Steven Furtick - Green Light At The Red Sea
I'm so glad you came today. I'm so glad God directed and ordered your steps to be here. I have a sneaking suspicion you're about to find out why you had to come to church today, why you had to log on today, why you had to click that video today. God is going to show you. Join me right now in Psalm 106. Verse 7: "When our ancestors were in Egypt, they gave no thought to your miracles; they did not remember your many kindnesses, and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea. Yet he saved them for his name's sake, to make his mighty power known. He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up; he led them through the depths as through a desert. He saved them from the hand of the foe; from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them. The waters covered their adversaries; not one of them survived. Then they believed his promises and sang his praise".
I want to go back to verse 9 for a moment where it says, "He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up; he led them through the depths as through a desert". He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up. My sermon title today is Green Light at the Red Sea, when God gives you a green light at the Red Sea. The parting of the Red Sea is one of the most celebrated events in the history of the nation of Israel. They still celebrate it to this day. It's worthy of celebration, if you think about it, because it's 180 miles wide, on average, to cross the Red Sea. Don't confuse it with the other bodies of water that are also significant in Scripture: the Jordan River where Joshua led the people across a little bit later or the Sea of Galilee where Jesus did a lot of his ministry or the Dead Sea where nothing is going out so nothing can come in, the constipated sea.
I don't mean to be unappetizing early in my sermon, but I just used that word. It came to my mind. There are constipated Christians who spiritually… Sorry to ruin your breakfast. The Red Sea is significant not only geographically and generationally but symbolically. It symbolized something so great for the people, it's no surprise that it's mentioned… When Stephen was giving his speech to the Sanhedrin in Acts, chapter 7, he talked about the Red Sea and what God did there. He mentioned it by name: the Red Sea. It's literally called the Sea of Reeds, but it was transliterated Red Sea.
You see that in Acts, chapter 7. Interestingly enough, you see it again in 1 Corinthians, chapter 10, where Paul compares the Red Sea the Israelites went through coming out of Egypt to baptism, the waters we go through to become a new creation in Christ. He makes this very special connection that the people who originally went through it would have never made, but with time and understanding the cross of Jesus Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit, he mentions the Red Sea. He doesn't even name it. He just calls it the sea. That's how special it was to these people. That's how much of an accomplishment and a miracle it was to these people. They didn't even have to name it. Even though there were all of these other different… This wasn't the only body of water, but when they said, "The sea," they knew. They knew God had to bring them through this sea, through this body of water, to bring them into freedom.
It proved two things when he did. This is why it's so significant. It proved that God is committed to me being free. He will split a sea to get me free. He will remove a relationship to get me free. He will allow certain pain to do its job in my life. Paul called it a thorn in the flesh. He's like, "I don't really want to tell you what it really is, but I'm going to call it a thorn. I have this thing in my life. I have a prayer request," he told his men's group. "I asked God to take it away, but God so wanted me to be free of pride so I could receive grace that he gave me something I wanted him to take away. He was so committed to me being free that he said 'no' to me". It's significant because it shows us that God is committed to me being free. More than he's committed to me feeling happy, more than he's committed to me being comfortable, more than he's committed to me being right, he's committed to me being free.
That's the first thing the Red Sea reminds us of and represents in our lives. The second thing is that God is going to get his glory. God is going to get his glory, somehow, someway. You can resist it, but every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. God is going to get his glory. If he can't find a single soldier in the nation of Israel to fight Goliath, he'll bring a shepherd boy up with a lunch, because God is going to get his glory. "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God"? This is about God's glory. This is about his weight. This is about his name. This is about his strength. This is about his reputation. God is going to get his glory if it means he has to tell a storm to be quiet and shut up and be still to show that he is Lord. He will lead you through a storm to show you his glory.
