|Source: The Standard|
Stage 1 - Before we know Jesus – In Exodus 1 the Egyptians become increasingly concerned about how the Israelites were multiplying in their land so they decided to exert their authority by treating them harshly; Exodus 1:14 ‘They made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly’. Through this oppression the Israelites were easily distracted in their struggles and rather than lean on God, they became influenced by their circumstances which led to corruption and idol worship; Exodus 32:7 ‘Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf’.
Being influenced by the wrong people, impatience, chaos, corruption and worshiping idols are all symptomatic of a World that will never find what it is looking for, a World that will never be satisfied, a World where human selfish desire takes precedence and crucially, a World that lacks God. It could be argued that those who do not know Jesus are lost and right now are living in their own version of Egypt. But Praise God He has a plan and anyone who gives their heart to Jesus can pack their bags, leave Egypt and head for the Promised Land.
Stage 2 - When we give our hearts to the Lord – The moment we give our hearts to Jesus we enter the second stage of our journey, and what a journey this is! At this stage we are heading for the Promised Land however we haven’t arrived yet. After leaving Egypt the Israelites wondered around in the wilderness for forty years before they entered the Promised Land. Throughout their time in the wilderness the Israelites were directed and protected by God; Exodus 13:21 ‘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’. They were never lost and neither are we if we listen to and are directed by the Holy Spirit.
|Source: Christian Wisdom|
We should not underestimate the work that God wants to do with us on this part of the journey and we should not be worried or concerned that He wants to humble us and test us, in fact we should be honoured! If we carefully listen to what God is telling us in our lives and we are obedient to His Will then the Lord will welcome us into the Promised Land; Deuteronomy 10:12-13 ‘And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?’ God knows that we are imperfect by ourselves and it is only through the redeeming blood of Jesus that we will be able to enter the Promised Land. The key to the Promised Land is Jesus, we can’t get there on our own; Deuteronomy 9:6 ‘Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people’.
Stage 3 – When we enter the Promised Land – When the spies were sent to explore the land that the Lord was giving to the Israelites they came back with reports of a land flowing with milk and honey and in addition brought back some of the fruit from the land; Numbers 13:27 ‘We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit’. We too have an account of what awaits us when we go to be with the Lord and enter the Promised Land; Revelation 21:1-4 ‘Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’. Wow, this is the prize at the end of the journey, a destination that will allow us to spend all eternity with Jesus. The journey we are on may sometimes be challenging and there are going to be bumps along the way and we may sometimes reach crossroads however, God has equipped us with everything we need for our journey; 2 Peter 1:3 ‘His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness’.
Let us rejoice on our journey and in the confidence of our arrival to the Promised Land. Whilst on our journey let us shine the light of Jesus so that those who are heading in the wrong direction will change their travel plans and join us as we travel to the Promised Land.
May God bless and enrich your life
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