Title: FAITH THAT SEES YOU THROUGH AN IMPOSSIBLE SITUATION
Text: Exodus 14:10-31; Joshua 3:1-17
These are hard economic times. The dollar doesn’t seem to stretch as far…jobs are being cut…wages are being decreased…companies are folding…retirement funds are dwindling. After having lived most of our lives in times of abundant blessings, it can become very discouraging when you are just beginning to experience the tempering times of being put through the fire.
One of Satan’s greatest tactics to keep a Christian from moving forward is fear. Perhaps you have been caught in the jaws of this trap. Fear can debilitate a person where you literally give up and die.
When in an impossible situation, fear grips your mind. But the more we walk by faith and not by the flesh, the more freedom we will have from fear robbing us of our joy.
But tonight we are going to look at a message of hope. Though the chilling winds difficult circumstances brings on fear, behind it is a warm wave of relief from the Lord: “I will part the waters and show you the way out of your impossible situation.” The key is keeping our eyes on the Lord, not the situation.
Do you remember the story of Pharaoh’s army chasing the Israelites when they left Egypt? They were pressed in on all sides; the Egyptians were behind them and the Red Sea in front of them. With no where to go, fear set in. Fear often comes when we think there are no alternatives. So quickly the Israelites forgot all the miracles of God’s power back in Egypt. Fear rushed in and faith quickly fled. Exodus 14:8-14
Faith Often Weakens Just When God Is Ready To Do His Greatest Work
1. In Exodus 14, how quickly did fear set in? (In v.8 they are leaving Egypt; 2 verses later fear sets in.) What was it that melted their hearts? (The sight of Pharaoh’s army.)
2. This new situation caused them to long for their former situation. What was it? (Bondage was better than death.)
Insight: Sometimes we are like the Israelites. Even though we have been freed from slavery, we will possess hearts of unbelief. Full of doubt, we forget God’s mighty acts.
3. Is God any different today than He was yesterday? Has He used up all His power and can do nothing for us?
4. How do you think Moses was feeling at this point? Did He know for sure what God was going to do? Insight: Moses didn’t know the details, but was confident that God would see them through. It was by faith that he spoke what he did in v.13-14.
When backed up against a wall, what should we do? (By faith, watch the Lord fight for us.)
Insight: It’s human to be weak when things come crashing down. But it’s faith that believes that those are times when God will do His greatest work.
To Go Forward, Fear Must Stop And You Must Take The Step Of Faith
5. Ex. 14:15-31 Put verse 15 in your own words. (Moses, why are they crying when I am at your side? Haven’t I taken care of them before? It’s time to stop crying and move forward!)
6. Why do you think God let them get into a trapped situation before He did something?
Insight: Miracles of the impossible glorify Him and they solidify our weak faith.
How does Satan use similar circumstances to get us to throw down our shield of faith? (Fear keeps you from moving forward.)
7. The fear of the Israelites changed in this story. How so?
Insight: V. 10 they fear the Egyptians; v. 31 they fear God. The first fear is when you are trapped and there are no options. The second kind is being struck with awe when you realize the God of the universe just acted in your behalf! The second kind of fear came about when their faith was personalized. It’s the kind of faith God honors and He will act in behalf of that faith.
Now let’s look at the change in the people from Moses’ administration to Joshua’s administration.
God’s Work Advances When Your Belief In Him Is Willing To Act Like It
1. Joshua 3:1-17 What do you see different in this story from the previous? (They had faith and acted immediately.)
2. Why do you think Joshua told them to consecrate themselves before attempting to cross the river?
Insight: God will only part the waters when we decide to consecrate ourselves to follow His leading. The Lord can do very little with those who refuse to present a dedicated life to Him. It’s only after you consecrate yourself to follow Him that He fills you with the Holy Spirit.
3. At what point did the waters part before them? (When the priest’s feet made the first step into the water.) The river is at flood stage…you have a heavy load on your shoulders…and you are instructed to step into the river. How do you think they felt? What did it take for them to do that? (A real faith.)
Here’s the bottom line: If we expect God to act mightily on our behalf, we are going to have to be people of faith! Our fears must pass and we must step forward when God directs!
Fear runs from the enemy. Faith expects great things from God.
Now it’s time to personalize this lesson. Stand in the middle of your Jordan River situation and let your faith release power from Heaven. God will part the waters and show you the way out as step forward. The key is keeping your eyes on the Lord.
Dan. 11:32; Rev. 2:10; Phil. 4:6-7; Ps. 55:22; Isa. 41:10; Isa. 43:1-3,5,11