Hebrews 11:29 ESV
29 By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned.
Whatever you start by faith must be completed by faith. There is no middle ground- it’s by faith or drown. What are you doing today that began by faith- does your faith remain?
By faith the people.
But the Egyptians.
Two groups of folks walked on dry land under the Red Sea while walls of water remained parted, but only one crossed. Sometimes we do something on our own that others are doing by faith. It never works. The Hebrews were walking on dry ground by faith, the Egyptians were chasing them. No faith. Certainly, if the slaves could cross the far superior Egyptians could do the same. Nope. Faith doesn’t work like that. You must have your own faith.
NO TIME FOR SLEEPING
We know this. None of this is new. Yet, we find ourselves constantly in relationships and jobs without faith that we started by faith. We prayed and waited on the Lord for this promotion and then once inside our fail sputters. We become overwhelmed with walking on dry ground and the coolness of walls of water that we forget what made everything happen. We pray (and pray) to get married but after the “I do” we trade our praying for nagging and our nurturing with neglect. We started by faith but continue without. We give and study and pray for that promotion but after the first paycheck begin to rest in our success.
Faith doesn’t get easier. The last half of the Red Sea crossing was just as many steps as the first half. In fact, the sound of the Egyptian horsemen on the last mile was probably more terrifying than the first mile. By faith, Peter left everything and followed Jesus (Lk 18:28). Yet, Peter failed to follow Jesus during the last mile (Mt 26:74).
Sometimes I find myself reveling in past faith. In the process, I somehow become distracted from now faith. But those testimonies are designed to remind us of past victories for the purpose of future successes (Rev 12:11). Testimonies are not an exemption from the current battle. What you did by faith is great. But what are you doing?
Great companies continue to create and reach and grow. Great marriages transition successfully through each phase. Settling down from singleness is sometimes difficult but remaining content can be just as difficult. Babies are difficult but so are teenagers. Sleepless nights seem the norm in each phase. How will we survive? By faith. Starting a new job is difficult. Unfamiliar initiatives, team members, and policies levy a certain acceptable anxiety. But so do emerging markets or opportunities within the same business. How will we succeed? By faith.
Whatever success we experience by faith will require faith to continue.
THIS ISN’T HORSESHOES
I know a man who labored to build a beautiful home for his family. He talked about hard work and prayer and faith. His home, he said, was built by faith. But through the years, the zeal diminished and he chose to have an affair. Ultimately, that story ended in a broken family. Why? Faith didn’t continue. He didn’t cross the Red Sea. The waters parted and he began walking on dry ground, but he didn’t make it to the other side.
God wants you to make it to the other side.
That job you received by faith will be kept by faith. That family you received by faith will remain strong by the same faith. Faith must remain.
Are you still focused on what matters most or have you become distracted? Beautiful homes are nice, but a great family is better. A fat salary is nice, but a great reputation is better. Past victories are great, but the next testimony will be greater.
By faith the people crossed.
So can you.
A weekly blog by G. Shawn Scarborough, Pastor of Livingstone Church