Answering the Call: Part 1 Come out From Egypt
At some point in our lives, we will all hear our Savior begin to call us to a deeper walk with Him. If we continue to answer the loving Voice speaking to our hearts, there will come a time when He will ask us to do one thing in particular.
He will ask us to separate our hearts from all that is bound up in this world. He asks us the question:
“My beloved child, will you come away with me? Will you leave all the things of the world that you sought after to find peace, worth and value? Will you seek to know the reality of MY love for you, and reject the darkened, counterfeit love that the world has to offer?”
He calls us to come out of “Egypt.”
Let me explain. If we read through the word, we will see that Egypt is symbolic of the carnal mind and the beliefs and thoughts that are formed by satan that oppose the nature of our Creator. This makes sense since the bible states that satan is the god of this age. (2 Cor 4:4)
What are some of those “carnal” beliefs that we, as Christians hold as personal “truths?”
Here are some thoughts that oppose the truths of God:
My self-worth is tied to my successes/failures: it can increase or decrease
My self-worth can increase/decrease depending on what others think about me at that moment
My identity is tied to how God uses me (ie my “calling” or “ministry” )
My identity comes from how “mature” my walk is with God
My happiness depends on my circumstances
These thoughts are grounded in beliefs that are, in fact, lies. They are lies because the word of God says our worth and value and identity come from only one thing. That one thing is that the Blood of Jesus Christ made us holy, spotless and complete in His love. Father now always sees us the way He see His Son.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:21
“Yet now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and blameless before Him,” Col 1:22
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors,but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” 1 Pet 1:19
The bible is the story of our Father redeeming and restoring us to His house, to His table, to His bosom. We just cannot comprehend what it means to be “loved” by Him.
So, He tries to reveal His love to us in ways we can understand it. The fury of His love and passion for friendship and fellowship come through in ways we never even realize. And so He is constantly sending forth invitations to come to a deeper, richer, fuller understanding of how much He truly loves His children.
The land of Egypt in the bible is symbolic of the world and all that encompasses this realm. The word says that Adam relinquished the authority of this age to satan, who rules the earth at this time (2 Cor 4:4). The first call we will ever hear from our Savior is the Holy Spirit drawing us to come out of the sin, darkness and death of this world.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”1 Pet 2:9
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,” Col 1:13
“The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.” Isa 9:2
We are called to come out of the land of sin, death and decay. We are called to walk as children of light. (Eph 5:8, 1 Thess 5:5).
This is not about doing good “works.”
This is a state of being. It is a relational recognition of a spiritual reality we are called to abide in. Once we accept Jesus as our Savior, acknowledge our inability to earn salvation, and receive His atonement offered on the cross, we are given access to leave the death of the world behind us.
Our sins are forgiven and we are blameless in His eyes. To put a finer point on this reality, our self-worth is forever established as complete and full. We lack nothing. Our heavenly Dad see us as pure, and full of value. (Col 1:19-22, 2 Cor 5:17, 2 Cor 5:21)
However, If we, as children of God, continue to live as if we are still “sinners,” (biblical definition of “sinner” is someone who has not received Christ as savior) we will continue to relate to the God, ourselves, and others as if we still were not redeemed.
Our minds are still in “Egypt” in this case. Read the account of the Jews as they wandered out there in the desert. Though the assembly of people left Egypt under the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, on the eve of the Passover and the blood covering them from the spirit of death (type and shadow of the accomplished work of the cross) they never got slavery out of their hearts.
“Is not this the word that we did tell you in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.” Ex 14:12
What I found even more heart breaking, is the fact that the Lord told them He was bring them into a land flowing of milk and honey.
The Lord speaking to Moses said:
“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–the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.” Ex 3:8
“I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey.” Ex 33:2-3
The land of rest was a land that lacked nothing. It was meant to be a place of rest and communion with the One True God.
But the assemblies’ response once things became difficult, was to directly challenge the truth of God’s word. They called good, evil and evil, good. They decided that Egypt was in fact, the land of abundance. the very land of death, cruelty and slavery was starting to be referred to as what God promised them He was bringing them into.
The elders said to Moses:
“Isn’t it enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness? And now you also want to lord it over us!” Num 16:13
This is the result of not understanding the heart of our Dad. To the degree that we do not understand the depth of His love for us, is the degree we will turn to the world for our identity, worth and peace.
Turning to the world for our rest and peace, in any form, is a form of living in Egypt.
How we relate to our Lord, determines how we will relate to everything else in our life. We either live as sons of God in our hearts and minds , or slaves, still bound in our hearts and minds to the lies of “Egypt.”
“But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets.” Jer 7:24-25
The love of God is manifesting Himself upon His children in the form of wooing us back to His heart. Wooing comes in many different ways.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” 1 Tim 3:16
This is not “law.”This is not about what self-righteous religion refers to as “works” ie the notion that being “good” or what we are “accomplishing” determines how pleasing we are. That thinking is “law.” That is dead man’s thinking. That is what the bible refers to as “fleshly-minded” thinking.
