What happens when the enemies that pursue us are being used by the Lord to bring honor and glory to His name? I am speaking to the very attacks and relentless pursuit of things we thought we were free from, released from, healed from. Things that were no longer in our view and now we see them in our rear view mirror coming at us with great pursuit to bring us back to the very slavery we were just healed from, the prisons we were just released from, the sickness we had just celebrated healing from, financial struggles that we just experienced breakthrough from, relationships we just saw breakthrough in, etc....
What if the Lord is in the pursuit? What if He released the defeated enemy to pursue us after our deliverance? What if this time around it isn't just about us? Could it be that when we received the victory, the healing, the breakthrough we received the FULLNESS of all that it contained the moment we received it and this pursuit isn't to return us to bondage, but to bring honor and glory to the Lord by making the enemy bow to Him? Is it possible that our freedom and release was only the beginning, and the next phase is for the enemy to pay and to be brought low and Jesus to be lifted high? Have we ever considered that our current pursuit isn't about us being brought to shame, but for the Lord to be glorified more fully through His own working, His perfect plan?
When I read the passages in Exodus 14 that is exactly what it tells us. It was the Lord who hardened Pharaoh's heart for one last time. He released the Egyptian army to pursue the recently liberated Israelites who were now camped at the shores of the Red Sea. Now we all know the end of this story, but as I read this passage today with new eyes, I notice that the Lord tells us plainly the reason for this pursuit. It is not just intended for another testimony for the Israelites, which it most certainly was, but it is even broader in purpose. It is designed, set up, for the enemy to ultimately bring honor and glory to the King of kings and Lord of lords.
The Lord is faithful forever to do a complete work, not just within us, but throughout all of creation. The enemy is not exempt from bowing down and giving honor to the Lord and bringing Him the glory due His Holy name.
See for yourself...
Then I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord.” And they did so. And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.” And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen. Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”
Exodus 14:4, 10, 12-18 NKJV