Promise Land or the Land of Slavery

Exodus 3:7-8 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.”

Many of us know what it’s like to be in the Land of Slavery. This is the land most people live in without even knowing there is a promise land waiting for them to inhabit. In fact, instead of looking for a way to change the land they are living in, most people settle with the belief, “That’s just how life is”. No matter who you are, we all have a limit. We can only take so many days of going to a job that doesn’t fulfill us, so many months of a relationship that’s undesirable, so many months of taking drug after drug yet still remaining unfulfilled, and only so many years of not truly having a purpose for our lives. When you lay your head down on the pillow at night and you take down every pretension and you’re honest with yourself and think “There’s got to be more to life than just this!” Then I’m here to tell you, don’t give up and don’t quit because with God, you’re absolutely right!

The Israelites came to this realization once they “hit the wall”, 430 years of slavery! Everyone “hits the wall”. The Israelites then cried out to the Lord to save them and God answered their prayer! Through Moses they were led through the Red Sea and freed from the Egyptians. Once Moses had died Joshua led them into the Promised Land!

The land of slavery is the world everyone lives in before they become a Sold Out Disciple of Jesus. As Jesus says in John 8:31-32, 34, “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’….“I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” It is only by holding to the teachings of Jesus that we truly get to be “freed from our slavery, our Sin.” John 3:5 says, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” Being baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is the point and time that God breaks the chains of slavery. “Addictions” is no longer in your vocabulary, but “freedom” is!

We must not be confused by the difference between “slavery” and “hardship”. Hebrews 12:7 says, “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his Children”. God allows “Freedman” to undergo hardships to be trained so that they are able to fulfill their destiny! Even Jesus “Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect (mature), he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (Hebrews 5:7-9). The hardest part of being trained by hardship is not knowing it’s training and you’re left asking God the question “Why?” We don’t need to do this. In fact, we just need to change our mindset and ask, “What is God trying to teach me?” When we go through these hardships, the temptation is to get bitter at God. Once you are bitter at God, you then want to go back to Egypt, back to slavery, and back to your sin. This is the response the Israelites gave to Moses in the desert.  Numbers 14:3-4 “Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt”. If only they would have kept their eyes on God and understood that God was training them to be able to take the promise land. Bad company corrupts good character (1Cor. 15:33), and so “good company persuades bad character”. It’s important to be a part of a fellowship locally and internationally that is focused on getting people to the “promise land”, making and baptizing disciples of Jesus.

History always repeats itself unless we learn from the past! Maybe you were one of the men or women who decided to turn back to the land of Egypt. Well, if you’re still alive, God still wants to use you! Romans 11:29 “God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable”. God never stops calling you to “Follow Him” (Mark 1:17) Please make a decision to once again hold to Jesus’ teaching and once again be freed from slavery! If you are still holding to Jesus’ Teaching, don’t get weary and don’t give up but remember the words in Hebrews 4:8-11, “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” Let’s all make every effort to enter that Rest. To God be all the Glory.

Love,

Coltin L. Rohn