By Dr. John Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
One of the most intriguing stories in the history of mankind is recorded in the Book of Exodus. It contains the reality of how people are in bondage, the attributes of leadership to lead the people out of bondage, the reluctance of people to have faith to follow, the command of God to always go forward, and the awesome power of God to lead the people through impossible situations.
The Israelites were in bondage to the Egyptians. Moses was selected by God to free them. As they were leaving Egypt, they were pursued by the Egyptians. They came to the impossible task of crossing the Red Sea. Exodus 14 tells of how the people of Israel wanted to go back to Egypt. They felt they were safer there. They formed the “back to Egypt” committee.
Moses kept telling them to obey God and follow Him. A key phrase that is always important when we face difficult situations is found in Exodus 14:15 when God said to Moses, “Tell the sons of Israel to go forward.” When you face a situation in life that seems to be impossible, remember that God can redefine the possible. God is greater than any enemy that is behind us and greater than any force that is in front of us.
We must obey and go forward.
Moses had to step in the water. God told him to stretch out his hand and God sent a strong east wind that held the water back and turned the sea into dry land. The people of Israel went through the midst of the sea on dry land and came safely to the other side. The Egyptians didn’t make it.
God raises up leaders today who, like Moses, don’t listen to the wisdom of people, but follow the command of God. Godly leaders don’t necessarily win popularity polls. They don’t make decisions based on what seems to be the most obvious to everybody else. Godly leaders follow the command of God.
Exodus 15:22 says that the people of Israel “went through the midst of the sea on the dry land.” God didn’t just take them out to the middle of the situation and abandon them, but they kept going forward and He led them through the danger. When you face a big situation in life don’t just walk up to it and face it and half-heatedly begin to trust God. He wants us not to just go into the situation, but to go through the situation!
Remember how David said in the 23rd Psalm that “when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death we will fear no evil for God is with us and His rod and staff comfort us.” We don’t stay in the valley – we go through it. The reason we can go through it is that God is with us and His rod and staff are always there to comfort and protect us.
Moses later passed the mantle of leadership to Joshua. He followed in Moses footsteps. He was leading the people and they came to the Jordan River. When the people were fearful and saw the impossibility of crossing the river, Joshua said, “Tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” (Joshua 3:5) God told Joshua to put his feet in the Jordan and the water would back up and the people could walk through. Joshua obeyed – God was faithful, and the people went through that impossible situation.
What water obstacle are you facing today? In what area of life is God calling you to be a Godly leader? Are you willing to trust and obey Him? Are you willing to keep going forward and walk through the water? God provides everything necessary to do that.
Step in the water!