Standing Still in the Storm

This sermon was delivered on 18th June 2023 at Deliverance Church Muirigo by Mrs Mary Wanjohi. The topic was “Standing Still in the Storm”. Mrs Wanjohi encouraged us to stand still amidst all the noise and distractions in life. She emphasized that we can stand still even when things are not working and that we should not be afraid but trust in God to rescue us. She used Exodus 14:1-14 as the highlight scripture




Today we are going to look at something that the Lord has been ministering to me for quite some time. I usually say that whenever I stand here, first I have said to myself so many times, so it is not you I am addressing, I am addressing us the children of God. I’m not addressing you as an individual but I’m addressing the people of God this morning me included. I want to believe that we all are feeling the heat of being in Kenya at a time like now. You know sometimes you try to understand the economy in economic terms and it becomes a bit confusing. Mentally we are hearing a lot of mental illness mental instability, mental well-being, and so many many many words but what we are experiencing is not something that has just happened. These are things that were foreseen many many years ago and they were prophesied and we are living in those times and they are dangerous times. A lot of things are happening around us that are dangerous information, sometimes I try to absorb the information that is coming through all means and sometimes I feel lost in that information.

A lot of distractions come to us and sometimes I feel so distracted I don’t know whether I’m going to the left or to the right or I am moving forward or backward and sometimes you can feel totally lost. You can feel confused you can feel directionless you don’t know whether you are going or coming.But the Lord has a word for us this morning and amidst all the noise, amidst these thoughts and distractions. Amidst all the information understandable and not understandable, we can stand still. That is my message this morning standing still in the storm. Much of the information we get can be true or false. I’m not saying all it can be true and false certain and uncertain. Good and Evil. This makes us get lost as I say. That we get to a point even when the Lord wants to tell us it is well, when he wants to tell us this is the way, walk in it, when he wants to tell us to be still I have taken over we don’t hear. And that is the small gentle voice that talks to us it gets lost in all that noise and that is the Holy Spirit. So we get ourselves moving anyhow, anywhere taking in anything that comes our way because we are not hearing what the small gentle voice is saying. For example in Kenya today we are witnessing a lot of very sad things in the name of religion.I don’t know whether that is worrying you anytime I hear this number of bodies have

been exhumed in the Shakahola Massacre my heart cringes. While we hear others saying I am Jesus in Kenya. I asked myself what does the word of God say about this. If you are like me you may not be hearing what the Lord is saying about the things that are being said, the things that are happening because of the noise around us The question I want us to ask ourselves this morning is, is it possible to stand still when things are not working.Let’s look at the word of God today for people who are feeling like me in Kenya today I am feeling. Exodus 14:1-14 (Read the verse). That is the word for us today especially verse
13. Where Moses says “Don’t be afraid, just stand still and watch the lord rescue you today.” Today most of the time we don’t stand still and give God the opportunity to deal with our case. The Israelites at this point had forgotten that God was walking with them during the day as a cloud and at night as a pillar of Fire. They had forgotten that when they saw the destruction when they saw the noise when they saw the confusion that was engulfing where. They felt trapped they didn’t know what to do they became afraid they were unsettled and they were unfocused. Because if they were focused, they would have seen what was leading them up to this point.

I want us to look at fear in this case because that is what was the major issue in the calm of the Israelites. And I believe even us, sometimes we do the things that we do because of fear we are afraid of the things that we are hearing. We are afraid of what we are seeing with our physical years and sometimes we are even afraid of what we are experiencing. The emotions, the psychological war going on within ourselves and I want us to describe fear. The dictionary I used says, fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat, listen it’s not the harm is the threat of harm. The threat of harm either physical emotional or psychological, real or imagined. Sometimes the problems that we feel that we are facing may not be real, they could be imagined. You have listened to so many things you have watched too much TV you have dealt with so much social media, you start imagining some of the things that you feel are surrounding you are trapping you in a particular situation.

Let’s look at the responses to fear. I’ll call them the four fs. When we experience fear our brain makes quick decisions about what to do next. For example, if I hear a gunshot, if I have been trained how to react in a situation like that you’ll find that I will not take a second you find me sprawled on the floor. That is the reaction of a mind that has been trained to react to a gunshot or a bomb and it is a way of trying to defend yourself it’s a way of what we call a defense mechanism against danger or eminent danger and the four fs are fight, flight, freeze, and fawn.In a fight situation, you can either fight physically or verbally and those who feel strong enough are the ones who fight physically. For example, if somebody offends you and you feel you are threatened you try to fight to defend yourself or you try to fight to escape. In the red sea scenario the Israelites engage in a verbal exchange with Moses they were fighting verbally and when they were telling him the many questions that we read, asking him were there not enough grain, we told you, you know all the grappling that was a verbal fight.