We want to avoid storms, but God won't let you avoid a storm if a storm is what it takes to show you his glory. He needs you to know you're not dependent on the weather or the forecast or the sunshine or a dry boat to make it through. God is going to get his glory. With nails in his hands he's going to get his glory. With nails in his feet he's going to get his glory. With a spear in his side he's going to get his glory. Between two thieves he's going to get his glory. Four days dead Lazarus is coming forth for the glory of God. "Even now I believe I will see the glory of the Lord". God is going to get his glory. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Before God can get his glory, we have to go through some things…our own Red Sea.
I wish I could tell you I thought of this sermon while I was studying the history of Israel and considering the theological, philosophical, and soteriological implications of this text as we reference it in Old Testament and New Testament, surrounded by concordances and Vine's Bible dictionary, but I was just driving to church last week, and the Lord gave me this sermon. It was actually a couple of weeks ago. Holly was preaching. I had Graham and Elijah. They were so excited that Donda dropped. I was excited to get to church to hear Holly preach. I was so excited because I didn't have to preach. I love to preach, but I really like to hear somebody else preach too, especially Holly. So, I'm kind of navigating the speed limit, negotiating where the Lord would have me to sit and where he would have me to operate and function.
Right before we turned into the church, Elijah and Graham are losing their minds, singing "Off the Grid" or something like that. I was going to turn in, and the person in front of me wouldn't go, and the light was green…right around the corner from where we turn in to come to Ballantyne. My instinct was to hit my horn. I'm going to do a quick poll. I'm going to see what kind of Christian you are. How many seconds do you give the car in front of you before you honk? One second, two seconds, three seconds, four seconds, five seconds, six seconds… So, it has been a good five seconds, and I want to see my wife, and I want to be at church. I'm running a little bit behind the schedule I wanted to be because one of my kids was messing with his hair late until the very last minute.
I'm also realizing Elijah is about to get his driver's license. He has it now, but he was about to go take the driver's test. It's a totally different test, by the way, now in North Carolina… (I know this is an international church, so I don't want to make this example too local.) It's a totally different test than it was in South Carolina when I was 16. In South Carolina, when I turned 15, all you had to do was show up and stumble into the driver's department and hit a few buttons on a thing, wait 30 days, and come back and drive around with a woman who terrified you within an inch of your life for about 20 minutes, and they handed you your license. In North Carolina it's classes, and it's hours, and it's an app. I think that's probably better considering that these are our lives we're putting in jeopardy at this moment. It's probably a good idea to make it a little bit of a degree of difficulty, give them a little bit of a bar to jump over, but it's different here. So, I'm thinking this might be the last time I drive Elijah to church, and I'm kind of emotional, but then the person in front of me won't go and the light is green.
As I'm going to hit my horn, it was like the Holy Spirit spoke to me. "You can't drive like this this close to the church". I'm just being honest with you. If we had been in Atlanta, or something like that, or I didn't have an Elevation sticker or my tint was more on my windows and they couldn't see me, I'm going to do it. But the Lord said, "You can't be this big of a jerk this close to the church". I'm so glad I didn't honk, because they went into the parking lot to come here and then turned on their flashers because they were a first-time guest. I'm so glad I didn't honk. Praise God that I didn't honk. A lot of times I did, but this time I didn't, and God is not finished with me. Small steps.
When I read about the children of Israel going across the Red Sea, I not only see the water standing up at the right and the left. I not only hear the click-clack of the chariot wheels of Pharaoh's Cadillacs as he chased them down because he realized what he was losing. Oh yeah. The Enemy fights you the hardest when you're on the verge of a horizon, of a greater, truer, newer version of you that God has seen all along. So, I hear the chariot wheels, because I've read the story so many times, and I bet you've heard it once or twice too. But this time when I read it I heard God honking to tell his children, "You've got to go". After 400 years of generational oppression…
Yes, I'm talking about some of the things your parents struggled with and their parents struggled with and their parents struggled with. Whether that is cycles of poverty, whether that is cycles of dysfunctional thinking, whether that is cycles of substance abuse, whether that is cycles of sexual confusion… Whatever that is, that's what I'm talking about. Now God has seen the misery of his people and come down to do something about it. Psalm 106 is interesting because it's giving us sort of a reflection on a revelation God gave his people so many years earlier. Psalm 106 is written to some people who are coming out of captivity, and in the process of reflecting on that, this is a remembrance of what God did in Egypt. He said, "When our ancestors were in Egypt, they gave no thought to your miracles; they did not remember your many kindnesses, and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea".
