“Do not be afraid! Take your stand [be firm and confident and undismayed] and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today... The Lord will fight for you while you [only need to] keep silent and remain calm.” Exodus 14:13-14 AMP
It was a Monday evening and things were just not right. I was in the middle of a very difficult conversation and every word spoken seemed to be a reminder of a my inadequacy and one more confirmation of my insecurities. I was confronted with the vast chasm between God's promise and what my eyes could see. It was like I could audibly hear the hostility of the accusers assault on my destiny. I felt as if the world was closing in as frustration and confusion began to rise. It seemed like there was nothing I could do to stop the arrows of pain directed right at me. Yet this time, my experience felt different than in the past. I could see the FACTS of the situation, in light of accusation and inadequacy, as well as hear the Lord reminding me of His PROMISE.
The storm was real and it was happening right there in that moment. The onslaught of hurt and pain screamed, "Just give up, it's useless" and the words, "you are never going to see this change" were the sign post pointing to years past. But there was also a great confidence arising, calling forth the hope of promise reserved for my future. The conversation with the person that started all of this only lasted an hour. Yet the internal conversations lasted four long days and nights. Oh how my heart raced for hours, days. It felt like I was being choked by fear, regret, and insecurity. I could hear the accuser asking me, "Did God really promise these things to you, what you call faith is really just denial". My heart was truly experiencing a deep sense of uncertainty. Would I ever see the promise of God come to pass? I just kept talking to the Lord, sitting with Him, listening to Him through the week. Those days were brutal and the pain was so real. Thursday night I experienced the worst of the battle. It was 14 hours of the enemy whispering in my ear all the facts about who I was in the past as he screamed the accusations of who I would never be in the future. Then Suddenly...
As I woke up the next morning feeling exhausted, tired, and even a bit flustered I began my morning routine. As I sat to have my morning with the Lord, headphones on, meditating on the delight of God. I sat with my eyes closed as my day lay in front of me on my computer screen. I had my hands open to the Lord positioned before Him and then suddenly...
The Lord reminded me of a scripture I had seen earlier in the morning on my bible app. It was Exodus 14:14. I opened my phone and began to the read the words, "Do not be afraid! Take your stand [be firm and confident and undismayed] and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today... The Lord will fight for you while you [only need to] keep silent and remain calm.” Exodus 14:13-14 AMP
The sweet words of scripture began too well up like a spring of gushing water in my spirit. It was like a geyser of hope and strength exploding straight from the heart of God. Tears began to slowly roll down my cheeks into my beard as I leaned back and took deep breath in. "Inhale, Exhale, and Inhale, Exhale." As I exhaled I said, "thank you Lord, thank you!" I sat as I breathed in and out the love of God. Every time I inhaled and exhaled It was like a fragrance of the love of the Heavenly Father moving in and through me. I could feel the heart of the Lord was beating for me and as I sat for what seemed like hours, the Lord began to speak to me.
"Cassidy, I am fighting for you. Your name is on my lips. I am singing your song today. I love you more than you can understand now. Don't be afraid what I have promised you! Do not fear that it may not come to pass. You can walk in confidence even in the pain and uncertainty of delay. I will accomplish what I promise. You will know the fullness of love and experience the fullness of my promise. This is NOT your fight! I am with you and I will never leave you on your own. I am fighting this battle for you today. Just lean in closer to me. Do NOT BE AFRAID! Disregard what may seem like shame today and let your heart rest in who I am. This battle belongs to me."
It was one of those moments I will never forget. The Lord ministered directly to my heart. In the week following I spent time listening, receiving, and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead me through scripture after scripture.
Can you relate to this story? Have you ever felt like all of hell was waging war against the very promise the Lord gave you? Has fear, shame, condemnation, or guilt gripped your heart so deeply? We are not alone and Jesus himself knows what we are experiencing. The Lord reminded me of this scripture I had read to my daughters the week before.
"And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” ' Matthew 8:23-27
The disciples got in the boat WITH Jesus, he led them there. It is understood by scholars that there was some kind of earth shaking or earthquake that caused the waves to overcome by the sea and boat. Why is that worth telling you? Because the storm didn't quickly arise. It was loud, coming, and as they watched it happen they were amazed that Jesus was asleep. He was SLEEPING! There are many different biblical interpretations of what actual words the disciples used, spoke. I think they ALL make up the whole of the picture. The disciples called him "Master, Master"... as if to accuse the Son of God, the Son of Man as something less than all Jesus had proclaimed in Matthew 5-7. It's as if they are accusing Jesus with the word Master. What do I mean? He led them into the boat and they followed as a disciple would follow their Master. But Jesus had spent the whole day before sharing the rewards of the meek, the pure in heart, the house built on good sand, and even declaring in Matthew 7 his authority. Now his friends in the boat were confronted with the circumstances of life. I can hear them asking, "He led us in this boat at night, He wanted to go across and now we are about to die, does he even care?" They say the words,"Master, master, save us, do you even care we are about to die?"
Have you ever felt that way? Even used those same words with the Lord? Maybe you have said, "Lord, do you see the storm in my life, do you even care?"
Back to the text! Jesus awoke and said, "Why are you so afraid, why do you still doubt?" He rebuked the wind and waves and there was a great calm and they were amazed. In my own battle the Lord asked me, "Why are you so afraid, why do you still doubt if I'm awake, care, or am with you?" I spent the hours listening as He so kindly reassured His love for me, His zeal for my situation, and the comfort of His big arms.
Let me ask you, "Why are you so afraid, why do you still doubt if the Lord sees you or is with you?" Just as Jesus led His friends in the boat through the storm, so He is with you. He is not merely your master but your friend. He is not only your King but your Father. He is IN THE BOAT WITH YOU. He is IN THE FIRE WITH YOU walking with you just like the 3 Hebrew boys in Daniel. He is in the midst of your story with you and His glory will be made full through your name!
I submit to you, The Great I AM is fighting this one for you. Let Him swoop you up, put you on His shoulders, and lead you through the battle into your promise. Hold on tightly, Stand firm! Stand on the shoulders of the creator of everything confident and undismayed. Stay calm and remain silent for the Lord your God will remain faithful to the promise He spoke to you.