And because of that fight, there was no opportunity to make any rational dialogue with them or reason with them. They were not listening they were just quarrelling they were making a lot of noise which is a fight mode a fight defense mechanism. In flight mode, our brain feels that it cannot fight off the danger then what we try to do is try to run away. We trigger a flight response to get as far away as possible from the danger zone and in this situation where the Israelites found themselves they were feeling they have been hemmed in, they have been trapped and there was no way out and that’s why the fear was so great because they didn’t know where to go. The Egyptians were behind the Red Sea ahead Migdol City was like on a hill and it was fortified so they could not access it, so they were feeling so trapped. Here is the sea ahead of us, behind us, is the Egyptian Army coming after. Migdol is a place where we cannot get in because it’s somewhere up and it is fortified so they were feeling so trapped and what could they do? The third response is freeze when we find ourselves in a situation where we cannot fight we cannot take flight, the mind tells the body to stand still don’t even breathe the enemy might not even detect you, and the enemy will pass.

In the scenario we are having in our scripture the Israelites were saying, we are feeling so stuck we don’t know what to do. Moses looked at them and that is the time he told them don’t be afraid, to stand still. We’ll see the meaning of standing still in this situation it is not just to keep quiet there was something that was supposed to happen as they were standing still.The fourth one is fawning it is a fear response where the brain decides to try and please the attacker so that you don’t get into harm it is like a situation of compliance you want just to comply so that you are not harmed.This is what the Israelites were doing when they were in Egypt. They wanted to work for their slave masters so that they are not harmed and we see this in verse 12 there were Israelites who were telling Moses “We told you when we were in Egypt leave us alone let us be slaves to the Egyptians it’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness,” This was the fawning response they wanted to comply so that they could be safe but what we don’t know or what they didn’t know is that God had planned this escape to the last dot. He had a plan and He has said it in the scripture that he had planned it so that the Egyptians can know he is God. So that His name could be glorified.

Brethren, there are things that we go through in life we may not even understand sometimes. You find yourself in a big situation and you’re wondering how did I get here, what is the meaning of all this, how will I get out of this. But the word of God is telling you, stand still and listen to the small gentle voice. The Lord could be communicating but because you are so engrossed in the four fs you may not hear that voice. Because God our God could be passing a message, He could be telling you what to do, He could be giving you direction yet you are so engrossed in trying to respond to the fear that has come because of the situation. There are some biblical facts to note. Whatever happens in our lives, it happens for God’s Own Glory that is verse 4. Once again I say that is the Lord telling Moses “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart and he will chase after you, I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole Army. God was doing it for his own Glory.

These people had served the Egyptians and the Egyptians kept on changing their minds to let them go.It came a time when God wanted to play display his glory so that the Egyptians and the Israelites couldn’t see it. Number two whatever God does in our lives is for non-believers to know God. I know that is not very kind I know it may not be very positive because there are things that won’t allow in our lives so that the non-believers can see and when God evacuates you from that situation they look up and say truly it’s because this person believes in God. That’s how she or he has been able to go through it and come out victorious. I don’t think we can buy that God wants to use us for the non-believers to know God. Sometimes we may not even be able to evangelize but God uses us believers to evangelize through the situations that we go through and the non-believers will see God. The Egyptians who had followed the Israelites did not have the opportunity to witness that God was trying to prove something to them because they were covered by the water when they followed them in the opening. But the rest of Egypt knew that there was God because he created a highway in the sea for the children of Israel.

Those who are covered may not have known but those who are alive those who are in Egypt got to know that surely this was God delivering the children of Israel for slavery. Number three, the battle we face every day of our life is not ours and that is verse 14. The Lord himself will fight for you the Lord himself will fight for me.Most of the time we lose it because we start fighting for ourselves. I can tell you I am a fighter from within maybe not physically until the Lord told me the battles that you fight are not yours. I have fought many and lost because I took them over but until I got to a point when the Lord told me these are not your battles and I said yes Lord got to their point of surrender and the Lord took over. Maybe the things that you are fighting and losing maybe the things that you are starting are not taking off the Lord is trying to send a message that this is not about you this is about me let me take it over the fight for you and you see the glory and my name is the process will be glorified and the non-believers will know that I am the Lord who has taken you through this.

