Many Christians have settled for a life in Egypt (metaphorically speaking). They have settled for a life of being trapped or limited, because they are more afraid of the unknown than they are of the condition they are living in. They refuse to trust God to take the first step out and into the provisions of the Almighty. It's time that we do something. It's time that we step into God's perfect will for our lives.
What is your Egypt: Someplace that you need God to help you move out of, a place of perceived comfort?
Are you living in freedom? Jesus Christ said that He came to set the captives free. He came to set us free. Learn how to determine if you are living in freedom or not. Are you (spiritually) in Egypt?
These are yes or no questions.
1. Regarding the condition of my heart, do I often feel alive deep inside? YES or NO
2. Is my impact on other people mostly life-giving? (family/friends/strangers) YES or NO
3. Have I shown God that I am willing to trust Him and to give control to Him? YES or NO
4. Am I (at least) on the path to discovering my God-given purpose in life? YES or NO
5. Realizing that I am not perfect and that I fall short, am I an overcomer with regard to shame, fear, doubt, disobedience, stubbornness, wickedness? Yes or No
If you have answered "No" to any of these questions, you are not living in total freedom. You are spiritually in bondage. When you are ready to make the necessary changes in your life, you may be ready to leave Egypt.
Exodus 1:7-14 English Standard Version (ESV)
7 But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, "Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. 10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land." 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel. 13 So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves 14 and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.
One of the most important sciences of study when it comes to the Bible is the field of study known as "hermeneutics". The word refers to "the science of biblical interpretation". Within hermeneutics, there are many principles that can be applied to a text to determine the proper meaning. One of those principles is the "principle of first mention". This principle states that how a subject is used when it is first mentioned in the Bible determines its usage throughout the Bible.
If we apply the principle of first mention to the land of Egypt, we must go back to Genesis.
Genesis 12:10-20 English Standard Version (ESV)
Abram and Sarai in Egypt
10 Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, "I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, 'This is his wife.' Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake." 14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
17 But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. 18 So Pharaoh called Abram and said, "What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, 'She is my sister,' so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go." 20 And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.
In these verses, Abraham walks out to the will of God to go to Egypt and experiences some very negative consequences as a result. Therefore, the first time Egypt is mentioned in the Bible, it is mentioned within a negative context. This sets the tone for how Egypt is to be viewed throughout the Bible.
The land of Egypt is a type of the world. This is true because it holds the people of God in bondage, it leads to death and it is ruled over by an evil tyrant. And, even after they had been delivered from terrible bondage in that land, the children of Israel longed to return to Egypt.
In truth, many of the Lord's people spend a significant amount of their lives either looking back to Egypt, or actually living there full time.
As the Bible relates, the pain and suffering endured by the Israelites was almost unimaginable. Of course, this pictures vividly the bondage endured by those who are captives of this world system, Eph. 2:1-3. Being out of the will of God should never be viewed as a pleasure trip. It is a time of severe bondage, darkness and enslavement.
Ephesians 2:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)
2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
After time, the bondage felt by Israel grew worse instead of better. This is always the way with those trapped in the world. Their attractions grow stronger over time. Their addictions grow stronger over time. They find themselves more deeply rooted in the world than ever.
Ex. 2:1-10 – Moses was born. In the midst of the slavery, a redeemer was born in their midst. They took little notice of him at the time, but one day, he would rise up to deliver them from their bondage. They Were Delivered by The Plan of God - Ex. 3-4 - God's plan to deliver Israel was older than Moses. God had determined how and when He would deliver Israel. When Moses came along, God put His plan into action. It was a plan the demanded faith and obedience, but it was a plan that was destined to work.
It was into this sin cursed world of darkness that God sent His Son to be born, to live and to die for humanity. Few recognized or received Him when He made His appearance.
John 1:11 English Standard Version (ESV)
11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
However, what He, Jesus, accomplished while He was here broke the shackles of sin for everyone who will trust Him by faith.
Luke 4:18 English Standard Version (ESV)
18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
The plan of salvation that delivered you and me from the bondage of sin was not thought up as an afterthought when Jesus died on the cross. It was not a plan B. Since before the foundation of the world, there has been but one plan to save the lost sinners of the world. It is a plan that demands faith and obedience.
Ephesians 2:8-9 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
It is a plan that will work for all who receive it as their own. Salvation does not come about by human reasoning, human goodness, or human deeds. Salvation is solely the work of Almighty God. He formulated the plan. He supplied the blood. He calls the sinner. He saves the sinner. He keeps the sinner. He does it all without our aid or intervention!
