Making A Great Crossing (1 of 4)

Posted by Richard S. Lytle, Ph.D. in Blogs

At the beginning of this new year, I am noticing anew how God’s nature reveals creativity, strategy, movement, transformation, and implementation. He is NOT a God – of “okay as you are” or “good enough” or “whatever” or “you’ve arrived.”  He is a God of journey – a God of great crossings – times where He wants to do something significant in your life – moving you from here to there.  He is not a God of here for long.  He is a God of there.  He has plans for his people (Jer. 11:13).

God’s great crossings are often preceded by times of transition, testing, and uncertainty.  Interestingly, these often involve the number forty. Note the following.

  • Noah – 40 days and nights of torrential rain before a new start
  • Moses – 40 days of mountain teaching before a nation starts Spies – 40 days of due diligence before a new land is in view
  • David – 40 days of taunting by Goliath before the enemy is defeated
  • Israel – 40 years of wilderness testing before God’s people are ready for a new land
  • Jesus – 40 days of wilderness testing before Jesus’ begins his new ministry
  • Jesus – 40 days of post resurrection teaching before he ascends into heaven

My good friend, John Aden, refers to these as Red Sea moments – times of specific testing and preparation by God before great crossings occur.  In these times we note remarkable teaching, discipline, loneliness, challenge, faith development, accomplishment, and overall spiritual grit development.

We all experience Red Sea moments.  Some of us had great Christmas and New Year celebrations; others not so much.  Some of us are mourning the loss of a loved one.  Others are facing serious illness, aging parents, deviant children, divorce, and addictions.  In our personal relationships we may be facing loneliness, betrayal, immorality, and conflict.  In our vocations, we may be wondering if we can make it around the next corner and if our leadership matters.  In short, it may feel like the enemy is gaining on us.  We may believe God doesn’t care or that we are not worthy.  It’s not true.  In these Red Sea moments man’s perspective is typically fear and despair.  But, God’s perspective is always “stand firm and see my deliverance.”[1]


In this short series, I will share three things I believe always keep us from making a great crossing with God and three things we must do to participate in making a great crossing.

The first of three crossing preventers is: Clinging to the Past. During tough times or in tough decision modes, we often look over our shoulder.  The children of Israel were no different.  They looked back which prevented them from seeing the future God envisioned.  They cried, “We were better off in Egypt!”  We’d rather be back home, in our old job, in our old neighborhood, with our old friends, engaging in our old habits, serving as slaves.  We shouldn’t have followed you here!  God shouts, look forward, you’ve got to make a clean break from the past if you are going to make a great crossing with me!  The apostle Paul exhorts forward looking behavior with this one thing he does, “forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.[2]

Truth be told, our past significantly informs us but it does not control us!  Jesus came to offer us forward thinking in all things.  He said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”[3]

God plans for you to make a great crossing this year!  In testing, wilderness, drought, tough decisions, difficult relationships, and your walk with Him – He is not interested in here for long.  His real mission is the next there for you. He is creating, innovating, planning, acting, transforming, and implementing.  Are you seeing God’s there?  Jesus taught, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.”[4]  What are you seeing right now?  Are you in a Red Sea moment? Don’t look back! You can cling to your past or make a clean break, trust God, and fix your eyes on Jesus’ future.[5]

Today as always, God consistently whispers: you are destined for a great crossing – I want to personally deliver You!

More to come next month …


[1] Exodus 14:10-18/Joshua 1-3

[2] Phil. 3:13

[3] Luke 9:62

[4] Matt. 6:22

[5] Heb. 12:1

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