What is expected of us in this world full of noise destruction distractions that are making us fearful confused and making us lose focus. Verse 13, Moses heard this prescription he told the Israelites “Don’t Be Afraid just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today.The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.” And actually, they were never seen again they were buried in the Red Sea. They did not witness what the Lord did but others witnessed and that is what the Lord is telling you. Stand still watch me rescue from this situation for my own glory and for people to know that I am the Lord. Most of the time what we do is, we find ourselves in situations, I’ve told you I used to be a fighter and I would fight until I lose and even after losing I will not believe I’ve lost I’ll keep it. I used to have a list of unfinished businesses with the people and at the appropriate time I would fish the unfinished business I started dealing with it you can imagine the many wounds that I had and the many burdens that I carry. I don’t know about you but the Lord told me the war is not yours it belongs to me. And that is what the Lord is telling you this morning, those unfinished businesses with the people that you are keeping, those unfinished quarrels that you are keeping they are not yours release them to their lord. Stand still watch him rescue you, and let Him deal with those situations. Somebody has swindled you and you are saying I am waiting for the appropriate time I’ll deal with you perpendicularly, let the Lord fight for you and he will be glorified. At the end of the day you come out Victorious and people will see it and say truly the Lord has restored your fortune, the Lord has made that way for you.

Psalm 46:6, this is what the Lord is telling us this morning he’s saying “God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble.”That is why we are being told to standstill because when you are not standing still you know that he is the help in that situation but the word of God is telling us in verse 1 of Psalm 46, he is our refuge our strength, and present help in trouble. Yes, we are in Kenya we are saying things are very bad the future looks bleak, we don’t know where these Kenya Kwanza government is taking us, and you don’t know why your business is not making head or tail. The Lord is telling you he is the present help in that situation he is telling me the same thing today therefore we will not fear if we continue fearing because we have chosen to fear. If we continue fearing it is because it is a choice we are making to fear. The word of God is giving us confirmation, he is our refuge and strength and a very present help in trouble therefore we will not fear even though the Earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the middle of the sea we will not fear. I want to jump and go to verse 7. Verse 7, the Lord of hosts is with us the God of Jacob is our refuge, the God who was with the Israelites is the God who is with us today and so if he was a refuge that time if He was their strength that time he is our refuge and strength even today. Come behold the works of the Lord who has made the desolations in the earth.

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth. God stops our adversaries, if you decide to fight physically if you have the strength you can subdue the enemy but you don’t know what the enemy has behind his or her back. They will stab you at the appropriate time. So when you decide to fight for yourself know you are exposed but when God decides to fight for you he makes wars cease. Your enemies will come and make peace with you because he has stopped the adversary. He breaks the bows and cuts the spear into two. He burns the chariot in the fire. He destroys the weapons of the enemy completely and they cannot be used against us. He will defuse, them he will destroy them. if it’s somebody who has been planning evil things against you he’ll make sure that those evil things will not come to prosper. I remember I went somewhere, it’s somewhere where I have been supposed to appear from the year 202. I have received the reminders this year alone from January seven times and the seventh time the people I was going to face, they came out and asked we do not understand what is happening because we are a group of three people who amongst you has gone for Kamote .When the Lord deals with your case people will start seeing other things but you know si kamote.

Because right at that moment there was a group of believers who were praying for me. God stops your adversaries, He destroys the weapons used against you. Therefore brethren in Muirigo today be still and know that the Lord God is God and that is what he says. Therefore be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the Nations, I’ll be exalted in the Earth Hallelujah. I don’t know whether you are feeling excited because of the confirmation that the Lord is giving about your case. Maybe you have a case like that one of mine until people cannot understand what is happening and they think that in the midst of the three there is somebody who has gone to a muganga there’s somebody who has sought help from elsewhere. But in the midst of the three, I know that my God is destroying the weapons being used against me by it the enemy. So what are we supposed to do we are supposed to stop. Verse 11 of Psalm 46 says the Lord of hosts is with us the God of Jacob is our refuge. What you are supposed to do is to be still in the presence of the Lord just like the Israelites were told to be still they stood still and the Lord did the unimaginable he opened the Red Sea.

But the word standstill does not mean just standing and doing nothing, it means standing still and listening to what the small voice is saying. This word stand still resonates with Hebrew meaning which says to stand still is to sink down, relax, let go and withdraw. When you withdraw as you let the Lord take over it is a command to stop fighting, stop the frantic activity that you are involved in, let go. Put down your weapons of war because God has taken over the battle that is what it means to be still. The second thing is to know that I am God. What happens when we are still, we know God and to know God means to be aware of or to properly ascertain who He is and what he is capable of. He is capable of being in charge of all that pertains to you, not some but all. When you know that you are able to relax and let him take over you stop fighting you stop running away and you stand and wait for him to fight the battle for you and for me so we are supposed to stop. it’s so easy to get caught up in our own lives and what is happening around us.

