Do you remember what the children of Israel did as soon as they were delivered from bondage in Egypt? They left. But that is not all. They moaned, they griped, they complained, they murmured, and they fell into unbelief in the wilderness such that they could not enter into God’s rest. If you do not believe me, check out the book of Hebrews. Despite their utter desperation to leave the devastation of a life of sheer, living hell under the tyrancy of Pharoah, they could not fathom the reality of their new lives.
As soon as they saw their circumstances, their trials, tests, and tribulations of their walk out of Egypt, they questioned God. How could He not take care of them? they demanded. They could not see in their daily lives that God provided all they needed, but instead bemoaned the fact they could not see their provisions more than one step in front of them. Rather than walk by faith in God who had set them free, they walked by fear. So what did they do? They said they would rather not say goodbye to the familiar of Egypt. At least in Egypt they knew what to expect. But now what? What would their new lives look like? Is there an area of your life where you need to say goodbye to the familiar?
Today I found myself complaining beyond description, and my complaining has worsened by the day since I recently made the choice to obey the Lord and let go of something to which I had held on for dear life. In fact, my complaining had been increasing for some time. But when I finally took the big plunge and took an incredibly painful action to let go as the Lord had called me to do, I found myself groveling in the slimy pit of self pity and endless complaining. A friend of mine this morning received the full brunt of it, and as I finally cooled down from a flare of temper I saw through a seemingly mundane subject matter what had happened. I had just purchased a new computer, discovered it did not come with Microsoft Word as I had thought, and downloaded a free trial from the Internet. But alas, after coming up for air from yet another bout of complaining, I saw my trouble.
“Do you know what it is?” I said to my friend. “I thought the free trial program didn’t work because I coudn’t understand it. I assumed it should look like my old version. I wanted to go back to the familiar. I didn’t know how to use the new version, and it seemed like too much trouble to figure it out. Even knowing that the new version likely would have so much more to offer, I had automatically thought to go back to my place of comfort.”
Sound familiar? When God delivers us from bondage, when He calls us out of a place of darkness and death and into a new land of life and prosperity, there is often a pathway leading from the old life to the new one. He calls us to trust Him as He leads us forward, just as He led the children of Egypt out of their place of bondage. But in the wilderness of not knowing where we are going, in that period of wondering how we will come to understand and live in the new land, how often do we simply want to run back to what we know?
As soon as I realized that I was ready to reject the new version of Microsoft Word simply because it was new and unfamiliar, I realized how I would sell myself short. But that is merely a computer software program, and my life. Yet, I could see with utter clarity what I had done with my life.
Just days ago, I took the action to obey God in letting something go. It was one of the hardest actions I had ever taken. And I knew God was calling me to do this because He has an abundant, beautiful, prosperous life for me to live. He asked me to let this go because He wants His best for me. He has a new version, so to speak, of life for me.
My decision? I am not going back to Egypt. I am going forward with the Lord. I am ready to experience the new version.
Hello God’s plan for my life.
What about you?