December 17, 2007 • By Ed Wrather
And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. Then they said to Moses, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.” 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.” 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 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 14:10-16.
Pharaoh had allowed the Israelites to leave after the final plague of death upon the firstborn sons of Egypt. Then Pharaoh had a change of heart and decided he would reclaim his slaves. He has them trapped between his chariots and the Red Sea and soon he will either have them as his slaves or will destroy them all. For Moses and the Israelites, it is a time of urgency and Moses knows their deliverance lies in the strong arm of the Lord. Moses has been trained by God and given the instrument needed to bring about their deliverance. God in effect says to Moses, "Don’t waste time talking to me when you know what to do. Use the rod I have given you.” Some situations are so urgent that we must pray as we go. In some situations, we do not have time for a week of fasting and praying. Instead, we must depend upon the instruction in righteousness that we have been given and the leadership of the Holy Spirit as we move forward in action.
John Eliot (1604-1690) is called the "Apostle to the native Americans.” His translation of the Bible into Algonquin was the first Bible printed in the United States. He visited Native American tribes throughout New England. He preached, taught, and baptized. John Eliot once said,"We must not sit still and look for miracles; up and be doing, and the Lord will be with thee. Prayer and pains, through faith in Christ Jesus will do anything.”
Dwight L. Moody was another man of action. Once when he was discussing an idea for outreach with a church leader he asked the man, "What do you think?” "We’ve been aimin’ to do it for two years,” the church leader replied. "Well now,” says Moody, "don’t you think it’s time to fire?”
When we read God’s Word and when we pray there are two questions that we should always be listening for God to answer. We should be listening to hear if there is something that God wants us to know. Then, we should be listening for what God wants us to do.
Has God been speaking to you about something He wants you to do? Maybe it is time to do something!