Pastor Tony Evans Encountering The Power of God
By Hedieh Mirahmadi
Pastor Evans does this wonderful exhortation on how the extraordinary power of God can be made manifest in our lives through a dilemma. He uses the Israelites at the Red Sea being saved from Pharaoh as an analogy.
The Israelites at the Red Sea experienced the greatest demonstration of God’s power in the midst of their dilemma. God specifically LED them the long way to demonstrate his miracle. We must remember it is never just about ourselves. The purpose God puts on our life is to advance the Kingdom, so it’s always greater than just you or I. It is about His glory being made manifest on Earth. He allows us to get into a situation that only HE can get us out of. The dilemma God leads you into will often confuse you as well. Sometimes God will put you in a dilemma and doesn’t want you to do anything but stand still. So you do. But when he gives you the way out or a command to move forward, you move! Faith often operates in the presence of fear. The Jews proceeded forward even though they were afraid. Sometimes He will even harden the heart of others to push you in the direction he wants you to go. This is so beautiful because it’s at the essence of forgiveness. There is no need to hold grudges against people, because in reality, it was God’s will for it to happen to you. When we’re walking in God’s way He will make people do things for our good. So look at the dilemmas in your life in a new way. Stop complaining, and wait for God’s power to come. If you know you are not living in accordance with the will of God, then get in the will of God so he can turn your situation around. Walk in faith. Relish the adventure of being God’s loyal soldier.
I know about my own life experiences that God led me through the “wilderness” so that I would know it’s been His hand over my life the whole time. He took me first through the bondage of a life of sin, then to the “law of Islam,” and then back to a life of sin and despair so that I could truly experience the freedom and salvation that comes through Christ. I knew I had to leave Islam, but the situation I got myself into was so bad! I had no idea where God was taking me, and it just felt like I was blindfolded and dragged down a long tunnel.
I was so confused. “God, why am I in this place, how did I get HERE? Don’t You love me anymore? Wasn’t I a faithful servant, why am I in such a wretched state?” I know now He wanted to bring me to my knees, and that wasn’t easy. He wanted me to have no way out but Him, no matter how unbelievable it was. There was no other way I would have accepted Christ was Lord! Knowing God’s hand has been over me the whole time brings me peace and allows me to forgive the people who hurt me, because all of it brought me to where I am today. God wanted me to see His power and to grant me salvation. I feel such deep gratitude and joy for my salvation that I could thank the people who pushed me away.
This whole journey gives me the unique opportunity to help others find this same freedom. We overcome by the blood of the lamb and the words of our testimony. God in all of his glory showed up in the image of Christ and redeemed me. Now that is why I feel compelled to help others.
Now becoming a follower of Christ, I came up against the whole Islamic world and risked physical danger. Yet, I know it’s not my battle. It’s the Lord’s. It’s bigger than me. I’m walking according to my purpose that He has placed within me and He will protect me. “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.”
God has made us victorious over our enemies, if we trust Him to lead us through the difficult times. We may not see the wisdom at first, but He makes it all work in our favor. If we surrender to His will and open our hearts, we can walk according to our Divine purpose and learn the wisdom He teaches us along the way.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon. Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So the Israelites did this.
When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. 7He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.
As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
Moses 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.”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”