That really got me, because I've always taught about and thought about how they rebelled in the wilderness once they got out of Egypt, but the Red Sea I always associated with faith. I think you should too, because you've probably never had faith that great in your life to go through some water too deep to swim through. It's so many people. I mean, good grief. I barely have faith for 485 traffic. You know what I mean? I'm just telling you the truth. I think it's great faith. The writer of Hebrews also mentions the Red Sea. Remember earlier when I said Hebrews? This is the one I was thinking about. I just remembered it. He said, "By faith the children of Israel crossed through the Red Sea, though when their enemies tried to do it, they drowned".
So, I always associated the Red Sea with faith. It was interesting to me that in this psalm, in reflecting on it, he doesn't mention the rebellions we typically know about. When they got in the wilderness and started complaining… "Oh, we have to eat manna every day. Mom, do we have to eat this again? Moses, do we have to eat this manna again? We're sick of manna. We used to have quail in Egypt". "God, do I really have to go back to this job"? Well, you did pray for that job. Okay. But I'm not going to talk about that. It wasn't the wilderness wanderings that were in focus here. It was that moment when they had seen the hand of God. They had seen God afflict the Egyptians with the plagues, turn the Nile River to blood, and were coming out of that loaded with the substance of Egypt to pay them back for everything they didn't get while they were working for Pharaoh. At the moment when they should have been able to celebrate their freedom, they were attacked from behind.
Psalm 106 says they rebelled at the Red Sea. So I went back to read it, because my first thing was, "No they didn't. They walked through the Red Sea". We sing about it a lot in church. He turns seas into highways…stuff like that. But I read it. I realized they did kind of rebel. Let's read it together. Exodus, chapter 14. You know what? I think you deserve the other part in chapter 13. I'm going to chapter 13 just for you. In chapter 13, verse 17, it says, "When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, 'If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.'" Only God knows when you're really ready. Verse 18 says, "So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea".
Now we see the reason for the Red Sea. You've been trying to figure out "Why am I going through this? Why is this happening to me"? Please do not try to play God in somebody else's life and answer that. "Well, God is just using this to test your faith". Shut up and pass your own test and keep your eyes on your own Scantron #2 pencil. But here by the Spirit of the Lord there is a revelation given. I can't tell you the reason you're going through what you're going through, but maybe God will show it to you in these moments together today. It says the reason God brought them to the Red Sea was there were some things that if they were not drowned before they went across, they would be defeated when they got there. It says they left Egypt ready for battle. Verse 18: They went up from Egypt ready… That's what a green light means: You can go now. You're ready now. Sometimes you think it's ready and God gives you a red light instead of a ready light. You're like, "God, I'm ready. I'm ready for this. I'm ready for something better. I'm ready for more. I'm ready. God, I want more influence".
Are you ready for more responsibility? Really ready? Are you ready to be the one who has to put up with all the crap as you're praying about a bigger income? Because that's what happens. Only God knows when we're really ready. They were dressed for battle but not ready for it. God said, "If they face the Philistines right now, they'll get killed". And he was proven correct. Guess what: God was right. When they saw the Canaanites when they finally got into the Promised Land after they crossed through the Red Sea, they wouldn't fight. They weren't ready. They were dressed like they were ready. They were looking like they were ready. They were posting that they were ready. They were hashtagging like they were ready, but they weren't really ready. Only God knows when you're really ready. You know how y'all shouted over the green light at the Red Sea?