We see the Israelites desiring to return to Egypt. We also want to return to the life that leads us away from God.
Even though they had experienced such a great deliverance from their bondage in Egypt, the people of Israel continued to experience a strange pull back to that land of slavery, bondage and death. We see the same in our lives as believers. Even though we have been set free, there is still a continuous pull back to the world and its attractions. When we look back at the things which occupied our minds in the world, we can begin to desire those things again. Maybe we worshiped money, power, sex, attention, possessions, etc. A desire to make life work on our terms. The gods of the world can be a strong rope to pull us back into the world's grip.
What pulls you back to your old way of Life?
Satan, the old master, does everything in his power to defeat those who are committed to serving Jesus, the new Master. Sometimes, these spiritual battles and the battles with the lusts and desires of the flesh overwhelm the believer and he or she desires to return to Egypt.
They Desired the Supplies of Egypt -
Exodus 16:2-3 English Standard Version (ESV)
2 And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, 3 and the people of Israel said to them, "Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."
In Egypt, the Israelites could depend on having plenty of food and water at their disposal. When they left to follow God, they were required to live their lives by faith. Trusting Him to give them what they needed moment by moment.
The world's way to get ahead is to lie, steal and cheat your way to what you want and need. God's way is to wait on Him.
Matthew 6:33 English Standard Version (ESV)
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Philippians 4:19 English Standard Version (ESV)
19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
The Israelites complained about the "way". They thought it was too tough and too difficult. They longed for the life they lived in Egypt, where each day was as predictable as the day before had been. It may have been a life of drudgery and slavery, but at least they knew what to expect when the sun came up.
The life of faith is different! The redeemed of the Lord never know where the path of life will lead them. Some days, He leads us through the green pastures and beside the still waters of His blessings. Other days He leads us through the valley of the shadow of death. However, He always leads us! That is important! That is what makes the way bearable. When we lose sight of the Shepherd, we will grow weary of the way and long for the predictability of the world and its way of life. That is why we must keep our Focus on the face of the Shepherd as we journey and follow His example.
Hebrews 12:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)
Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Do Not Grow Weary
3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
The Majority of the Israelites died in the dessert because they refused to walk in the plan of God and they decided that their way was better than His, He allowed them to wander in the wilderness until they had all died! For 40 years they wandered in the wilderness, longing for the pleasures of Egypt. Perhaps they had forgotten that they were slaves in Egypt. Because Egypt was so deeply rooted in their hearts, they were prevented from entering the promised land of victory.
Many people in the Lord's family are in the same today. They are so enamored with the world, longing for the empty pleasures and comforts, that they are never able to overcome the pull of the world and die in defeat, never having walked in the victory of the Spirit.
Only two men who had left Egypt as adults were permitted to enter the promised land of victory. They were allowed to do so because they looked forward instead of looking backward. Just like Caleb and Joshua, victory over the pull of Egypt is possible for you and me today! The way to achieve this is laid out for us by the Apostle Paul.
Philippians 3:13-15 English Standard Version (ESV)
13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.
The secret to overcoming the past lies in reaching forth for the things God has for you out there in the future. You can leave Egypt behind forever, but it will never happen until you want it to! Egypt will always be a problem in your life until you admit it is a problem, 1 John 1:9,
1 John 1:9 English Standard Version (ESV)
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
How do you do that? By putting some distance between you and your Egypt!
What will you do to put distance between the people and things that draw you back or away from God?
What can you do to draw closer to God?
2 Corinthians 6:15-18 English Standard Version (ESV)
15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, 18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty."
If we were honest today, many of us would have to admit that we have a lot of Lot's wife in us. She was a woman that was so full of her Egypt, Sodom, that she died with it buried deep in her heart, Gen. 19:26
Genesis 19:26 English Standard Version (ESV)
26 But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
Why did she end up this way? Because she was looking back to her Egypt. It killed her and it will do the same to you! Maybe that's why Jesus counseled us to "Remember Lot's wife"
Luke 17:32-33 English Standard Version (ESV)
32 Remember Lot's wife. 33 Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.
On the other hand, Lot never looked back and he was delivered.
Which of the two best describes you today? Lot or Lot's Wife
IN PREPARING TO LEAVE EGYPT, you must know these 3 things.
1) You must understand that this is going to be a journey of radical faith.
2) You must be willing to leave behind the things and the people that will hinder you along the journey.
3) You must be willing to become a warrior. Prayer Warriors: Humble Yourself Repent Seek Him