We quickly lose sight of God and try to do everything for ourselves but what the word of God is telling us this morning is to stop and recognize we are not in control of anything our role is to rely on God let him know and let him do and let him be and we shall be.Therefore look up to God instead of looking at your situation.In that situation, we are supposed to refocus.Remove your focus from what is happening remove your focus from the noise remove your focus from what you are hearing other people say and let the Lord God do. Because he has done it Faithfully in the past and he’s going to do it because he has promised and what has he promised.Like he told Joshua in chapter 1:5. no one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with the Moses so I will be with you I’ll never leave you nor forsake you. God is saying that to us every morning every day that nobody will be able to stand against us but we forget that and we start fighting real or imaginary enemies. In verse 9 of the same chapter the Lord again tells Joshua have I not commanded you be strong and courageous do not be afraid do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. It’s not just in your house, it’s not on the road, it is not in that crisis situation it is everywhere he will be with you.

Those are his promises and God watches his word to perform it why don’t you trust in him? We also see Jesus telling the disciples the same words similar words in Matthew 28:20. he tells them, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you, Jesus, is telling his disciples to teach those whom they are going to evangelize to and surely I am with you always to the very end of age. God never leaves us, he is with us all the time so do not fear. Isaiah also says, so do not fear for I am with you do not be dismayed for I am your God I will strengthen you and to help you I will uphold you with my righteous head. When God tells you these things and you continue fighting running or just standing and becoming motionless because of the issues it means you are not trusting God. You remember Jesus told the disciples you of little faith because they were in a storm and they were shouting and they were telling Jesus don’t you care that we are sinking and Jesus says you of little faith.When we started doing the things that we do when we find ourselves in situations that we cannot control it’s because we have stopped trusting God. God is saying for I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you do not fear I’ll help you. I do not know what other one you want to hear when the Lord is saying so many times do not fear I will help you. The third thing we need to do is walk with God once our life is put in the correct perspective we can walk in the love and the peace and the joy that comes from knowing he is in control. Stop taking charge of the things that God is in charge of.

We tend to think that good life is found when we go after what we want when we fight for our rights when we demand what we deserve but the only person in control of anything is God. Proverbs 19:21 reminds us many are the plans in a person’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails and that is what he did with the children of Israel his plan to destroy the army of the Egyptians had to be executed for the Egyptians to know he is God and for his name to be glorified. Proverbs 16:3-4 He says to commit to the Lord what we do, he’ll establish the plans. The Lord works out everything to its proper end. I said earlier that God plans everything to the last dot. Let him know your plans, let him guide you let him give you direction and surely because he has promised to be with you, you will not be dismayed. In Romans 8:28 he says all things work together for the good of those who love God, those who are called according to his purpose. If you love God and I know we are here because we love God you can trust that he is working for you and good.You can stand still, that is the conclusion I have drawn.If you’re submitting to his purpose that he has called you we are all called he has your back you can stand still that is in all uncertain times. He will walk with you, he’ll hold your hands he will fight your wars, stop fighting for yourself. In conclusion, in the world we are living in today there is just too much noise, there’s too much suffering yet as Christians we can go through it all and still have the joy of the Lord We can go through the noise, we can go through the suffering because we are told that God is in the center of it all with a purpose. What the Lord is asking us today is simply to stand still in that storm and watch me deal with it.

I do not know where you are I may not even know where I am even myself but one thing I know God is in charge of the circumstances. One writer and a religious thinker said, in the rush listen to this, William Penn he was an English writer and a religious thinker he’s saying this in, the rush and noise of life as you have intervals step home within yourself and be still, wait upon God and feel his good presence. This will carry you evenly through your day’s business. Step home within yourselves be still wait upon God and feel his good presence this will carry you evenly through what you are going through. That is a saying by William Payne and that is what the Lord says. Whether you are in storms of life real or imaginary God is telling you to stand still. So the time to develop resilience is when you’re not in that situation when you have not been hit by the storm, take time because in these tough times sometimes we don’t even know how to pray we don’t even read the word of God to give us the promises. What the word of God is telling us when you are in that situation when you are not in a storm take time to read the word so that you can acquire the promises of God which will be reminding God when you find yourself in that situation.Pray those promises into your life and learn to trust Him. We are here today, do you know that Jesus, who can carry you through the storm, who will come into your life and say hold on, and the storms seize. That is the beginning point, having a relationship with Jesus, trusting Him that he will be able to do that for us.

Just like the Israelites were encouraged today I’m encouraging ourselves to be strong not to fear and to stand strong and that you find in second chronicles 32:7-8 as I close it says be strong and courageous do not be afraid non-dismayed before the king of Assyria known before the multitude that is with him for they are more with us than with him. With him is an armor of flesh with the enemy is the armor of flesh, but with us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ the Lord our God is with us to help us and to fight our battles, and the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. Those are our words of encouragement this morning that we be strong and courageous we should not be discouraged we

should not be afraid because the enemy has the armor of flesh but our Lord is here to help us fight our battles, I do not know whether you are strengthened today but go and read the word of God and find strength in that word because the battle does not belong to you it belongs to the Lord so Brethren this morning my encouragement to you is stand still and let the Lord take your battles they do not belong to you. May God bless you.