Saturday, December 12, 2009

Back to Egypt? Really?

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I've recently felt convicted by Holy Spirit after having some incorrect ideas about myself in comparison with certain people from Biblical times.  Being educated has it's downfalls.  Even though I didn't realize it - I thought I was smarter, better - if you will.  Here's the story.

Part 1:
Ever since I was a kid and grew up in church I heard the story of the children of Israel in the wilderness freed from the hand of Pharaoh under the leadership of Moses.  They had seen miracles, one right after the other - the Nile turned to blood, plagues of flies, frogs, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, the Angel of Death taking the first born son, and the Red Sea parting before them so they could cross on dry land to escape Pharaoh's army.  After years of oppression they were finally free. The relief.  They were finally headed to the Promised Land.  What joy!  The long awaited promise was close to being fulfilled.  Israel would have the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey.  Immediately after their escape... moving around in the wilderness... God provided for their needs.  Manna - heavenly food that He delivered. Every. day.  For one night? For a week?  No, for what ended up to be forty years.  What was their response????  They wanted to go back to Egypt.

Numbers 11:5b-6

and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, "Who will give us meat to eat?
 "We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic,
 but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna." 

After all the miracles they had see the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY perform for their good why would they want to go back to slavery and bondage?  Whenever I heard this story I frequently thought to myself, "If I were in that position I would never say that.  I would be one of the ones to protest.  Why would they ever want to go back to bondage? That's ridiculous."

Part 2:

Fast forward to present, I had a great opportunity to be involved in a women's retreat this fall which has changed. my. life.  Previously after attending a conference or retreat I felt good, was inspired to walk closer to the Lord, even made a few changes in my daily life after attending.  But this wasn't like that.  This was an entire change of direction.  It's one of those situations that changes your life. Forever.

I find myself struggling with my newfound knowledge, realizing it was so much easier living in ignorance... to just go along blindly.  I said those words to the Lord in a quiet time with Him as I was struggling in my transformation - "It was so much easier before. I wish I could go back." I really loved what God was teaching me, but as He was teaching me He was testing to see what I would do with what He had given.  I was having trouble passing the test.  I felt like a failure. But God doesn't give us tests to make us feel like a failures.  He gives them to us for our growth... so we change our ways.  He wants us to get an A and then give Him glory.

Part 3:

Shortly after my little prayer about wishing to go back to my ignorance and sin I was sitting in Bible Study Fellowship one Thursday morning.  We are studying the Gospel of John.  The leader lectured about the Jews who were following Jesus and the disciples.  The people were murmuring... the leader connecting the Jews of Jesus' day with the children of Israel in the wilderness.... those silly children who wanted to go back to their bondage.  And then, like a lightening bolt for no one else but me, it happened.  The Lord gently "spoke" and said - "You are just like them. Do you really want to go back to Egypt - to your bondage?"  "OUCH!"  I am like that.  I would've wanted to go back to Egypt with those silly Hebrew slaves out in the wilderness... even after all of the wonders they had seen the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY do because He loved them. 

Sometimes it seems easier to go back to our sin and bondage, but in reality - do I want to give up the growth I have experienced?  Do I want to sacrifice the intimacy with my God?  Do I want to return to my sin?  A thousand times NO!  I would not ever desire to go back - with the help of God.  My sinful flesh would, but my spirit changed by Holy Spirit desires to grow closer to Jesus.  Daily.

So now I walk. One step at a time.  Continuing the transformation and growth... with the Lord's help.  Heading to the Promised Land.  And only with His help - never going back to Egypt.


amy said...

good one! you're so right. we've all tutted at the israelites, thinking, you're so stupid, can't you see? yet, if MY story was written out for everyone to see, analyze, ponder, i'm sure i'd get more than little tuts. isn't it crazy how the past is comfortable, even if it's unhealthy? but it's familiar... i guess that's why we always say to take a leap of faith. you did that, and though it's unsure, you have a big arrow leading you. keep plodding forward, my friend. i love reading your heart!

Heather said...

Loving you, G... and praying for you, too! And missing you terribly and thanking God for you and wishing you weren't so far away...