I wonder if you would shout over this one. Show me how exciting this is to you. "Yes, Lord! Bring it on. I want my harvest. I want my blessing. I want my Boaz. I'm a deep Christian. I read Ruth". But if you ever asked God for a king and then got Saul, you will start shouting over here. For God says, "I'm not taking the thorn away. I'm leaving it to keep you grounded. I'm not moving the Red Sea. I'm moving you through it, and I'm sending the Egyptians to make sure you keep moving, because I know you'll go back if I don't do it".
Lord, when they listen to this message, please help them not to pervert the spirit of what I'm saying. Some of them will say that God is telling them they have a green light to walk away from something you called them to, and I don't want them to abuse my message and compare things to Egypt that are really the things you've called them to stick out. So please, Lord, help this message not to be misinterpreted. In Jesus' name, amen.
Now that I got that out of the way, you have to thank God for this. What does this mean? The most basic thing in the world. Then let's not even talk about… What does that mean? Yes, speed up. I know how you are. I see you driving around. This is not driver's ed class. This is a church meeting. So, how many of you have your driver's license? Right. So you did it. You didn't shout when I asked that. You didn't dance. You didn't shake a tambourine. Remember how big it was when you did it? Remember when you were excited about that, and you were shouting and singing about your driver's license, and it was a big deal? Remember, I only can preach out of what I live. Having a kid who just got the driver's license, we started telling all of the old stories. We went around table… We had some family over over Labor Day, and everybody was saying, "When I got my driver's license…" and "When I got mine…" and "These were the rules when I got mine. This is the first wreck I got into, and this is the mailbox I crashed into, and this is how I almost died. Isn't that funny"?
Holly has this awful story about how when her older sister got her driver's license, they drove and they thought the traffic lights were facing the wrong way in Miami, Florida. She had just had her eyes dilated. So, she's driving, and she goes, "Huh. These traffic lights are going the wrong way". No, you are. They're driving the wrong way. It's the traffic light's fault. You'll notice how we want to blame stuff, like, "O God, where are you"? Where are you? He told you, but you ran it. So, when it came my turn to tell my driver's license story… Mine is pretty funny because I didn't even want to get my driver's license. I was scared to get it.
My dad comes home one day. He had a barber shop. He came home for lunch. He said, "Come on. We're going to take the test and get your driver's license". We got in his Jimmy. Do y'all remember the Jimmy? When the woman came out, when I came to back out of the parking lot, the car cut off. She's sitting next to me. She said, "You have two more attempts to start your engine. After that this test will be terminated". Sure enough, I put it in reverse again and it cuts off. It cuts off three times. Three strikes you're out. She says, "This test is over. We will now go back into the office". My dad… Now you have to think this is Lowcountry, South Carolina, 173 degree heat in the middle of July. My dad is a big dude. He's running across the parking lot like the father running to the Prodigal.
You have to know my dad to really… He's in heaven now, but you have to know him to get how funny this story is. He goes, "Ma'am! Ma'am"! He's short on breath. The whole thing is very dramatic. He goes, "Ma'am! Ma'am! I'm so sorry. It's not his fault. I didn't prepare him. I didn't tell him. This old car, ma'am, when you put it in reverse with the air conditioning on, it cuts off. You have to cut off the air conditioning to make…" How many of y'all have had some cars before? How many of y'all's first car wasn't a BMW? How many of y'all's first car wasn't a G-Wagen? I preach to some swanky people. He said, "I didn't tell him you have to turn the air conditioning off before you back it up or it cuts off. Please, ma'am, please don't fail him. It's my fault, ma'am. It's my fault". He's on the cross like Jesus atoning for my sin. "It's my fault. I didn't tell him how to back up". Every time I put it in reverse, it didn't work. She said, "I'll give you one more chance".
