A Promise

Recently, God has been teaching me about the power of His promises.

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses. These are only a few great names from the Bible that had promises written all over their lives.

In Romans, Paul gets a little obsessed about the power of God’s promises. He argues emphatically that when God speaks a promise over your life, all bets are off. Human effort goes out the window. No matter what that promise is, God will see it through to completion. And as Paul so eloquently argues, the completion of the promise is not at all dependent upon anything you or I will do or can do.

Simply put, if God said it, that’s it. End of story. Thus our role as recipients of the promise is to simply enter into what God is doing. Acknowledge that for some unknown reason, God saw us, He saw the potential, and the individual wiring, and He spoke a unique promise over each of our lives.

It is reassuring, because it takes all the weight off of us and our performance.  All God asks is for us to open our hands and receive, and then watch with a heart full of faith and trust for what He will do next.

I love the story of Moses. There are so many amazing truths about God planted throughout this historical segment of ancient history. But the lesson that keeps coming up over and over again is the power of God’s promise over our lives.

Do you know what Moses’ name means? It means to be “pulled out of the water.”

He was given this name by Pharaoh’s daughter at the time, you guessed it, when she pulled him up out of the water.

Moses was born during a rough period, as a means to control the Israelite population, a decree had been given by Pharaoh to kill every Israelite male child that was born.  However, Moses’ mother could not bare the thought of killing her son, so in a last stitch effort, she put him in a basket, placed him in the Nile, and prayed God would do what only He could do.

While I will never know what Moses’ life looked like outside of what is recorded in history, something within me believes he was likely always referred to as the kid who got pulled out of the Nile.

I would suspect the story about his rescue was told time and time again. Over and over amongst both the Egyptians and the Israelites. Word around town probably quickly spread: “Have you heard about the Israelite baby boy who was pulled out of the water by Pharaoh’s daughter? We can hardly believe it, she named him Moses.  Pharaoh’s daughter has taken him as her own.”

As Moses grew older, perhaps he would get sick of telling the story about his rescue or perhaps he never shared it at all.  Perhaps he hated his name, because with it, his story of rescue was automatically told.

Regardless of how he handled his history, there is something so profound about his name.

Fast forward to Moses’ adult life- most of us are familiar with the story of Moses, the Israelites, the Egyptians, and the parting of the Red Sea.

The Israelites were terrified and were in desperate need of a miracle. They had reached a dead end. There was nowhere else to go to run from Pharaoh’s army. The Red Sea was in front of them and the army was behind them.  Death was imminent.

At this, Moses spoke to his people:

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” -Exodus 14:13-16

I cannot help but wonder what was going on in Moses’ mind in that moment. God had brought them so far, after all of this, Moses knew now was not the time for God to let the Israelites down. So what did Moses do?

He remembered his name…Moses: To be pulled out of the water.  He remembered this promise spoken over his life from the time he was just a boy.  He remembered he had been rescued once before.

So Moses knew, he knew, they need only to be still and then watch the Lord come to their rescue.  Because if God had orchestrated his removal out of water in the past, then He could do it again.  All he had to do was remember and believe.

The Lord had to have been pleased in that moment as he watched Moses finally embrace the promise over his life. In the below exchange it is as if God says, “You get it. Now, in this moment, you are entering into what I have been trying to show you after all this time. When you believe in who I am and who I have called you to be, there is no limit in what I can do through you.   All you have to do is open your hands and then watch what I will do.”

Exodus 14:15-16:  Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.

Exodus 14:21-22:  Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

You may be doubting what God’s promise is for your life, but rest assured He has one. You may land on it tomorrow, or you may not realize it until years from now. But in the meantime, don’t forget there is a promise. Don’t stop believing God for the impossible. He has chosen you, He has called you by name, do not grow weary in keeping your faith.