If we are going to take what is ours…. we need to spend time with Him. Not the common answer though, right? Some of you might have been expecting more along the lines of “ ya gotta reach out and claim it. Grab it. Declare what is yours!”
There is a time and place for that. But the first step of taking hold of what is ours is to turn our backs on what is not.
This world is not ours.
This is not our home. This is not our world. We are citizens of heaven the bible tells us. The first step in walking with the Lord in spirit and truth is to repent. The problem is, we think repentance is to turn from a lifestyle that conflicts with His nature. That is only a part of it. Repentance is two-fold. It involves turning from one thing in order to turn to another.
The body of Christ, by in large, does not understand what we are to turn to. It is only when we truly understand what we are meant to walk in as a child of God, that we can turn away from what is not walking as a redeemed son/daughter.
At some point in our walk, we will feel the Holy Spirit calling us. Calling upon the hearts of His children to come away with Him. The pain and sorrow and fear will begin to become too unmanageable at some point in our lives. The point at which we will turn to seek His love and His face and His goodness above the things of this world will be determined on how stubborn we are, or how well we have built up our defense mechanisms in order to cope with the pain and fear of this fallen world.
“There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’ “ Hos 2:16
There is no way around it. If we are going to find out how much our Loving father, Savior and Almighty Counselor love us, we will have to break ties with the things we have turned to in order to find a false rest.
“They are not false.” some of us might be thinking. Well… if that were true, the peace would not subside. We go back to things because we are looking for a return to the temporal peace they give us. Second, if that were true, it would not oppose the word of God. No, this world and its beliefs are counterfeits.
“So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,” Heb 4:19
This is a rest that never leaves. A perfect rest that is all-encompassing.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you:” Isa 26:3
Coming face to face with what we truly are relying upon for our rest and peace is a scary ordeal. It is not easy to decide we are going to give up something, for the promise of something we do not yet experience or feel we possess.
This is why when we decide we will go deeper will God, He begins to unleash His master plan to turn the entire world upside down in order to make it possible for you to do so. Here is the most wonderful thing about it. He makes all of heaven and earth turn on its head… because He loves you.
The first step is deciding that we no longer want to live under transient and conditional peace of this world. Our peace was never meant to be contingent upon our circumstances.
Our peace is not supposed to change whether or not we get a raise, have a car that starts reliably, or have family, friends or strangers like us or despise us.
Our peace is not meant to come and go based on how “faithful” a christian we are. “Did I study His word enough today? Did I read enough today? Did I walk like Jesus today? Did I think about His kingdom enough…?”
Look at the lives of Abraham,, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, and John the Baptizer to name a few.
They went out into arid places to seek the face of God. Some went willingly. Some were driven there; the hooves of rejection and death hard on their heels. But our Savior held them up, ministered healing to them, and gave each one of them a revelation of His nature and love. They learned to recognize His voice.
He changed each and every one of their hearts.
“Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, ‘It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.’ The second son he named Ephraim and said, ‘It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.’ “ Gen 41:51
“To appoint to them that mourn in Zion, to give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness,” Isa 61:3
Those that “mourn” in this verse are those who are grieving the life that is lived apart from living in God’s truth and love. Those who seek Him… will be filled to overflowing.
These men are no more special than you and I. Let me say that again.. actually let me say what the Word says:
“For there is no respect of persons with God.” Rom 2:11
The way our Lord desires to use us has nothing to do with our worth. The church, deep down, by her actions, outlook, words, and attitude, demonstrates that she does not truly believe this.
Does the bible say some are more the righteousness of Christ than others? Are some elect more redeemed, more forgiven, or more His sons or daughters than others?
Are some more loved…? What does your Lord and Savior say?
Please, understand the heart of God. Any situation that causes us to feel fear, loss, pain, anxiety, turmoil, anger or depression… these are opportunities to look at what we truly are believing about ourselves… and our Father. Find a quiet place in Him and read his word. Study it. Cry and weep and laugh and talk with Him. He is right there… next to you.. inside your heart.. all around you. You are His child, His beloved… His passion.
It is His intense jealousy for that will have Him call you to Himself. That will look a bit different for each person with our earthly eyes.
But… spiritually it is all the same.
“But He(Jesus) would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.” Luke 5:16
This is a calling that so many of God’s children have misunderstood, feared and so shunned away from. It is a place of quiet separation in our hearts.
This is what is often referred to as “the wilderness experience.” Not everyone has answered the call. If we had, the nation would not be in the condition it is in right now. Neither would the church. But the call never stops, and He is drawing His children in this generation.
There is much to discuss along these lines. He is Faithful though. He is Patient. He is Love. And He is waiting…
“When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.” Hosea 11:1