When I turned off the air conditioning, the Red Sea parted. I cruised through Highway 17A, I parallel parked the Jimmy, I pulled it back into the parking lot, and I got my license. It was exciting at the time. It was big at the time. It was huge at the time. But it didn't work every time I put it in reverse. I almost didn't get out of the parking lot to take my test. I almost failed the test in the parking lot because I put the car in reverse. When God brought his people out of Egypt, he was bringing them into freedom, and he was getting his glory for himself, but the first thing they did… I want to show you this in Exodus 14 now.
Now you're ready for Exodus 14. Verse 10: "As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians…" What do the Egyptians represent? Something more powerful than them. It represents their past and, really, it represents their way of life, all they've known. It also represents the provision they've grown accustomed to receiving, but now what they used to depend on is chasing them. All they can see in front of them is a Red Sea. Remember I told you this is not a creek. You can't doggy paddle through this. Let me be clear. Some of you are there right now. The Red Sea can represent anything.
I know some people think the Bible is mainly a history book. I don't think that. I think the Bible uses history to teach theology. So, it uses the example of a body of water to get me to think about things in my life that I'm looking at going, "I don't see how. I just really don't see how. I was excited. I was dressed for battle. I had my Under Armour on. I got my gym membership. I was ready. I had my Bible reading plan. I was ready. I was going to do it. This was going to be a new year, a new me…all that stuff. I thought I was ready. I was ready for the Promised Land, but I was not ready for this Red Sea. I was not ready. I thought I was".
I talked to somebody the other day. They were like, "Growing old is not for wimps. I just didn't know. I thought I was ready to age gracefully. I always said, 'I won't be this kind of person. I won't be that kind of person.' I thought I was ready, and I was ready in a sense, but I wasn't ready for this barrier. I wasn't ready for this test". The first thing you do when you come up on something you were not ready for… Not ready at all…no training, no expertise, no swimming classes, no boat, no floats, no vehicle to get you across. God said you've been feeling that way lately. I don't know who you are. I don't care if it's 3 of you or 30,000, but God said you're standing in front of it right now and it's what stands between you and freedom. God is going to get his glory as you go through.
Now the Word gets really deep, because it says as Pharaoh was approaching them from behind, the people turned to Moses and said, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die"? Watch them put their faith in reverse. "What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt"? They are barely out of the parking lot, church. They are barely out of Egypt. They are barely used to the idea or the concept that they are a mighty nation, and the car cuts off. The first thing they do is to blame. The first thing they do is to shift responsibility. The first thing they do (and we can understand it) is to want to return to what wasn't even working in the first place. "I would rather serve them than die at their hands". This is exactly what they say.
Let me teach you a Bible lesson. We've always heard the Red Sea as a story of great faith, but before they had great faith, watch their fear. Great faith doesn't look like you think it does. I don't care what anybody tells you about how long they pray or how much they believe God or how they taught their children how to knit quilts and pray for missionaries at the same time. That's all wonderful, but I promise you that their testimony had a stage of terror. It has been terrorizing you, hasn't it? Some things you did in the past that you wish you could get back. It has been terrorizing you. Some things you didn't do to prepare, and now you're not ready. It has been terrorizing you, hasn't it? It has been chasing you, hasn't it? It has been making you want to give up on you, hasn't it? It has been making you sabotage yourself, hasn't it? It has been making you think, "Maybe there's not a reason for me to go through at all". It has been making you want to turn around and go home. It doesn't work in reverse. You can't go back there.
Moses is in a difficult dilemma, because now they want to go back to Egypt and they're making crap up. This didn't happen. Verse 12: "Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'"? No, you didn't say that to him in Egypt. They never said that in Egypt. If you find it, put it on some social media and I'll meet up with you there. You can't find it. They didn't say that. This is a revisionist history. I feel really bad for Moses even more than I feel bad for them, and I feel bad for everybody. I would be saying the same stuff. I would be having the same thoughts. I'd be wanting to go back too. I do it all the time. But Moses has to motivate them to keep moving. In fact, in verse 13, he 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".
