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Is it faith or just desperation?

The children of Israel are fleeing Egypt when Pharaoh changes his mind and pursues them. We’ve seen this in the Cecil B. DeMille film – they’re backed up against the Red Sea on the one hand with the Egyptians bearing down on them on the other hand.    They’re in a desperate situation …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
The children of Israel are fleeing Egypt when Pharaoh changes his mind and pursues them. We’ve seen this in the Cecil B. DeMille film – they’re backed up against the Red Sea on the one hand with the Egyptians bearing down on them on the other hand. 
 
They’re in a desperate situation – if they don’t do something, they’re going to die anyway. And what’s intriguing is, though they’re desperate, God writes them up in Hebrews 11:29 as having faith, “By faith, the people passed through the Red Sea.” 
 
God is gracious, he’ll allow us to get in impossible situations where he is our only recourse. He’ll let us get to the place where we’re pressed up against the sea, where if we go backward, we’ll die. And when we get to that place, will it be faith or sheer desperation that causes us to act? 
 
It’s a tough call – it’s the tough situation that causes us to depend on God and exercise faith. But God understands our frame and he knows when don’t do that naturally. He wants to help us and he allows pain so that we’ll depend on him.
I wouldn’t have started AIM unless God had allowed events to back me up against a personal Red Sea. You might write me up as having great faith, but if you had been there, you’d know that it was really my desperate situation that sent me in that direction. 
 
What desperate straits do you find yourself in? You may think God has abandoned you to gut it out on your own when the reality is he’s getting ready to write you up as having faith. I hope you hang in there in your time of testing.

Comments (12)

  • dude, found out about you when you went to haiti. really enjoy your blog and the way you communicate!

  • **mArC** The Schifano Tribe

    needed that where we’re at right now. can the desperation of other’s lives lead us to more faith to want to help them? Feel ya man.

  • Andy, thanks. Encouragement like yours keeps me in the game.

    Marc: Yes. It’s where intercession is birthed.

  • Amen.I dont believe you could have spoken more truer words especially at this time in our world. Dont quit dont give up God is building true faith and building up discliples who will stand strong for the gospel. continued blessing as you continually serve and train up others to build His Kingdom.

  • Thanks, Seth! I really needed to hear that today. This season I am in is one of painful endurance, I know God has us in the furnace for his purpose, and his kingdom is on the bring of breaking through this dark place. We are in desperation and waiting in faith for God to lead us. My hear tells me it is better to be in the furnace with Jesus, than anywhere else without him, but somedays I just am tired and have nothing left.

  • The story of the Exodus, God leading His people OUT just to lead them back IN, is such a powerful teaching tool to me in my life right now! So many lessons of the faith. A gem of a book really spoke to me a couple of years ago, and now I’m going to re-read it. The book is “The Red Sea Rules” by Robert J. Morgan. Easy to devour this book over a good cup of coffee in an afternoon! Highly recommend! Faith or desperation…YES!! That’s right where God wants us; where He does His most amazing restorative work in and through us!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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