Imagine being in slavery all of your life, but then the Lord leads you to freedom. How would you feel? Would you be thinking of the wonderful life you would live in liberation?
That is probably how the Israelites felt when God delivered them from Egypt. Can you imagine their joyful faces as they fully realized that they would no longer be abused by the Egyptians? They would no longer have to be slaves!
So just think, these people walked through the parted Red Sea to escape Pharaoh and his army. I can imagine that they thought they were heading straight from slavery and into the Promise Land.
However, God had other plans. Their Redeemer knew He would have to renew their souls and spirits from mental slavery. For years they had been treated as animals. For years they were overworked. For years they suffered, thinking God had abandoned them. Now God had to reprogram their minds, and how did God plan to do that? By leading them into the wilderness.
Exodus 13:17-18 states, “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest these people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.”
Children of the Most High God, we must understand that the wilderness is not our enemy. We must also realize that “deliverance” does not always look like a blessing. The children of Israel were liberated, yet their destination into the wilderness may have confused them into thinking that they were not free.
We (Christians) have to walk by faith and not by sight. We must also submit ourselves to God and respect the fact that God’s ways and thoughts are much higher than ours.
God may have delivered you from something terrible but has chosen to lead you into the wilderness to renew you into His image. Sometimes our problems taint us, corrupting our minds, forming ungodly habits in us. Therefore, we, like Jesus, like John the Baptist, and like the children of Israel have to leave one situation, and be led to the wilderness for the crucifixion of our flesh.
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