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Will the Lord Fight for Us if We Are Still?

Sometimes we find ourselves in a place in life when we are not sure what to do. At times like this, what’s usually best is to pause and check in with God. Relax and listen to His voice. He’ll guide you.

Will the Lord Fight for Us if We Are Still?

Sometimes God calls us to action. Sometimes God calls us to faith, repentance, weeping, and fasting.

But sometimes, God calls us to do nothing but be still so He can do what He wishes.

That’s right — be still. There are certain times when God wants absolutely nothing on our part to do His work. After all, He is the creator of the universe and this world and everything in it. He doesn’t need us to do anything at all.

But does it truly say in the Bible that the Lord will still fight for us even if we are still? Yes, it does, and we can trust in God’s Word.

Where Does This Verse Come From?

In Exodus 14:14, we are promised, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” What is happening in this section of Exodus is that the Israelites had fled Egypt but were being pursued by Pharaoh and his Egyptian army.

At the start of this chapter, they had come to the Red Sea, and God told Moses He planned to use what was happening here as a way to show His power, might, and glory, to show that He was the Lord above all (Exodus 14:4).

He planned to harden Pharaoh’s heart, but all would end well, for God would prevail, and the Israelites would be okay.

But when the Israelites saw the army chasing after them, they grew terrified and started taunting Moses, asking, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?” (v. 11).

Not so. As Scripture tells us, “Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm, and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still’” (v. 13-14).

In short, they just needed to have faith.

Did the Lord Fight for Them?

Indeed, this is exactly what happened. God used this conflict to demonstrate His power not only over Pharaoh and his army but overall the earth. Later in this chapter, we learn that God parted the sea. The Israelites “went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left” (v. 22).

Pharaoh’s army followed. But at daybreak, when God’s people were safely on the other side of the sea, God flooded the sea once more. Pharaoh’s entire army was defeated, with no survivors. The people needed to do nothing at all — God handled everything.

What Does Being Still Mean?

The concept of being still and letting God do His work is really about faith. It is about trusting that God will take care of our needs and that we really don’t have to do anything beyond believe Him and follow His directions.

We humans can be stubborn and egocentric, thinking we know what the future holds or how all will turn out, but sometimes we forget that the God of all creation is the one who is really in control.

Here, God was simply asking them to trust Him, to be obedient, to let Him fight their battle for them. He wanted to do it this way in order to show His might not only to the Israelites but to the Egyptians, and oh, did He ever! It is one of the best-known stories in the Bible.

Why Was This So Important for the Israelites?

We see time and again throughout the Book of Exodus, as well as other books that follow, that the Israelites were a stubborn, disloyal, and often distrustful people. They repeatedly failed to listen and follow God’s directions.

In spite of seeing firsthand God’s power and authority over all, they continued to blatantly disobey His directions. When Moses went up to Mount Sinai to receive the 10 Commandments, he took a long time, and the people grew tired of waiting and began to doubt.

Moses descended from the mountain to find that God’s people had abandoned the Lord and were worshipping a golden calf (Exodus 32).

Their repeated lack of faith and disobedience led God to have them wander the wilderness for 40 years, and in the end, only some were permitted to enter the Promised Land.

But here in the Exodus 14 story, as in so many other examples throughout the Book of Exodus, we see that God keeps His word. God told them through Moses that He would prevail in this battle because He wanted His glory to be obvious, and that’s exactly what He did.

Where in the Bible Are We Told to Be Still?

There are many sections throughout the Old and the New Testament that echo this concept — that God wants us to know our problems are being handled, and we don’t have to worry about them anymore.

In Isaiah 41:10, God promises, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

In Joshua 23:10, we’re told, “One of you routs a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised.”

And in Jeremiah 1:19, “‘They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord.”

Psalm 46 reminds us, “The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth’” (Psalm 46:7-10).

And in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells His disciples they don’t need to worry about where their next meal will come from or other basic provisions — God will provide.

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’” Jesus said. “… But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:31,33).

Does God Only Require Us to Be Still?

No, God does not only require us to be still. Sometimes, God wants us to act. He wants us to prophesy, evangelize, serve, to do.

Later in Exodus, when there is a great battle with the Amalekites, God has Moses hold up his staff; as long as his staff was raised, the Israelites prevailed.

When Moses grew weak and his staff began to fall, Aaron and Hur held their hands up so the staff remained high. In this way, the Israelites prevailed (Exodus 17).

The point here is listening to God. If God tells us to be still, that is what we should do. If God calls us to act or fight, that is what we should do.

How Does This Apply to Us Today?

Sometimes we find ourselves in a place in life where we are not sure what to do. At times like this, what’s usually best is to pause and check in with God.

Maybe He’s not asking you to do anything at all but rather to trust Him. Relax and listen to His voice. He’ll guide you in the way.

He’s done it before, and He’ll do it again — always.

For further reading:

How Do We ‘Fight the Good Fight’ from 1 Timothy 6:12?

Does God Care about Me?

What Did Jesus Mean by ‘Peace Be Still’?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Pheelings Media


Jessica Brodie author photo headshotJessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian novelist, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach and the recipient of the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for her novel, The Memory Garden. She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. Learn more about her fiction and read her faith blog at jessicabrodie.com. She has a weekly YouTube devotional, too. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and more. She’s also produced a free eBook, A God-Centered Life: 10 Faith-Based Practices When You’re Feeling Anxious, Grumpy, or Stressed.