Leaders and their ‘Red Sea’ moment
Reading: Exodus 13:1–14:31
In the course of leading, every leader will have his or her own ‘Red Sea’ moment or moments. The ‘Red Sea’ moment is when it seems that the whole enterprise is about to completely implode. It is that moment when it seems that all options have been completely exhausted, and failure stares the leader in the face.
For Moses, the moment came after Pharaoh had finally agreed to let go of the Children of Israel. They marched out and were well on their way out of Egypt. Then suddenly Pharaoh changed his mind; he mobilised his armies and begins to pursue the Israelites. As the Egyptian drew close, the children of Israel are hemmed in to their left and right by an impossible terrain and right in front of them was the Red Sea.
Picture the situation. The Egyptian army, the most powerful military force in the then known world, was in hot pursuit. To one side was the desert and to the other were the mountains, and in front of the children of Israel was the Red Sea. There was no way of escape. However, God gave them a miraculous deliverance. God intervened by separating the Sea, allowing the Israelites to cross over.
There are a number of spiritual and practical lessons from Moses’ Red Sea experience. The first point of application is that every leadership journey is in fact a journey of faith, and that there are times when the leader needs to continue with the journey and refuse to buckle, even when all seems lost. Whilst the people were afraid, Moses as a leader encouraged them, saying that they should stand firm and see the deliverance of their God. Moses believed first in the vision, but more importantly, in the God who had mandated it. As such it is important that the leader refuses to bend and stands strong. The storm will pass and breakthrough will come.
For the spiritual leader, there is another lesson. It is this: often when it comes down to it it’s not how much you know or how skillful and able you are, but rather how great and gracious God is.
So, when you come to your Red Sea moment, remember that you serve a great and gracious God. A highway will be supernaturally constructed in the sea bed, so that both you and the people you lead will pass through safely to the other side.