When God delivered the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt, guess what they had to do? They had to walk out of Egypt. As we know from the Bible, they had quite a bit of difficulty doing so – to say the least. They yearned to go back to their comfort zone when they faced the uncertainty of their future in a new land. Bottom line? The Lord delivered them, but it was their decision as to whether they truly wanted – and would be willing – to be free.
How about jail? Just because a prisoner is set free does not mean he will walk out the door. Okay, realistically, what prisoner would not want to go running out the front door? But the reality is that he or she has to choose to walk out – and then follow through.
The Lord might take the chains off my mind and heart and set me free from something. But whether I choose to go free is truly up to me. I have the choice to go back. And I have sometimes done so. In fact, sometimes I have been set free and not even left my place of bondage at all.
I have a crucial part to play in my own deliverance. God is my deliverer, but I am the one held captive who must choose to walk out of my places of bondage. God will not do that for me. He will simply throw open the doors, show me the breathtaking beauty of His light waiting just outside the door, and extend a loving invitation to get the heck out of the troubled place I have been.
What is my part in my deliverance? I need to make a decision to leave the place I have been, and I have to make the decision to not return. What that will entail exactly needs to be directed by the Lord. Perhaps He will send me help to stay out of bondage. Maybe He will ask me to be accountable both to Him and to a pastor or friend. Most definitely, He will want me to study the Bible and apply it to my life.
Most importantly of all, when God delivers me, I need to listen to Him, trust Him, and obey Him. He is my deliverer; He will show me precisely how He wants me to walk out of the bondage from which He has delivered me, stay out of the bondage from whence I have come, and have the strength in Him not to return.
I wish I could say I have done all of this right and well. I have not. But I am learning, and I desire to continue to learn how to follow Him – out of Egypt and into His new land.
1 “Then David spoke to the LORD the words of this song, on the day when the LORD had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. 2 And he said:[a]
“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
3 The God of my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence.
4 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.” (2 Samuel 22 NKVJ)