Monday, February 22, 2016

February 23, 2016

“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle. Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.” After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert.  By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.” Exodus 13:17-22

So, Egypt symbolized the life of sin prior to conversion.

As the Hebrews were trapped in the bondage of slavery, we are captives to the bondage of our sinful nature.

Every day was marked by drudgery, cruelty and hopelessness in Egypt. Such is life under the bondage of sinfulness.

God sent Moses to deliver His people from the Pharaoh through supernatural plagues and the blood of a lamb. God also sent His Son, Jesus, to become the Lamb of God to deliver us from our Egypt by His blood shed on a cruel cross.

If you are still a captive in Egypt, I strongly urge you to trust Jesus as your Savior to deliver you from the power of sin and death. You don’t have to live in Egypt and you certainly don’t want to die there!

When Moses led God’s people out of Egypt he led them into the wilderness. They had to travel through the wilderness in order to get to Canaan. When in the wilderness they weren’t in Egypt but Egypt was still in them. The wilderness was designed to be a place of testing His people and His people learning to trust Him.

The wilderness was supposed to be a temporary address on their way to the Promised Land. However, they remained nomads for forty years when they failed to enter into Canaan.

Spiritually, the wilderness is a symbol of the carnal Christian life. When you are in the spiritual wilderness you have God’s Spirit active in your life but the selfish sinful nature or “the flesh” is also present. Those two natures constantly oppose each other creating a weak double-minded follower of Christ.

The Apostle Paul expressed it like this: I don't do the good things I want to do. I keep on doing the evil things I don't want to do. I do what I don't want to do. But I am not really the one who is doing it. It is sin living in me. Here is the law I find working in me. When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. Deep inside me I find joy in God's law. But I see another law working in the parts of my body. It fights against the law of my mind. It makes me a prisoner of the law of sin. That law controls the parts of my body. What a terrible failure I am! Who will save me from this sin that brings death to my body? I give thanks to God. He will do it through Jesus Christ our Lord. So in my mind I am a slave to God's law. But in my sinful nature I am a slave to the law of sin.” Romans 7:19-25

What a miserable way to live! And yet it is where most Christians reside. Max Lucado sites a survey conducted by the REVEAL Research Project that polled Believers in over 1,000 churches world-wide seeking to discover how many of them self-identified as living in “Canaan” spiritually. Only 11% could confidently declare that they were experiencing their “Glory Days”. Do the math on that and you see that leaves 89% of those who populate churches living in the wilderness. They are out of Egypt but Egypt is still not out of them.

Are you an “11%’er” or an “89%”?