"Getting up early this morning, I went out back to pump some water from the well and build a fire. Hot coffee would be good, in about a half hour when everything was ready. I made my way to the outhouse shack on the back of our property, wishing the cold wasn't biting my backside and that the splinters wouldn't be too deep. Heading back inside, grateful for the moon to light my way, I searched for my candlestick to read my Bible by its light." Excerpt from my diary January 31, 2011.
If you just did a doubletake or wondered if this was a backwoods pioneer woman writing this, it's just me making a point. It would be ridiculous, unless that was your thing...not judging here...to live this way unless you really had to. We would not choose to pump water from a well when we have a kitchen sink. We not need to build a cooking fire when we have a working stove in our kitchens, a kitchen complete with a coffee maker that has our coffee waiting for us when we get up. We would definitely not choose to sit in an outhouse, quaint as that might sound, to do our business, especially on a cold winter morning.
But, looking at our spiritual lives, we make these choices everyday. We live without the power of a Living God, giving in to fear, anxiety, the quest for money and control driving us before them as slaves. We live in darkness, forgetting that in Christ there is no darkness at all.
My Chronological Bible reading is taking me through the Exodus right now. The words of chapter 6 spoke to my heart as I thought about the slavery and oppression that people are subject to today, some by their own hand admittedly, but when we are trapped, we don't always see the way out. Even when someone is standing under the Exit sign calling our name. We are blinded by the starkness and hopelessness of our situations. Consider the words of the Lord:
"Therefore, say to the people of Israel: 'I am the Lord. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment. 7 I will claim you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt. 8 I will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as your very own possession. I am the Lord!'"
He is standing by, waiting to deliver you from whatever enslaves you, to deliver us from our troubles, to lead us into a new place, not necessarily a new location physically, but spiritually, a place where we don't have to live in fear...a place where we can be strengthened in His mightiness.
Here is the response of the people Moses was sent to deliver: v.9: So Moses told the people of Israel what the Lord had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery.
Besides the fact that God was speaking directly to them, and they were too broken to listen, these people were Israelites. These people were believers. This is written about you and I. While this post is an invitation to those who don't know the power of God to come and learn, this is also a wake-up call to us as Christians. We have met the Christ, we know WHO HE IS, and we still choose to live in the dark. What will it take to free us from the bondage that we choose over Him? How long will we camp out in our own Egypt, too discouraged by whatever enslaves us today, to choose life? To choose not to fear? To choose to live in the light, as children of a glorious, all-capable God? When will we strip off every weight that slows us down, so that we can run in freedom toward the throne?
Do not disregard the help and power that is available to every one of us as followers of Christ. If you are not yet a follower, if you are burdened and weary, come to Jesus and see what He is all about. He is more than a "Get Out of Hell Free" card. He is power, strength, and love for today. Follow me to the shelter that Christ is. Right here, right now. In your Egypt.