Grace in Motion
You don't wait for grace and then do what God has told you to do. You get enabling grace in motion.
Moses didn’t understand this. Gideon didn’t understand this. The fearful army of Israel didn't understand this. The disciples in hiding after the death of Jesus didn’t understand this. Many of us panic today because we don’t understand this. God’s grace provides everything you require. God’s grace is formfitted for your moment of need. God's grace is multifaceted and expansive, but also focused and personal. God, in grace, doesn’t just forgive you, He also empowers you to do what He called you to do. But He gives you His grace as you follow Him and at the moment when you need it.
It has always been hard for the people of God to rest in the reality of grace in motion. There is no better example of this than when the children of Israel found themselves at the Red Sea with the angry army of Egypt bearing down on them:
“When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, ʻIs it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.ʼ And Moses said to the people, ʻFear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.ʼ
The Lord said to Moses, ʻWhy do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground. And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.ʼ” (Ex. 14:10-18)
Even though they have just experienced God’s miracles that secured their escape from the slavery of Egypt, the children of Israel, stuck between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army, with no means of altering their circumstances, are in a complete panic. They are convinced that Moses has dragged them out into the wilderness to die. But God knows exactly what He is doing. He has manufactured this whole situation to demonstrate His glory to His people and to defeat the Egyptian army, and if it is necessary to part the waters of the Red Sea, He will do that for His children. What He does not do is tell them what is going to happen beforehand. Why? Because He is working in them, as He works in us, to craft them into people of robust and sturdy faith. He calls them to follow, and He willingly unleashes His grace as they do so.