The Lord Promises Freedom

Exodus 5:1-23, Exodus 6:1-27, Isaiah 6:4-5, Psalm 68:4-6

BY Andrew Stoddard

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

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3 thoughts on "The Lord Promises Freedom"

  1. Kyle says:

    My prayer today is to trust in God’s plans for my life. It’s not easy to let my own ideas of how I think things should look in my life. My pride gets in the way, and makes me want to take whatever seems safest, or easier to handle in making decisions. I pray that throughout this Lenten season, I’m able to celebrate in letting go and fully surrendering every part of my life to God, and his plans.

  2. Matt Baker says:

    Super heavy stuff on this one. God uses our hardships not only to humble us, but to grow us closer to him as well. Losing my house in a hurricane, I have firsthand experience with this. I think constantly now about how God reached out to me in that tragedy and grew me into a better steward of his word.

  3. Epp.ic says:

    God you have promised me an identity that is so much greater than the one that I currently live in! I’m a work in progress for sure, but Jesus, I’m trusting in that promise! I need you to continue drawing me into the relationship that will transform me! Call to me in the deepest parts of my soul, minister to me all the blessings of lavish love that you desire to give, help me to receive well the identity you’ve planted in me that I might be a tree that bears fruit in the lives of others.

    God your promise to me, BEFORE, I am anything, is that I am SOMEONE’S. Help me to always remember that I belong, always and forever in relationship with you. I trust you!

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