Now part of that is true. The Lord will fight for you, but part of it is false. You don't get to be still. In fact, the moment Moses gets his motivational speech out of his mouth, God corrects him. I wonder if you've ever read this about the green light at the Red Sea. I wonder if you've ever really thought about this. Moses is saying, "Hey, God has got this. He told us to come through the Red Sea. He's going to do it. He's God. He's faithful. He brought us out. He didn't bring us this far to leave us. Just stand still". Watch God in verse 15. "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.'" That's God honking. That's not Pharaoh chasing; that's God honking. That restless thing inside of you that's letting you know you can't stay in these excuses and just be who you were 10 years ago… That's God honking. Beep, beep! That's God honking. That's a "Beep, beep".
Now God will give you a courtesy honk before he lays on the horn. This is a courtesy honk from God. This word, this message today from God through me to you is a courtesy honk from God, because if you stay here in this dry spot and feel sorry for yourself or blame others or spend your time in reverse, you're not going to make it out of the parking lot. You're not going to get to see the manna. You're not going to get to taste the grapes. You're not going to bring down the giant. This is God honking. He said, "If you stand there and stay in your feelings…" I don't know if you noticed, but it said they were terrified. I guess they were! "Well, see, I wouldn't, because the Lord fights my battles". Shut up! I don't want God to strike you for lying while I'm preaching. I'd have to call the ambulance and all of that. Don't lie. The miracle is not in your feelings; the miracle is in your feet. What you have to do is move. Beep, beep! It's green.
You have the go-ahead from God, even though it doesn't look like it, even though you don't see it, even though this is kind of an off-road season for you, and you've never been this way before, and you've never figured this out before, and you weren't educated for this. You have a green light, and if you sit at this green light in this intersection long enough… God will give you the green light, but he's not going to drive the car. Uh-oh! It looks like I hit a nerve. Y'all were singing, "Jesus, take the wheel". He's like, "Nope"! "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, because you're with me". Okay. It's in my feet. He enables me to go through the valley. That's what he gave me grace for, not to make it so I never experience a valley.
Quit looking to external means of testimony to the goodness of God. You have to get a green light on the inside to say, "You know what? I know God is calling me to love this person even though they get on my last nerve". That's what I mean by a green light at the Red Sea: when God enables you to do something you could never do apart from him. "Apart from me you can do nothing". But I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and I can do this too. God is going to get his glory, but you have to go. I don't mean running from stuff. I don't mean moving cities. I mean walking by faith, not sight…to pass through the sea. That's the reason he brought you to the Red Sea. The Egyptians can't swim that far. All I came to prophesy today is you have green, and you have to go. "So, where should I move? Tampa? Atlanta"? You keep thinking it's about geography. It's not about geography. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…" Though I walk through.
I feel fear, but the miracle is not in my feelings; it's in my feet. Do you know what else Psalm 23 says? "He maketh me lie down…" He knows when it should be red. He knows when it should be green. "He maketh me lie down in…" What pastures? Did you just say "Green"? My whole sermon goes together to get you to realize that you have green even in the valley, that he will feed you in the low place. Yeah, you're depressed. Yeah, you're anxious. Yeah, you screwed up. Yeah, you did it, but he's going to bring you through anyway. I have that "go through" anointing. I have that "anyway" anointing. I have that Red Sea revelation. He led me through the depths like it was a desert. He brought me through dysfunction. He brought me into destiny. He led me through the desert. The proof that God is leading you is not that it's easy. He prepares a table for me in the green valley, in the presence of my enemies. He's leading me. I'm not going the easy way. I'm going through the sea.
I've been baptized in water. I've been baptized in the Father's love. I've been baptized by fire, and I shall come forth as gold. I'm coming out of this refined. I'm coming out of this restored. I'm coming out of this with a revelation, because I have a green light at the Red Sea. I asked the Lord in coming to preach this message what he wanted to give you to get you through. I said, "Show me, Lord, what you want to give them to get them through". He gave Moses a staff. I'm like, "Well, surely you can give them something". "Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me". Moses had a staff. David had a staff. God of Moses. God of David. What did he give Annabelle? What did he give Kathy? So I'm praying, and the first thing God said he wanted to give you as you go through this Red Sea was grace. Not just any kind of grace, because we put that before we eat the casserole. "Let's say grace". Not that kind of grace. He said he wanted to give you grace for your greatest embarrassments, for the thing you won't talk about, for the thing you pretend like you got through, but you're really drowning in it.
