Our Journey from Captivity to Freedom!
If you use Google to find out how long it would take to walk from Egypt to Israel, you see it is about 292 kms and takes 59 hours travel time, about 3 days if you push it! I like the fact that Google suggests a ferry ride .. the people of Israel had to make do with God parting the Red Sea and their walking through on dry ground! Also, the Promised Land is a different time zone, firmly established in eternity 😄
Given the number of people involved, it was meant to take about 11 days from Horeb (see Deut 1:1-3) ... it eventually took 40 years and it meant a whole generation died in the wilderness and missed out on God's greater purpose. It was a lack of trust in God that led to their downfall, seen most starkly in the spies fearful report after their 40 days in the land flowing with milk and honey. All they could think about were the giants and their hearts melted. This triggered the people who then sought another leader (not God's appointed) to take them back to Egypt (see Num 13:30-14:4).
For any interested you can watch a YouTube clip of the 10 tests with which the Israelites sadly tested God in the wilderness by clicking here.
Paul encourages the Corinthians to flee from idolatry, putting anything other than God at the center of their lives. It was one thing to get Israel out of Egypt, a miraculous and extraordinary thing at that, but that is not the same as living as the newly constituted people of God. They had to relearn what it meant to humbly trust in God's provision and promises, have a faith that caused them to pursue and seek after Him, and a sense of abundant gratitude in God's goodness that caused all fear and anxiety to flee.
So what about us today, those who trust in Christ's work, those as Paul says, "on whom the end of the ages has come"? We are in an even stronger place (or meant to be) .. we benefit from Christ's death and resurrection. Not only that, he has ascended to teh place of all authority and sent the Holy Spirit upon all of us believers so that we can represent Him, His power and authority over all works of darkness and the power of the flesh! Peter says we have been given everything we need for godliness through the power of God's Spirit, His divine nature in us (see 2 Peter 1:2-4).
The question though is still the same ... will we believe? Our journey time to maturity and the blessings of God's Promised Land (now centered in Jesus Christ), is simply based upon the orientation of our new heart and therefore what we pursue.
For this to become our experience though, we must learn the new way of the Spirit. This is how those more mature in the faith, our spiritual mothers and fathers, can help us if we will ask. I'm more than ready to help and i know others are too in our fellowship.
I look forward to our celebrating together in worship this coming Sunday. Remember that Sunday evening (March 12th) there is a combined Lenten service at Arrowsmith Baptist Church with other believers in the Valley at 6:00pm. I will be speaking and would appreciate your prayers.
With much love,