When asked the question, “Where are you from?”, rarely do I give a one word answer, having hailed from several locations. My childhood was spent in Illinois, I found my wings at age twenty-one and resettled in California, spent five and a half years in Minnesota, moved back to California, relocated to Missouri, and now reside in Texas. As a sojourner in five states, I grew to love the people and the different cultures. Some moves were simple. Some were necessary. Some were labor intensive. All were providential. In every circumstance, I knew when it was TIME TO MOVE.
The Israelites experienced a massive move, chronicled in the book of Exodus. The historical account is replete with colorful stories and mighty miracles. One such miraculous event occurred following the swift evacuation from Egypt in which the Hebrew nation followed Moses into the desert and set up camp by the Red Sea. They had been hastened out of Egypt by God’s will and the Egyptians sheer terror of God’s favor on His people. Relapsing into a moment of derangement however; Pharaoh questioned the decision to let them go. The LORD then hardened the heart of Pharaoh where he and his army pursued the Israelites to their camp. Exodus 14:9 says that Pharaoh, his horsemen, and his army overtook them camping by the sea. At this point, the Israelites had forgotten the promise sworn by God to their father Abraham, giving them the land of Canaan. They forgot His hand upon them in Egypt while they were spared from the horrific plagues suffered as a result of Pharaoh’s resistance to God’s command. In this moment they were scared out of their wits. Their leader, Moses, tells them in verse thirteen to stand still and watch God’s salvation, as He would fight for them in their perceived defenseless, hemmed in, overtaken situation. Next Exodus 14:15 reads in the NKJV- And the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.” Forward is the Hebrew word, naca, pronounced naw-sah. The original meaning is to pull up, especially tent pins and start on a journey. Basically God was telling them to stop crying out in desperation for help, because help was already in motion. It was TIME TO MOVE. In verse nineteen, the Angel of God moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. Granted, there was the Red Sea in front of them, yet God made a way, where there was no way. Moses lifted his rod, stretched out his hand, and God parted that sea as His children crossed over safely on dry ground. Pharaoh and his army naively attempted to cross as well, but God caused the sea to envelop them and all perished.
Going forward does not always mean a literal move from one living space to another, as in my relocations from state to state. It can also have a metaphorical connotation. Perhaps we have been given a promise or a dream as well. Satan does not want us to believe in the God who gave us those promises and dreams, nor in His power to fulfill them. So the devil wages war against our weaknesses to keep us paralyzed and ineffective. My personal battles have been in opposition to fear and insecurity. Encamped by my own Red Sea, I recall crying out to God begging for help against those foes that surrounded me, even though I left them behind in “Egypt”. Fear and insecurity refused to give up until I chose to go forward and pull up my tent pins, starting on my journey. It is in that moment we find the miraculous. God opens up a path towards the destiny for our lives He planned before we were born. He makes a way, where there seems to be no way. We just have to move forward and keep moving forward. If you are crying out to God in desperation, feeling defenseless, hemmed in, and overtaken in your situation, it is TIME TO MOVE. Pull up those tent pins and start on the journey toward your destiny. God will make a way. There are dreams and promises waiting to be fulfilled.