Julie Stead - Biddeston Convention, Queensland, Australia - 2017

We were staying with a family and there was a little girl who was only three. She said to her mum that she wanted my companion and I to see something she had. She asked her mum if she could show us. So she held out her hand and said, "Take my hand and we shall go together." There was in her heart that if we all went together, it would be better. God is holding out his hand to us today and saying. "Let us go together and it is better." There is so much that He wants to show us and so much He wants to tell us. It is all new to us and it is not new to God and God wants to take us into the future and to the experiences that we will face when we leave here today. Little children hold each other’s hands and they hold their parent’s hands to feel safe and to feel close. Sometimes we see old people holding hands and it is because they still love each other.


I thought of God holding out His hand to us today and He does not want anything bad to happen to us. God is holding out His hand and wants to show to us that He loves us and He wants to hold our hand because He does not want us to fall. God has a strong hand like we were singing in that hymn, “Walking hand in hand together, with my Saviour, with my friend, naught from Him my soul can sever, let Him lead till life shall end.” “There is a hand held out to you and there is a hand held out to me and will prove true no matter what our lot shall be.” We do not know what our lot will be, and that is why He is holding out His hand and wishing we would take it and that we would go forward together.


I’ve been reading in Exodus 14 when God heard the cry from the children and God said that He would send Moses and deliver them unto the Promised Land. Later we read that they said, "You have bought us here to die." They all had questions and doubts although they had left the land. Verse 13, “And Moses said unto the people, 'Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will show to you today for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever.'”  That was the message that God gave to the children of Israel when they were afraid and behind them was the enemy and in front of them was the Red Sea. They saw it looked impossible and they were all just to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. Stop fearing and start trusting, stop panicking and start praying, stop being restless and just be still and stop looking around at everything and see the salvation of the Lord and that is the message that God just wanted to give to them.


In verse 15, God said to Moses. "Speak to the children of Israel so that they may go forward." The message was to go forward and not fear but to trust and rest and see God. All that was behind them was the enemy and to go forward to. May be we came to Convention and had fears and our past is now behind us and things that are overwhelming and how do we go forward? That God has spoken and we got the message:  just to trust and pray. Maybe the future is overwhelming and God will provide a way to get through.


God provided a way for the children of Israel and it says that Moses stretched forth his hand and it caused the sea to go back by a strong wind and the waters were divided and they went across on dry land and either side of them was a wall of water. Then the enemy followed and they were all totally destroyed and not one of them were alive. God provided a way that they could go forward and not go back and there was provision for the future to go forward. Maybe we have started to trust and maybe we have started to pray. The message now is a go forward and even that may seem overwhelming. Then the Children of Israel sang a song of victory because God had provided a way.  Maybe we have come here with the cry and God has spoken and we leave here with a song in our heart.


It says in Psalm 98, David said, “Sing unto the Lord a new song; for He hath done marvellous things, His right and His holy arm, hath gotten Him the victory.” It is good to know that God can provide a way so we can go forward. A bird doesn’t sing because it has an audience, but because it has a song in its heart. We can go forward today with a song in our heart, not because we have an audience waiting for us and we can have the song of victory and the song of peace. May God help us to go forward hand-in-hand with Him no matter what our lot will be. Stop fearing and start trusting and start praying and stop looking around and that we would focus on Jesus and we would be strong and knowing God will provide a way for us. For Jesus' sake.