I won't stay here long, because you'll pretend like you have to go to the bathroom and get up and walk out if I keep talking about this. This is between you and God. He told me to say it just like that. He said, "Tell them I want to give them grace for their greatest embarrassment, for their most spectacular failure, for their most idiotic mistake". I need to show you this again in Psalm 106, because I never saw it quite this way before. I thought the Red Sea was about faith. I didn't know it was also about failure. They rebelled. I think we need to keep talking about this idea that God will give you a green light, the strength and the assurance and the calling to go through something you've never seen anybody else go through and that you've convinced yourself… I was telling my friend the other day… They were saying, "Well, you're going to get better at this, and you're going to develop that". I said, "I'm 41. I don't believe you. Stop lying. If I'm not all of those things by now, I'm never going to be". I didn't even want to hear it. I put it in reverse. "I've always been this way".
So now I'm going to be stuck in the parking lot. I'm going to be stuck outside of the peace of God because I want to go back to Egypt. My dad is running across. "Give him another chance. Please, ma'am". He's breathing heavily. Thank God for second chances. You'd better voluntarily testify. Third chances, fourth chances, fifth chances… It said, in verse 7, they did not remember, so they rebelled. When you don't remember, you rebel. When you don't remember who God is, what he has done, what he has called you to, what Jesus has done for you on the cross… When you forget that, your sole focus becomes what's in front of you, and the Red Sea is big. Of course you want to go back. Where else are you going to go? But you just saw the Nile turn to blood. You just saw frogs cover the land. You just saw the firstborn of Egypt struck dead, because God will get his glory. He's committed to it. And God is committed to your freedom.
"They rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea". I knew they rebelled in the wilderness. I knew they rebelled at Sinai. Remember they built the golden calf, dancing around it, taking their clothes off, and all that? But they rebelled before they even got out. They almost failed the test of faith in the parking lot on their way to the Promised Land. What really got me was the word yet in verse 8. "Yet he saved them for his name's sake". Don't you know he leadeth me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake? Green pastures, still water. They rebelled, yet he saved them for his name's sake, to make his mighty power known. I wonder if God brought you to the Red Sea to give you a green light, to kill off the insecurities, to kill off the arrogance, to kill off the idols, to kill off the Egyptians. I wonder if he brought you to this not to kill you, because it wouldn't make much sense if he did all of that to bring you out of Egypt and send his Son to spare you and then left you here at this Red Sea. They rebelled, but my soul got happy when I read what he did.
Verse 9: "He rebuked the Red Sea…" See the symmetry of the text. They rebelled; he rebuked. That's what God will do. Okay. I'm going to preach it boldly. God is going to do it for you anyway. Don't list your résumé of all of the good things you did, of why God should help you right now. You won't need any of that. It's not what you did that's going to get him to do what only he can do. He's going to do it in spite of it…in spite of your stupid, in spite of your stubborn. He's going to give you grace for your greatest embarrassment, and your kids will live to tell of it, and your grandkids will know about it. He's going to save you anyway. I declare it. You have a green light, but you have to go. I don't know what grace you need, but God said, "I'm going to give you grace for your greatest embarrassment". But that's not all. The infomercial used to say, "But wait, there's more".
I don't know who would leave at this point in the sermon, but I encourage you to stay for this last thing I'm going to give you. I'm telling you right now God's Spirit is in this place. The Word of God is alive and active. Whoever you are, the Lord said, "It's green". You will make it. So, he said grace for your greatest embarrassment. He said he wanted to give you resource for your deepest need. Not the one you think you need but the one he knows you need. If that's peace, you're going to have it. It's going to be green in the valley. It's going to be dark, but it's going to be green. He said, "I'm going to give you resource for your deepest need".
