November 4, 2012 – Pastor Tim – “Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place” – Click to download
If we are going to accomplish God’s plan for our lives, we need to know how to stand against opposition. One of the secrets to our success will be learning how to remain unmovable when people or circumstances come against us.
We can learn a lesson on how to stand by looking at the children of Israel. After they left Egypt, the Israelites were headed to the Promised Land. They left a life of slavery and were looking forward to a better life. But suddenly, they found themselves in a difficult situation.
The Egyptian army was pursuing them from behind, hills and mountains on each side of them, and the Red Sea in front of them. They were hemmed in and it looked as though they were caught between a rock and a hard place.
But notice that the minute they got into trouble, they began murmuring and complaining to Moses. Exodus 14:11 (NLT), “…“Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt?
Although they were crying out for deliverance, they forgot God’s promise to deliver them. When it looked as if there was no way out, instead of turning to God, they looked at the Red Sea with despair. They were filled with fear and didn’t consider God. They looked at their circumstances through their natural senses. And suddenly the bondage they just came out of didn’t look so bad.
This same thing can happen to us today. When it looks as though our backs are against the wall, we may want to run or fall back into old bad habits. But when we are in situations like this, we need to learn to stand firm and focus on God, which is what Moses told the children of Israel to do. Exodus 14:13-14 (NLT), “But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. 14 The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
We shouldn’t be surprised that trouble comes knocking when we follow after God and focus on His promises. The devil doesn’t want us to go forward with God and will do whatever he can to get us to quit or fall back into destructive habits. It’s during times like this that we need to keep our focus on the Lord and remember the words of the Apostle Paul. 1 Corinthians 15:57-58, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
Saying that we’ll stand firm is easy, but it’s much harder to do when things are coming against us. It’s not always easy to stand firm when the enemy is throwing everything, including the kitchen sink at us! Many people want to cut and run in times of trouble. Half the battle can be staying in our position. If we’re going to receive everything that God has for us, we have to learn how to stay in the place He has called us to, no matter how difficult it may get.
Everyone encounters obstacles. How do we stand strong when adversity comes? We have to realize that God has a plan big enough to take care of us.
Isaiah 55:8-11, ““For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
If we focus on the natural realm, things will look hopeless. The Israelites only saw the Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptian army behind them. They couldn’t see any way out. But God had made a way of escape, and that was to go though the Red Sea.
The more we focus on the impossibilities, the further down we’ll go. But when we start looking at the possibilities of God—the possibilities of healing, deliverance, success, and victory—we’ll see our situation change. God has a plan of victory and triumph for us. Jeremiah 29:11-14a, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity;” But we have a part to play in our own success. Only we can determine whether we will be a victim or a victor, a faith failure or a faith giant. If we feel as if we are beaten down by circumstances, burdened by cares, gripped by fear, or weighed down by the grind, take heart! God wants to refresh us and set us on a new course of victory in Christ!
When we rise up and begin telling the devil who we are in Christ, we will move into the promises of God—our Promised Land—and impossibilities will become possibilities.