Exodus 5:1-23, Exodus 6:1-27, Isaiah 6:4-5, Psalm 68:4-6
Have you ever hesitated to follow God because you’re afraid of what you may have to give up along the way? Maybe you’ve felt this way during a season of wandering, or maybe it has been a barrier to making a first-time connection with Him altogether.
Whether we’re concerned about opportunities or experiences, possessions or possibilities—many of us worry that we’ll lose more than we’ll gain by following God wholeheartedly.
What’s completely backward about this way of thinking is that God’s invitation to relationship always comes with “immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20, ESV). Don’t believe me? Look at the Israelites.
In Exodus 6, God made this declaration to the Israelites: “I will take you as my people, and I will be your God” (v. 7). He made this promise to them when they had literally nothing to offer Him, and certainly nothing to lose. Enslaved by the Egyptians for 400 years, destitute and dying, the Israelites were called by God in the midst of hardship and suffering.
God heard their cries and resolved to set things aright. What’s most fascinating is that before the miraculous signs and wonders were shown to Pharaoh, before God commanded that the Israelites be “let go” and freed, He made a promise to them about their identity and relationship with Him: “I will take you as my people, and I will be your God.”
We think about what we may lose in following God, but look how much the Israelites gained when God claimed them as His people. He initiated the relationship, redeemed their hardships, and ultimately led them into the Promised Land.
This season of Lent is meant to remind us not only of Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness, but also of the Israelites’ wilderness wandering. Jesus fulfilled the mission that they could not. Often times we think of Lent as a somber season; a season to remind us of our own wandering. But the reality is, there is so much cause for rejoicing. Sure, we may not have inherited the fullness of the promised land yet, but once we turn to Jesus, slavery to sin and darkness no longer defines us.
You may not be perfectly where you want to be, and you may not be fully who you want to be. But thank God you are no longer where you once were, or who you once were.
Sure there is progress to be made, and there are mile markers to be passed. Yet slavery, a life yoked to sin, is in the rear view. God has called you one of His own and called you out of the land of the Egyptians.
While Lent reminds us that we still experience tensions in this life, it also reminds us that we who believe are God’s people. As such, we get to participate in Jesus’ victory over sin, the wilderness, and death—once and for all.
We place our lives under God because He first called us to be His people. Let this Lenten season be the one where you decide once and for all to place the fullness of your being under His loving leadership. He’s called you out of slavery and will faithfully see you through to the promised land.
Written by Andrew Stoddard