I was reading through my devotions today when a verse punched me in the face, causing me to ask some very serious questions.
Serious questions that demanded answers.
Here is the verse.
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still (Exodus 14:14 NIV).”
To put this in context, Moses and all of Israel have just walked away from slavery in Egypt into the desert.
After the king of Egypt realized he was made the fool and now without servants and slaves, he commanded the whole Egyptian army to thunder down to the Red Sea to reclaim their prize.
Israel goes into panic mode when they see the king of Egypt and his army coming down to capture them. They cry out to the LORD and complain to Moses.
Exodus 14:14 is Moses’ response to Israel’s weeping and the impending Egyptian invasion.
When I read that I started asking myself some deep questions about God, His actions and my responses to his actions.
Does God really fight for me?
Which battles is God fighting for me?
Are there some that He won’t fight for me?
Is it a spiritual battle He fights or is it physical?
Why is He fighting them and not me?
How will the Lord fight?
Isn’t He a God of peace and a God of love?
My mind continued to reel and look for answers when my heart directed me to the second half of that verse.
“…you need only be still.”
Too often I get caught up in the why, the how, even the whens of God and his actions.
When will God fight for me?
How will He fight?
Why that fight and not this one?
While there are answers to these questions, it struck me as deeply profound that my job in the fights that God takes for me is simply to be still.
“Be still and know that I am God” was the other verse that scrolled through my mind’s eye.
Be still, be quiet. Do not move.
Let the LORD do what He will.
Take in the marvelous spectacle of an Eternal God moving and shaking and actually participating in a temporary moment.
This call to be still is a very necessary message for our world.
We hustle and bustle to and from work.
There are play lists of songs, sermons, podcasts and audiobooks screaming into our ears.
Our eyes are overwhelmed with the sensation of lights, colours and movement.
And this is but the icing on the cake of what occupies our time and attention.
But what our souls earnestly need is to take a moment away from the clamour and chaos and be still for a moment.
It will not answer all our questions but it offers us an opportunity to watch God work.
Being still affords us the chance to see a loving God protect and defend us against the wiles of the enemy and the temptations of a sinful world.
This gives us a chance to see a Good Father take care of His children.
When I actually stop and examine my life, I realize I have not stopped and been still very much.
I am always on the go, doing something, planning for the next thing.
When my heart brought me to this realization, I was bombarded with a whole new set of questions. Questions that were more worthy of an answer. But questions not for God to answer, but for me to answer.
When was the last time I was still and watched God work?
When was the last time I understood that it was God’s action and not my own that kept me safe?
How did I respond when last I saw God intervene in my life?
How did I react when the All Powerful Creator stopped in to work together a bad thing for this simple creature’s good?
Why haven’t I stopped and purposefully been still?
Why have I not realized that I could be witnessing the surreal expressions of God’s love for me?
I have yet to answer these questions posed to me by my heart.
But I can say this, that this single verse has compelled me toward more moments of stillness before God. More moments of realizing who He is and what He has done for me. More time in silent worship and awe.
The next question is this, will you be still?