John Ed Mathison headshot

The people of Israel had become slaves to the Egyptians. God raised up a leader – Moses – to free them and lead them to the promised land. Moses was probably a Methodist because he made many excuses as to why he could not do what God wanted him to do!

As you live in the New Year, don’t make excuses for what you can’t do. Trust God that He knows what He’s doing and that He knows what you can do!

After a long series of disasters, Moses led the people to leave Egypt. Notice that God did not lead them in the most direct route to the Promised Land. He led them in a longer route through the Red Sea wilderness (Exodus 13:17,18). Oftentimes, we question God’s route that He wants us to take, but He always knows what is best. He provided everything. He gave them a pillar of cloud during the daytime and a pillar of fire at night so they could travel either day or night. (v.20)

Pharaoh thought he had the people trapped when they reached the Red Sea. Pharaoh had 600 chariots and his entire cavalry of horses. The Israelites had no chance. They started whining and were ready to form the “Back to Egypt” committee. They thought it was better to be slaves to the Egyptians than be dead in the wilderness. (14:12)

Remember – in the darkest moments of life, God has a better plan! He always does!

God told Moses, “Quit praying and get the people moving forward – march!” (v.15) It’s always good to pray, but it’s also good to know when to quit praying and start moving. It’s easier to pray than it is to act. The only way God would save the people was to have them march forward. Is that God’s message for you in the New Year? There are many ways to move forward – there’s only one way to stand still!

God was in charge. He moved the cloud behind the people, and it gave darkness to the Egyptians but light to the people of Israel. God can do anything! (v.20)

He told Moses to stretch his rod over the sea. Huge walls of water on each side formed, and a strong east wind blew, drying out the sea bottom. Moses and the people crossed on dry land to safety. When Pharaoh’s chariots started across the tunnel formed in the Red Sea, God told Moses to lift his rod again. The tunnel collapsed, and the entire army of the enemy was drowned.

God has a promised land for you in 2020!

Follow this simple pattern:

•Don’t make excuses about what you can’t do.

•Follow God’s directions, even when they don’t appear to you to be the best.

•Don’t whine and consider going back to Egypt, but listen to and obey God and go forward!

•Know when to quit praying and start acting!

•God has never lost a battle yet – follow Him!

Every decision you make in 2020 will contribute either to “go back to Egypt” or “go forward to the promised land.” It’s your choice!