Are you Praying for God to Part the Waters?
Do you ever pray…God, make a way! You are looking at the circumstances in front of you and you are asking God to create a path out that you currently cannot see. Perhaps your situation is a rebellious child, a job you hate, a job loss, a difficult marriage, a mountain of debt, cancer, or another health trial.
It seems pain surrounds you on all sides and it threatens to drown you in it. Your pain and isolating is compounded by the fact that everyone else’s life just goes on like normal.
In these situations, we cry out to God. We long for His presence and His comfort. We want to be like little kids who can crawl up into their father’s lap and he will solve all their problems. Yet, we are like children who think we are more grown than we actually are. We think we know best how to solve the problem and what a way-out ought to look like.
God parts the waters to create Heaven
“And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters and let it separate the waters from the waters. And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven.” Genesis 1:6
On the first day, God spoke light into existence. He created Day and Night. Then, on the second day, He parted the waters to create the heavens. The heavens included not just the blue sky among us but the stars of the universe.
God parted the waters and created a universe of opportunities. God parted the waters and blessed us with the space for stars. Stars that were not created until the fourth day.
Sometimes we want the parting of the waters and the birth of the stars at the same time. God’s timing is not our own. Sometimes God created the path and then takes time to light the path for us.
God parts the waters to create Freedom
“The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and his horsemen and his army, and overtook them encamped at the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.” Exodus 14:9
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and make the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.” Exodus 14:221-22
“The water returned and covered the chariots and horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained. But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.” Exodus 14:28-29
Moses led the people of God out of Egypt. After a series of 10 miracles, the mighty Egyptian Pharaoh let God’s people go. They marched out of Egypt toward the Promised Land. The walked until the arrived at the shore of the Red Sea. Suddenly, the realized that Pharaoh had come after them and they had nowhere to go.
How did they respond? They complained to Moses. They accused God of bringing them out into the desert to die. They did not believe that the same God that had triumphed over Pharaoh in Egypt could not triumph over Pharaoh again in the wilderness.
Do we think there are some miracles God can do and other miracles he won’t do? We know enough to know in our heads that he can do anything. However, in our hearts, we limit the miracles and the power that we will give God.
Either our miracle is too small to warrant God’s attention. Or, our miracle seems too outrageous for God to perform. Why would God answer my prayer when others have prayed the same prayer and it has gone unanswered?
God has not led you this far to suddenly abandon you. God had a plan to provide for the Jewish people and to bring glory to his name by destroying the Egyptians. God waited until the time when he would get the glory.
Plus, by waiting, the power of God was displayed not just to the Egyptians but also to the Israelites. Their faith grew because they had to wait for God to open the waters for them.
“Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.” Exodus 14:31
God parted the water to the Promised Land
“And as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the art were dipped in the brink of the water… the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam … and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.” Joshua 3:15-17
This was the second time that the Jewish people had come to the waters of the Jordan River. The first time, after hearing the report of the spies, the people were too scared and their faith was too weak to cross over. God led them back into the wilderness to wander for forty years before they again returned.
This time, instead of Moses leading the way, the Ark of the Covenant led the way. As long as the priests carrying the Ark stood in the way, the water was rolled back and stopped. As soon as the priests stepped out of the Jordan, the river returned to its place.
The Ark of the Covenant symbolizes God’s presence with the people. In it were the sacred symbols of their relationship including the Ten Commandments.
When we are wanting God to part the waters before us, we need to ask is God with us? Are we walking in the path that God has called us to walk in? When we are wanting God to work a miracle, perhaps we need to first go to God. We need to focus on his glory and his sacred work. Instead of wanting God to be present with us, we need to go be present with him.
“For the priests bearing the ark stood in the midst of the Jordan until everything was finished that the Lord commanded Joshua to tell the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. The people passed over in haste.” Joshua 4:10 ESV
The people of Israel had seen this miracle of the parting of the water twice, and yet they still crossed over in haste. It is natural too that we sometimes want God to move with more haste. We sometimes will move too hastily in our own power. Trust in God. Wait for God. Then, when God makes a way, be courageous and follow Him.
God parts the waters for Elijah
“Then Elijah took his distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground.” 2 Kings 2:8
The prophet Elijah had battled against King Ahab and Queen Jezebel and their worship of Baal. In one famous showdown, Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to a fire-making challenge. Try as they might the prophets of Baal could not convince their god to throw down fire from above. Elijah, meanwhile, drenched his altar with water, but God sent down such a fiery sign of his power that every bit of the saturated altar was consumed including the stones.
Elijah and Elisha crossed on the dry land of the parted Jordan. Elijah was about to be caught up to Heaven and he was seeking to be alone for this to happen. Elisha would not leave him. It was only after Elisha received a blessing that the Lord took Elijah up into heaven with chariots of fire and a whirlwind.
Sometimes God does not part the waters for us until death. We don’t get the answers that we want in our lifetime. Sometimes the healing doesn’t happen in the way we want it to on this side of heaven.
Sometimes the meaning behind the suffering we have gone through just won’t make sense until we get to heaven. We take confidence knowing that Jesus has made a way for us into heaven.
God parts the waters for Elisha
“And he took up the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the water, saying, ‘Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?’ And when he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.” 2 Kings 2:13-14
When the prophets on the other side of the Jordan saw that Elisha had parted the waters in the same way as Elisha, they knew that God was with him. It was for God’s glory that the waters parted. We need to pray to understand God’s will and to walk in that will.
Elisha was one just one, but God parted the waters for him. Moses was leading a whole nation. Joshua was leading a nation. Then, God parted the waters just for two men. Finally, the waters were parted just for one man.
God cares for nations and for individual people. If God can part the waters for just one person, he can part the waters for you!
Will God part the waters for you?
Lauren Diagle captures this struggle so beautifully when she sings:
“When You Don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move,
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through,
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You,
I will trust, I will trust in You!”
When the Water Hasn’t Parted Yet…
Sometimes we are at the banks of the Red Sea in our lives and we are in need of a Savior. It can be hard to trust in God. It can be hard to wait on the Lord. It can be hard to see how He is working to bring about His glory.
Other times it is not God that needs to move, but we need to move. Sometimes God has opened a way and we are the ones that need to be brave and cross over that dry land.
Are you praying for a miracle but don’t have the faith to follow God into that miracle?
Are the waters parted for you and piled up high on either side of you – but you won’t trust to walk forward in faith until you feel Pharaoh breathing down your neck? Move out of your comfort zone, before God makes you uncomfortable enough that you have no choice.
Our God can move mountains. Our God can part the waters. The same God that parted the waters to create the Heavens also knit you together in your mother’s womb. God loves you.
Keep praying for your miracle and have the courage to cross when it comes.
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