondered what to do. It was critical that we sell our house quickly. Then I was reminded of the Israelites in Exodus, chapter 14.
They had just been set free from Egypt when God led them right up to the edge of the Red Sea. Pharaoh had changed his mind again, wondering why he had let his slaves go free. He took his chariots and chased after the Israelites, threatening to put them into bondage again. The Israelites saw their captors coming and cried out to Moses:
“Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” (Exodus 14:11-12).
Sometimes we wonder the same thing. We finally get free from something that has enslaved us, then it tries to force its way back into our lives to captivate us again. We panic. We wonder why we ever tried to get free in the first place. But Moses told his people something that helped them stay free, and it can help us stay free as well. Moses answered:
“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:13-14).
Even Moses couldn’t have guessed that God was going to part the Red Sea for them to cross, but he knew that God had brought them this far, and He could bring them home.
In my own small way, I felt like Moses with my back up against the Sea. I was about to panic when I got that realtor’s letter. But I decided to “stand firm.” As if in confirmation of my decision, I read another story in 1 Kings 18 where God answered the prayers of one man, Elijah, over the misguided prayers of 450 others. It was close enough to my situation up against the 470 realtors mentioned in the letter that it gave me goose bumps!
Three weeks later we had a buyer for the house. We finalized the sale on February 26th and pulled out of town on February 28th.
Standing orders are good orders. If God hasn’t directed a change in your plans, the best plan is to “stand firm” in the plan He’s already given you.
Don’t give in to fear. Stand firm in God!
Want to learn more? You can watch a podcast with more discussion about this topic below.