What to Expect When Walking by Faith

A Lesson Learned from a Story Worth Telling

It was nearly nightfall when Moses looked out over the trembling waters of the Red Sea, took a deep breath, and held it. There it was, exactly where God said it would be.

Photo credit: Wiki Commons

Moses stood, staring for a moment, as if expecting the watery barrier to fade like the many mirages he’d seen in the desert for decades while tending sheep.

Now I have sheep of a different kind, the fledgling leader thought. He exhaled slowly while turning toward the teeming masses— nearly two million people—that stretched as far as he could see. They had cheered him just a few days ago as they followed him out of Egypt, but they weren’t cheering now. Their furious, frustrated cries washed over him yet again. They clamored, complained, accused, and threatened to desert him.

They’re just afraid, Moses thought, an emotion he understood only too well. As he continued his pivot away from the sea, he saw what the people saw behind them: the mightiest army in the world. The Egyptian host stood ready to recapture or destroy them, whichever came easiest.

He could see them only vaguely now, for they were blurred by the flaming cloud that had descended between them earlier that day. Now as the daylight faded quickly, Moses could see the flames more distinctly, an inferno sent by God Himself to separate them from the Egyptians bent on vengeance.

Encouraged by the vivid reminder of God’s intervention, Moses shook his head as if to clear it of fear and focus his faith on the One who had appeared to him in that burning bush.

It felt so long ago, so far away.

And yet, in spite of the bleak scenario, he could not shake the same sense he had felt then: God was up to something. Even now, in this dark hour, he could feel it.

God is about to move, Moses thought, if only we have the faith to follow.

The obstacles he faced now—the sea in front, the army behind, and a mob all around—might as well have been the same mountains that had surrounded him that day he’d first encountered God while alone in the wilderness. Those mountains hadn’t stopped him then, and somehow he doubted these barriers would stop God’s people now.

The sea and the army sure looked imposing, even insurmountable, but he had seen enough to know one thing: God is bigger.

Moses held his arms out beside him, palms upward and open. He lifted his face expectantly toward the starry sky and muttered: “I guess you know I’m out of options here. If you’re going to move, now would be a good time.”

Why God Waits to Deliver Us

When we trust God enough to stand down, we invite His power to show up.

But that doesn’t mean God will show up on our schedule. I’m sure Moses would have preferred God open the Red Sea sooner. But the story could not so wondrously reveal the majesty of God if he had not been so radically dependent on him.

God shows his greatness best when our situation can’t get much worse.

The psalmist declared that God would save us “just at the break of dawn” (Psalm 46:5 nkjv). He loves to wait until we are out of options so there can be no mistaking who is responsible for the solution.

It should not surprise us when God waits until just before morning to deliver us. In fact, we should expect it.

Question: What about you? Have you ever had a Red Sea Moment when you had to step out before you saw God move as He promised? You can share your thoughts with other FaithWalkers by clicking here.

A Story Worth Telling_cov_Versa.inddThis post is an excerpt from my new book A Story Worth Telling: Your Field Guide to Living an Authentic Life.

For a limited time, get a FREE chapter here.

For the month of June, pastors and ministry leaders only can get the entire book FREE here.

When the Reformation came, the providence of God raised Martin Luther to restore the gospel of pure, costly grace. Luther passed through cloister; he was a monk, and all this was part of the divine plan. Luther had left all to follow Christ on the path of absolute obedience.

He had renounced the world in order to live the Christian life. He had learnt obedience to Christ and to his Church, because only he who is obedient can believe. The call to the cloister demanded of Luther the complete surrender of his life.

But God shattered all his hopes. He showed him through the Scriptures that the following of Christ is not the achievement or merit of a select few, but the divine command to all Christians without distinction.

Monasticism had transformed the humble work of discipleship into the meritorious activity of the saints, and the self-renunciation of discipleship into the flagrant spiritual self-assertion of the “religious.” The world had crept into the very heart of the monastic life, and was once more making havoc.

The monk’s attempt to flee from the world turned out to be a subtle form of love for the world.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The Cost of Discipleship

Hey! Listen in today, 5-7 PM (EST) May 28, when my friend Erick Erickson and I chat about my new book A Story Worth Telling on WSB Radio in Atlanta. Listen live here: http://www.wsbradio.com/s/erickson/

Privileged to share about why I’m giving away my book for FREE to pastors — PLUS FREE Catalyst tickets — on the #1 local show on the #1 News Talk station in the nation!

Our chat is scheduled to run today but it IS a news show, so if a news story worth telling happens today, A Story Worth Telling could get bumped to another day. That’s a mind-binder for sure.

Find out more about the FREE book for pastors here: http://faithwalkers.com/pastors

Meme-TalkingVSLiving

Appearance: The Erick Erickson Show
Outlet: WSB Radio, Atlanta
Location: Atlanta, GA
Format: Radio

Do You Have What It Takes to Be A Hero?

5 Key Questions to Identify Your Core Beliefs

Sacrifice. It’s not a popular word. It never has been and probably never will be. But to those who desire an authentic life, the kind of life that produces a story worth telling, sacrifice must become a way of life. Faith is the stuff heroes are made of.

Utah Beach. Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

This past weekend in America, we celebrated Memorial Day. We set aside a day to remember the fallen, those brave men and woman who served in our Armed Forces and gave their last measure of full devotion — but why did they do it?

I would suggest most did it because of what they believed to be true, most definitely in spite of what they saw, sensed, or felt. For readers of my new book A Story Worth Telling, that explanation should sound familiar — it is the very definition of faith.

I’m Giving Away My New Book to Pastors Only

Plus Catalyst Atlanta Tickets and a Few Guest Posts You May Have Missed

It’s Memorial Day in America! A day when we remember those who gave their last measure of full devotion by faith — they died for what they believed to be true.

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These brave men and women were FaithWalkers in many ways. And my next post will ask the question — what beliefs would you defend at the risk of losing your life?

A Free Gift for Pastors Only

But today, as you relax, remember, and enjoy the company of friends and family, I just wanted to pass along some news you can use and a few guest posts you may have missed from last week.

First, I’m giving away my new book A Story Worth Telling for FREE to PASTORS ONLY! And one pastor will win two free tickets to Catalyst Atlanta along with 8 copies of my new book for small-group study.

Total prize value: $750!

Click here to discover more — and please pass this post or the page link (FaithWalkers.com/pastors) along to any pastors you may know.

Memorial Day Reading You May Have Missed

If you somehow do get a moment to read today, here are three guest posts I wrote at various places last week:

You may have faced—or are facing now—what appear to be impossible obstacles, massive mountains that threaten to keep you from answering God’s call to live a story worth telling.

But there’s good news: MOUNTAINS MAKE THE IDEAL SETTINGS FOR LIVING THE BEST STORIES.

Continue reading…

Every day you lead, you are writing a story. You don’t have to be a writer or even put pen to paper to make it a good one. But you do need one key ingredient: belief.

Regardless of your beliefs about spiritual matters, your leadership legacy will be determined by your faith.

Continue reading…

It’s time. Or at least you think it might be. You’ve been sensing a struggle within for a while, but you’ve kept it to yourself.  You’ve felt a restlessness, a sense that you should be pursuing a new life calling, something more in line with your God-given gifts — but you’re scared to step out without knowing how it will all turn out.

Continue reading…

Quick update: A Story Worth Telling finished the week as the #1 paperback New Release in Christian Faith at Amazon! Many thanks for all of you who are helping to spread the word.

If you don’t have your copy yet, click here now to start making your life memorable.