The word "river" is a common five letter word that can trigger any number of images in your mind. For example, a peaceful picnic scene with the water gently flowing by in the background. The laughter of a young boy fishing off the bank with his dad. Perhaps it is a canoe out on the river gently flowing with the current as a young couple has eyes only for each other, or it could be the rushing water of white water rafting, waterfalls and all. Maybe, for you it brings to mind a childhood memory of jumping in off the dock with friends and family. The word "river" is a simple word and the image it brings to mind is different for all of us depending on our experiences. For me, "river" is a word that brings to mind the name of a man and with it a truth that is key to the life of every believer and that can open the door to the miraculous in our lives.
The reality is that for this man, the river was intended to be a place of tragedy and death, but instead it became the means of safety and provision, a place of destiny! Webster' Dictionary defines the word destiny as, "The seemingly inevitable succession of events." This one man's whole life can be summed up with the word, "destiny." His entire life was an incredible succession of events starting with the hand of God protecting him as an infant and ending with God providing him his resting place at the end of his days. He was a man of destiny, and start to finish, he lived a life filled with many different miraculous events!
From the moment of his first breath, death was a very real threat to him because the ruling powers of the day had decreed that he was to die! He was intended to be drowned in the river because he was a born a boy. In order to keep him safe, his mother kept him hidden for the first three months of his life. We don't know the exact circumstances that caused her to make such a drastic descision, but what we do know is that she felt that the threat on his life was very real and that she was no longer able to protect him. She took a papyrus basket, coated it with tar and pitch, and then, she did what to you or I is the unthinkable-she said her good-byes and placed her three month old son in the basket. We can only imagine the tears and the heartache for this loving mother as she placed the basket containing her precious cargo into the river to be carried away by the river's current as she cried out to God, trusting Him with the outcome.
It was this event, this decision at the river's edge, that set in motion the events that followed, events that allowed him to become the man of God, that we read about today. The events that transpired in the life of Moses, from the seemingly insignificant, to the most famous.The burning bush, Red Sea, Promised Land miraculous events, all became possible because of this specific moment! The moment when a loving mother placed her baby in the river and entrusted the life of her son into the care of a sovereign God. She dared to believe that God would, "Make a way where there was no way." She put her faith in God, trusting that, "His thoughts were of good and not of evil." She was believing that God's "plans were to prosper him, and to give him a hope and a future," (Jeremiah 29:11). It was this mother's act of surrendering life to the will of God that brought about all the miraculous events that followed and that enabled Moses to have a relationship with God. A relationship that transformed him into the man of destiny we read about today.
Man had intended the river to be a grave (Exodus 1:22), but because of an act of surrender that same river became a place of destiny where God provided, prospered, and caused a future to unfold. A future that wasn't just about Moses, but a future that encompassed a whole nation being delivered and set free to worship the Living God. If you and I want to have a relationship with God like the one that Moses had, experiencing the miraculous and being used by God to reach this generation, then we too must come to that moment in time, that place of surrendering our lives to the will of a sovereign God. We need to know and experience that moment of destiny where we are willing to surrender, to jump into the river of His will while trusting the outcome, not to the plans of man, but to His very capable hands! Only then can we become a people of destiny.
We use words like, "Here I am Lord, use me." as a declaration of surrender but they are all too often spoken from the safety of the river bank and because of this, the results that we see are only a fraction of what they could be. If we want to walk in the power of God and see the miraculous, Red Sea, Manna-type events in our daily lives the way that Moses did, then we need to be in the river letting God's will unfold! According to the Strong's Concordance the name Moses means, "... drawing out, (of the water)" and comes from a root word that means "to pull out." It was only after Moses spent time in the river that he came to a place where he was drawn out from it and thus named Moses. Moses was a man of destiny who fulfilled the will and purpose of God for his life, not only because he was literally drawn out of the Nile River but because as a man, surrendered to the will of God, he pulled a whole nation out of bondage. A destiny he realized only after his own personal encounter with God before the burning bush, were he was heard to utter, "Here I am," in response to God's call. (Exodus 3:4)
As believers we need to be a people in the river trusting God to provide, no matter what the situation or circumstance might be. He can't draw us out and into the miraculous until we've placed our trust in Him. Its only when we've left the safety of the bank and entrusted Him with the outcome that we are truly surrendered. Moses' mother had no idea what the outcome would be when she placed her son in God's care and we can only imagine her plea to God to care for her son as she placed the basket in the river. She had no idea that God would replace her heartache with joy and that He would bring her son back to her to love and care for as His nurse. (Exodus 2:8,9) The simple truth is that a surrenderd life is key to being a man or woman of destiny and an act of surrender will always bring about the miraculous intervention of God!
Jesus was the perfect example of a surrendered life and He declared it clearly when he said, "For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me." (John 6:38) Consider the events following these words of surrender, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." (Matthew 26:39) You and I see and experience the results of His surrendered life as we acknowledge His sacrifice and are drawn from darkness into light. We know that God once again took what was intended to be a grave and turned it into a way for a hope and a future-not for a single nation, but for all nations. A future that provided you and I with the opportunity to walk in the miraculous and to become a people of destiny!