“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Exodus 14:14 NIV
I'm sure you have all read this verse. Most of you have probably seen it on an uplifting meme, have it as an encouraging poster, or maybe even have it written on a post-it note hanging from your bathroom mirror. You probably read it to yourself when you are in midst of a battle that you want to give up or give in. It's encouraging to know that God will fight for you and you just need to sit back and do nothing. Much less pressure, right? Though I think there are times for that this verse is not saying that.
In Exodus Chapter 13 and 14, Pharoah finally let the Israelites go, free from slavery and out of Egypt. The Israelites were on their way out when Pharoah hardened his heart and decided to go after them. As you can imagine, the Israelites were scared; they were upset at Moses' leadership and their assumable pending death. They look behind them and see hundreds of Egyptians ready to attack and look before them and see no escape, but the impassable Red Sea. The Israelites were truly in a challenging situation.
“As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!””
Exodus 14:10-12 NIV
Moses, like a good leader often does, tried encouraging his people, letting them know that they just need to stay calm and God is on their side. Which, my guess is, Moses was saying it more for himself than for them. Look at what he says,
“Moses answered the 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. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.””
Exodus 14:13-14 NIV
This sounds good. God will fight for us, we don't have to do anything, right? Wrong! Look what God's response is in verse 15.
“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 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.”
I LOVE this! God basically says "umm Moses don't you see you are wasting time. Don't just stand there- MOVE!" God is more than capable of getting things done without us, but more times than not he wants us to be involved. He wants us to depend on him, ask him for direction, but then he wants US to make the move.
God's direction was big, huge, what we would call impossible. But guess what, Moses moved and because he didn't "stay still and just wait for God to fight his battles" he witnessed another miracle that not only saved his life, but the lives of all the Israelites.
“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, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.”
Exodus 14:21-22 NIV
How many of us are "losing a battle" because we are just staying still and letting God fight for us when God is clearly telling us to Go! What miracles are we missing out on? God does fight for us! He IS for us, but he also wants US to make the MOVE!