In the middle of worship, I heard in my spirit, “Look to the dry ground.”
My first thought was, “What does this have to do with the song we’re singing in worship to the Lord?” The short answer – absolutely nothing.
I heard the statement again, “Look to the dry ground.”
When I asked the Lord what He was saying to me, I was taken into a vision, in which I was looking at a massive body of water. I was standing on the banks of a large river that had a steady flow moving from my left to the right. As I looked at the water, I heard the Lord say, “Can you see the dry ground?”
Then the Lord said, “Stop looking backward, and look to go forward. Look to the dry ground.”
I looked across to the other side of the riverbank, and the Lord said again, “Stop looking backward and look to go forward. Look to the dry ground.”
I was reminded of Moses standing at the banks of the Red Sea. Exodus 14:10-16 (NASB) states:
As Pharaoh approached, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were coming after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord. Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness!” But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will perform for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again, ever. The Lord will fight for you, while you keep silent.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. As for you lift up your staff and reach out with your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land.
The Bible tells us that the children of Israel, who had been slaves to Egypt for hundreds of years, were now on the banks of the Red Sea and Pharaoh was drawing near. For many generations, they had only known the snares of Pharaoh and the bondage of Egypt. Moses, the one who would be known as the deliverer of the Israelites, had been able to see their freedom set into motion. But it seemed that freedom would be a short-lived experience as their former captor was about to catch up to them. Death seemed nearer than ever before.
Before we go further, it is important to acknowledge that the people of Israel were not exactly excited about this journey with Moses. Yes, they were no longer slaves under Egyptian rule. But, they were not fully onboard with Moses as their new leader. This is evident when the children of Israel declare to Moses:
Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, “Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians. For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness!” (Exodus 14:11-12)
It seems that Israel would have prefered to remain in bondage, instead of being free only to face potential death on the banks of the Red Sea.
The Lord showed me that, like the Israelites, there are many today who have been freed from the bondages of the past, and they now find themselves at a place where they feel they can’t go any further. They’ve looked around at the environment, the challenges, difficulties, and circumstances, and now they’ve developed a horrible habit of looking back.
Individuals who face an uncertain future will often look back at the past and begin to convince themselves that it would have been better to stay in that previous life (even if that life was one of bondage unto death) because at present, they face obstacles that look too strong to overcome in their own strength.
As Pharaoh approached, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were coming after them, and they became very frightened… (Exodus 14:10)
No matter the situation, looking back will open the door for a spirit of fear that can capture your mind, your vision, and your heart. I strongly believe this is the reason that Jesus said, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
Imagine your family being freed from generations of slavery… Then, the moment you encounter your first obstacle, your immediate reaction is to regret choosing freedom, and you desire to return to slavery. What fear speaks to you is totally unrealistic but in your mind, you genuinely believe that your only hope for freedom is through former bondage. Fear will try to convince you that it is better to be bound by some things, rather than to be free and face difficult challenges. There is no accountability in fear, only the opportunity to keep you bound by a false reality.
One can easily admit that when you are standing on the bank of a large body of water, the unknown depth and swift current of that water can be daunting! It is why the word that I originally heard is so powerful: “Look to the dry ground.”
The Lord did not say to look at what appears to be an overwhelming challenge.
The Lord did not say to look at what appears to be an approaching enemy.
The Lord did not say to look at the massive obstacle in front of you and hope that you will overcome.
The Lord did not say to engage in a physical battle against your enemy.
The Lord said, “Look to the dry ground.”
When the children of Israel were facing the Red Sea, everything seemed hopeless, impossible and impassable. Yet, the Lord said to Moses:
“Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. As for you, lift up your staff and reach out with your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land.” (Exodus 14:15-16)
The word of the Lord was specific – tell the sons of Israel to go forward! When they focused on going forward, instead of looking back, they would see a way made for them.
It was a massive body of water, yet the Lord tells Moses that they will go through the sea on DRY LAND – not muddy ground, not ankle-deep waters – but dry land!
In this hour, I believe the Lord is saying that we cannot afford to look back at our enemies or the former things. We cannot afford to be fearful of what might be coming. We must not be overwhelmed by the obstacles before us. We cannot long for what we once were (or had) at a specific time in our lives – whether good, bad, or ugly.
You and I must be willing to look to the dry ground!
When we look to the dry ground, it means we are seeing beyond the circumstances. When we look to the dry ground, we are seeing beyond the tests, beyond the offense, beyond the disappointments, beyond the hurt, beyond the trials, beyond the bondage, beyond the manipulations, and beyond the snares.
We must look to the dry ground even when we cannot yet see it in the natural. God is calling us to see with His Truth, not with our circumstance. God is calling us to see with His prophetic promises, not with our fears or frustrations.
Though the water (battle) is moving with a swift current, and it presents an unknown depth, we must remember that our God is still the One who makes a way when there seems to be no way.
This is what the Lord says, He who makes a way through the sea and a path through the mighty waters… (Isaiah 43:16)
“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will also help you, I will also uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
I encourage you to look to the dry ground. Don’t become focused on looking back or looking at a daunting obstacle that is before you. See beyond the waters, and look to the dry ground.
God is for us.
We must become people who are willing to see from the foundation of His Truth, which is always beyond our present circumstance. We cannot settle in this season and we must never turn back.
> Renounce the spirit of fear now, in the name of Jesus.
> Renounce the spirit of bondage now, in the name of Jesus.
> Renounce the spirit of apathy now, in the name of Jesus.
> Declare that, by the grace of God, you will be one who looks forward and presses onward.
> Declare that there is dry ground ahead for you to walk on!
Ryan Johnson — ryanjohnson.us
For the last 25 years, Ryan Johnson has been a strong prophetic voice across the U.S. and the Nations, re-digging the wells of revival, equipping the saints and challenging religious systems. He is an author and the Host of The Blacksmith Chronicles Podcast and an Instructor at the Summit School of Revival. Ryan and his family live in Sevierville, Tennessee. From Patricia King