The Israelites were freed from Egyptian slavery. In the process of their release they witnessed the hand of God move supernaturally on their behalf:
The parting of the Red Sea
Yet, they still grumbled, doubted and feared in their liberty. Their freedom wasn’t what they envisioned, not necessarily how they planned. So, they came out of Egypt but “egypt” remained in them.
I shake my head in wonder but know in truth, we – I – have done the same.
We struggle to trust the One who has given us life and has for us a design. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
We find ourselves trusting our plan – even believing at times it is His. Then when the menu changes and itinerary looks different from what we expect. We fight in our own strength to make it work.
Sadly, in the midst of this struggle, we inevitably lose sight of His hand and His will. We spend too much time looking at the ground around us trying to get our footing where our footing isn’t meant to be found.
Sometimes the battle within is tougher than the battle without.
Pride has us holding tight – fighting hard. Pride has us revisiting time and again the issue looking for a different answer. Pride has us searching for answers for all the wrong questions. Pride has us holding on to dreams and visions that weren’t meant to be ours in the first place. Pride causes us to forget His hand and to seek our own.
Have you been there? I know I have.
We fight so hard.
Yet, our boldness in battle cannot be established in our own strength and for our own expectations but rather in the faithfulness of our God and His plan. I read this quote this week, “Sometimes God breaks off the purposes of your heart so that He can bring you into His.” (Bob Sorge). Breaking isn’t easy but at times it is necessary. Sometimes it is the only way we will let go. If we fight for what isn’t meant to be, we lose. Losing is never easy but even less when you fight hard.
In defeat we retreat, seeking safety in what we have known. It is a retreat not of faith but of fear. It is the “egypt” that holds tight.
Out of all the Israelites that left Egypt, only two from the exodus entered into the Promised Land. The two who wholly followed; the two who trusted God’s plan rather than their own and for that they entered in. Two out of many doesn’t make it sound easy. It is not. If faith were easy would it really be faith?
Yet faith is what we need to trust His hand in the new and the unknown. Faith is what gives us the ability to release our hopes and dreams. Faith strengthens us to humbly submit to His purpose and plan. Faith always moves forward even when the journey isn’t quite what we thought it would be. Faith allows us to trust when we can’t see what is ahead. Faith allows us to stop fighting a losing battle and enjoy the victory He has already given.
Faith in Him is the true exodus where our complete freedom is found.