Do you know what else he said? I know when I hear God and when I'm just making stuff up. All of these he said he wanted to give you today. He said he wanted to give you energy. Whoa. You need it. I can tell. He said he wants to give you divine power to demolish strongholds and a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit. Fill your horn with oil and be on your way. It's green. You have to go. He said he wanted to give you energy for your most draining relationships. Don't look at anybody right now. They will not like that. He said he was going to give you evidence. He said, "I'm going to give you evidence for your most stubborn unbelief". Do you see that staff in your hand? That's evidence of God's faithfulness. You're going to point back to this Red Sea.
I told Graham this morning I'm going to write a song called "Grandkids". It's going to say, "I'm going to tell my grandkids about what God did". I don't know how the melody is going to go yet, but that's what I'm saying. God is going to give you evidence that will serve for a future generation to know the Lord and to prove to you that he can be trusted. The final thing… Because I was like, "Lord, the first letters of those almost spell green…the grace and the resource. Do you have any Es"? "Yeah, energy and evidence". I said, "There are not a lot of words that start with N, Lord. We have to spell green here so they can remember this, because I want to tell the people, 'You have green. You don't have to stay here and die just because you feel afraid or just because you feel ashamed.'"
So the Lord spoke to me another driving word. He said navigate. He said, "I'm going to help you navigate your most complicated places". So, that's what we mean about a green light at the Red Sea. The Red Sea is not going to move. God is going to give you grace for your greatest embarrassment. You don't think Moses was embarrassed that he killed an Egyptian, and now he's having to deliver people who only know him as a murderer? God gave him grace for that. Think about the resources that were needed. Did you ever see in John, chapter 6, when Jesus fed the 5,000 with the little boy's lunch? One thing I don't know if you ever saw… It said they didn't have enough food. They said, "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many"?
So, they didn't have a lot of bread, but watch what they did have. Verse 10: "Jesus said, 'Have the people sit down.' There was plenty of grass in that place…" That's a weird detail to point out. There's plenty of green. Just sit down in it for a second. God is going to give you somewhere to sit. He's going to give you something to sit in in this season. I know it in my spirit. I declare it to your spirit. Do you receive it? Are you receiving this? I didn't come here to perform a speech for you. Do you receive this in your spirit?
Listen. He said, "I'm going to meet the deepest need. You've been asking me for more friends, but I want to fix what's on the inside of you that doesn't reach out to the ones you already have. I'm going to give you resource for your deepest needs. I'm going to give you energy for your most draining relationships. You're going to be putting up with people. I'm going to show you how to dodge them some, too, so you can save your energy".
God is going to do this for you. He will do it. You have a green light at the Red Sea. He's going to give it to you, and you're going to have the rest of your life when you pass through this season the evidence of his faithfulness, and you can preach to your unbelief. Tell them who Jesus is to you. Tell them what God already did for you. You're going to be able to preach about this for the rest of your life, what you're going through right now. Do you receive it? That's God honking. Beep, beep! But if you stand still, you die. You die inside. That's why God is going to help you navigate. Just lift your hands for a moment.
Spirit of grace, we need you. There are deep waters ahead and fierce enemies behind, but we have a green light. Let us know we can do all things, and greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world. I speak to your people not to run away from problems today but to move forward into your promises, confident of your presence. Now, Lord, your word has gone forth today. You fed us the bread from heaven. We're just taking this moment with our hands lifted to let you know that we know this sea doesn't part unless you speak. So, when we ask you to make a way for us, we're not asking you to drive the car. Finally, Lord, before I close my time of ministry, I want to pray for the person who has put it in reverse. They've been going back, but I see you running across the parking lot, heavenly Father, talking about, "Give them another chance, a greater grace, and a new beginning". I declare it over your life today. In Jesus' name, amen.