So, today I'm going to share with you what stood out to me each week during our Summer Book Club-Style Bible Study on The Red Sea Rules. Then, in the comments below, I want you to tell me of the 10 Red Sea Rules, which one has made the biggest impact on your life?
Here's what stood out to me and helped me the most each week:
Rule 1: Realize that God means for you to be where you are.
In week 1 this quote really hit me square between the eyes: “So, take a deep breath and recall this deeper secret of the Christian life: when you are in a difficult place, realize that the Lord either placed you there or allowed you to be there, for reasons perhaps known for now only to Himself. The same God who led you in will lead you out.” ―Robert Morgan, The Red Sea Rules
I am here today by His design and/or allowance and I can be assured that the same God who led me in will lead me out!
Rule 2: Be more concerned for God’s glory than for your relief.
Week 2 reminded me that my difficult situation can turn into something beautiful for His glory. "How, then, did God take an impossible situation, flip it around, and use it for His honor? The story of parted waters shows us that God gains glory when His enemies are defeated, when His children are delivered, when His name is exalted, when His exploits are remembered and when His praises are sounded." —Robert Morgan, The Red Sea Rules
I recently wrote a book called The Heart That Heals: Healing Our Brokenness Through the Promises of God, and that's exactly how this book happened—through a difficult situation that has turned into something beautiful for His glory. Praise the Lord!
Rule 3: Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord.
Over the years, I've seen how in my own life I allow circumstances to overwhelm me. I get so wrapped up in all the difficulties that I forget to look to God and place my problems in His very capable hands. Those difficult things are going to come. They are going to happen. There's no getting around that fact. But what we have to remember is that when they do, they are not to be the focus of our attention. God is! "But my eyes are toward You, O God, my Lord; in You I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!" Psalm 141:8
Rule 4: Pray!
Sometimes our problems appear to be so ginormous that trusting God with them seems beyond our ability. We make an effort to turn the problem over to God, but we soon find ourselves paralyzed with fear and worry all over again. How do you trust God with difficulties that are so overwhelming? I’m grateful that Robert Morgan breaks faith down into distinct steps that can help us walk with God one day at a time through all of life’s challenges. And one of those steps is simple—just PRAY!
Sounds simple enough, right? But how many times do I pray and turn that problem over to God only to take it back again. Too many times to count! Morgan reminds us through this passage of Scripture in Philippians that God wants to hear from us. He wants us to talk to Him about anything and everything! "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
No matter how big or little, significant or insignificant, the problem seems to be to you, turn it over to God and leave it there!
Rule 5: Stay calm and confident, and give God time to work.
I want you to know that I do not like this rule! I don’t like anything about it. Stay calm. That does not come natural to me. I find it much easier to panic! Stay calm and confident. Confident? But worry comes rushing in without me even giving it any thought. And give God time to work. That’s the hardest part of this rule. I do not like this rule, but I also know that I need to learn this rule and I need to put this rule into practice in my life.
“In our distresses in life when trapped by the Red Sea, we must trust God with the impossible and leave room for Him to work, for the Lord has promised to fight for us.” — Robert Morgan, The Red Sea Rules
Rule 6: When unsure, just take the next logical step by faith.
“God never gives guidance for two steps at a time. I must take one step, and then I get light for the next. This keeps the heart in abiding dependence upon God.” —C. H. Mackintosh
In week 6 we look at two counterfeits to faith—presumption and paralysis. I found this so interesting. Both can look like faith, but they're not real faith. They are counterfeits. You presume that God will do something for you that He has never promised to do. Presumption often takes the form of telling God what you want Him to do, and then telling Him you're counting on Him and expecting Him to fulfill your desires. And then there's paralysis. Out of the blue something bad hits us, and we freeze. We don’t know what to do. The problem is just too huge. We’re totally overwhelmed by it, and we don’t have a clue what to do about it. So we don’t do anything. Why should we? The problem is too big! Nothing is going to help. We might as well just wave the white flag and surrender! That is paralysis.
Rule 7: Envision God’s enveloping presence.
If I had written The Red Sea Rules, I think I would have phrased this rule a little differently. To me the word envision connotes the idea of imagining that something is true. If we are believers in Christ, we don’t have to pretend that God is with us in difficulties. He really is present! So, I think that I would have put it some other way. Cultivate God’s presence. Or, practice God’s presence. Or, I think that maybe I would have put it this way: Learn to rest in God’s embrace. I like this rule.
Rule 8: Trust God to deliver in His own unique way.
“God will deliver His children from every evil work, from every peril and problem, from tribulation, even from death itself. But there are no cookie cutters in heaven. God doesn’t have standardized, same-size-fits-all solutions to our various problems. He treats every situation as singular and special, and He designs a unique, tailor-made deliverance to every trial and trouble.” —Robert Morgan, The Red Sea Rules
God does deliver us in unique ways and in week 8 we look at some of these ways. Sometimes He delivers miraculously. Other times He delivers providentially, and still there are times when He delivers mysteriously.
Rule 9: View your current crisis as a faith builder for the future.
Faith builder! Read what a man who suffered in a communist concentration camp has to say. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the great Russian novelist, records his experience in his book, The Gulag Archipelago: “All the writers who wrote about prison but who did not themselves serve time there considered it their duty to express sympathy for prisoners and to curse prison. I . . . have served enough time there. I nourished my soul there, and I say without hesitation: Bless you, prison, for having been in my life.” Did you read that? "Bless you, prison, for having been in my life.” We learn of several "faith-building" examples in week 9. I'm sure you have your own faith-building story as well.
Rule 10: Don’t forget to praise Him.
I love this rule! However, like the 10 lepers in Luke 17 sometimes we too forget to praise Him. Throughout this study of The Red Sea Rules, I have found it to be such an encouragement to me personally. The study has come at a time in my life when I was feeling overwhelmed and honestly, a little discouraged. I really needed these types of reminders. I give thanks to God for that! This little book, The Red Sea Rules, doesn’t say anything that’s never been said before. That is one of the reasons I like the book. It is such a good summary of tried-and-true biblical principles. It’s nice to be able to be reminded of them and to pass those principles on to others.
The Red Sea Rules eBook
You asked for it. We're delivering! This past summer, we had something special happen here on the blog. We held our first Summer Book Club-Style Bible Study. I wasn’t sure how it would go. I didn’t even know if anyone would be interested in participating or if it would even work. It. Was. Awesome! I’d do it again in a heartbeat. As a matter of fact, there are already plans in the works to do another Summer Book Club-Style Bible Study next summer! YIPPIE!!!
One thing that happened that I wasn’t expecting is that we had several requests to make the 10 blog posts into a printable version. So, that’s exactly what we’ve done. Download this beautiful, full-color, 88-page eBook with links!
Of the 10 Red Sea Rules, which one has made the biggest impact on your life?
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