You know how there’s a long scenic route when you travel, and then there’s the fast route? Yeah, I’m a “fastest route possible” kind of person, but the Israelites were more like a lets take the scenic route…again and again kind of people. They were freed from bondage only to wander the wilderness for the next 40 years. Too many Christians today are just like those Israelites we read about. They are free from sin, yet they never move forward. They have forgotten about the land beyond Egypt.
How many times have you read about or heard the Old Testament story of the exodus, the wilderness, and the Promised Land?
By the power of God, the Israelites overcame insurmountable odds, gained their freedom from slavery and bondage, and were on their way to the land God had promised them. From Egypt to the Promised Land (PL) was approximately an 11-day journey through the wilderness.
They walked right up to the edge, and instead of occupying the Land prepared for them, they coward down and wandered aimlessly for forty years. After all that they had seen God do while they were in Egypt and getting them to this point, and they still didn’t trust Him to remove the inhabitants of Canaan.
They were no longer under the bondage of slavery, but they weren’t where God intended them to be. The physical shackles were removed, but they enslaved themselves to their own fear, stagnation, and doubt.
Are you one of those Christians that is like the Israelites?
Too many Christians get freed from the bondage of slavery (sin) by getting saved, and begin the short journey through the wilderness. But what should be an “eleven-day journey” has turned into 40 years of spinning in circles.
Not going back, but not going forward. AW Tozer expresses his heart on the matter like this:
It gives me a heavy heart to walk among Christians who have wandered for 40 long years in the wilderness, not going back to sin but not going on into holy life. Wandering in an aimless circle, sometimes a little warmer, sometimes a little colder, sometimes a little holier and sometimes very unholy, but never going on.
I have known men and women who have been saved for years upon years, but they refuse to go deeper in their walk with the Lord. This is not the life Christ died for. The PL is the deeper Christian life. It is a land flowing with milk and honey. That milk and honey is the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Instead of exploring the depths of our Lord, too many are comfortable with stagnation. Hear a sermon. Go home. Never growing. God will be with you in the wilderness, but it’s not living to His fullest desire for you. That desire is for an intimate relationship with His creation, His children.
Or some want to return to Egypt like some of the Israelites did. I know I’ve had seasons where I tried to go back to Egypt. I knocked the door down, and went dancing in. But every time God called me back, pointed me in the right direction. He led me to the PL. I’m going on twenty years of serving our Lord, and every year He gets sweeter and deeper. I’m not perfect by any means, but I’m definitely not where I used to be.
Christ did not die for you to stay stagnant, or to even return to Egypt. Stagnation only breeds death and disease. The stagnation of the Israelites caused so many of them to miss out on what was right at their fingertips. They never tasted the sweetness of the honey, the delicious fruits, or drank the milk that flowed.
He has prepared a land for you if you will only walk in and occupy it. Too many are satisfied to be 30 or 60 fold Christians, rather than 100 fold. I’m not talking about a prosperity Gospel, I’m talking about a victorious life in Christ; a deeper life in Christ, in which you explore the depths of His life.
There is a land beyond Egypt friend. Don’t get caught in the stagnation of the wilderness. Choose today to pursue the riches of our Lord. Dive into the depths of His life. Leave the wilderness behind, and occupy the land prepared for you.
Pick up a book that challenges your faith or teaches you a new aspect of theology. Study the Word more in depth. Spend regular quiet time before the Lord in prayer and meditation. Whatever you do, move to the land beyond Egypt.