by Stephen F. OlfordThoughts for a New Year
Text: "Go forward" (Ex. 14:15, NKJV).
Thought: Here is a message from the Lord as we face the opportunities, possibilities, and even difficulties of a new year. Like the children of Israel, we stand on the threshold of a new beginning. Our hearts may tremble within us, but His message to us is reassuring: "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord" (v. 13). The words "stand still" do not contradict the command to "go forward." On the contrary, this is a divine exhortation to look before leaping. The Lord never calls us to walk blindly. His directive to us is "This is the way, walk in it" (Is. 30:21). Because He is "the light of the world" we have His assurance of "the light of life" (John 8:12) on our daily pathway. Therefore, we can "go forward."
1. In the Power of the Lord: "The Lord will fight for you" (v. 14). How wonderful to know that even though we are in a fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil, hallelujah, "He who is in [us] is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). Hallelujah!
2. In the Peace of the Lord: "You shall hold your peace" (v. 14). As Christians, we can never proceed victoriously if we are panic-stricken. But blessed be His name, we can know "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, [which] will guard [our] hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:7).
3. In the Path of the Lord: "So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground" (v. 22). How comforting to know that God has a path for each of us to follow. Indeed, the Bible assures us that "we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10). Only as we walk in the path of His choosing can we fulfill the purpose He has planned for our lives. So the word to us, as we look into the immediate future of 2002, is "go forward."
Go forward with the Lord,
According to His Word;
You have His peace and pow'r,
Each day and ev'ry hour.