“If you’re a Christian, you don’t live in Egypt anymore.” Holley Gerth, You’re Already Amazing, copyright 2012.
I love that line by Holley. Of course, she doesn’t mean you literally don’t live in the country of Egypt, because some of you may actually live there! Instead, she is referring to the Biblical journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land, chronicled in the Old Testament.
Whenever I go back and read and reflect on their journey, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes that used to hang on the wall of my classroom when I was a teacher:
“Prepare the youth for the path, and not the path for the youth.” Benjamin Barr Lindsay
Whatever our personal journey is, we can be assured of one thing: He prepares us for it every step of the way. Whether we find ourselves somehow back in the bondage of “Egypt”, encamped in the daily grinds of life, setting out into uncharted waters, or arriving at the Promised Land, if we have been actively seeking His guidance and presence on the path, He has been providing it.
We all have a part of the journey we have trouble living (leaving Egypt, being encamped for a bit, setting out when God says “GO”, or ARRIVING at our final destination). For instance, even though the bondage of “Egypt” is oppressive, some of us might prefer staying there (you know, better the devil you know…?). But the thing is, you can’t get to where He wants you to be without leaving where you are! Take heart, take courage, and ask Him to get you out of there – He will prepare you! If this sounds like you, you might find courage and comfort in this:
For me (and maybe for you) the hardest part of the journey is the encampment part. I have always been an eager beaver! I love moving forward, seeking new adventures, and frankly, I get bored if I stay in one “season” too long. Like, Holley, “wait” is the not a word I enjoy hearing from God. So I need to be aware that the encampment phase of the journey is the time He spends preparing me the most! He hasn’t forgotten me, He hasn’t picked someone else to fulfill my purpose, He hasn’t changed His mind about where He’s leading me, and He hasn’t left me to find my own way. For people like me, we can find great comfort in this Truth (our verse from last week!):
Sometimes, it’s setting out and taking those first few steps in faith that scare us most. We sort of prefer just walking around in those ruts we have worn into the ground, even though the path isn’t getting us anywhere, and we’re almost unaware how close we are to reaching the GOOD land! But just like God commanded the Israelites in Deuteronomy 2:3, we need to change course (…”turn North!”) and get out of the rut. With no fear. Because He is right there with us on the path:
Finally, after the journey has come to its completion and the time has come for us to step foot in and “own” our Promised Land, it isn’t uncommon for the fears of the “what ifs” to take hold of us. You know what I mean. “What if it isn’t as good as I thought it would be?” “What if this is it and I don’t have anywhere else to get to?” “What if I took a wrong turn and ended up where I shouldn’t be?” “What if someone tries to destroy it?”
Well, you can take heart in knowing that wherever He has led you, whatever is there waiting for you, however long you will be there – it’s ALL GOOD. And God’s “good” is greater than anything you can imagine.
We have promised lands in many areas of our lives – it isn’t just a one-time, one-place kind of thing! The important thing to remember is that no matter where we are on each journey, as He brings us out of where we started to bring us in to where we belong, He has prepared us for each step on the path! Stop looking around at everyone else’s Promised Land and falling into the comparison trap. God has prepared you for YOUR path, not mine. And He wants you to keep yourself focused on that, not on the people around you!
I am not trying to please people. I want to please God. Do you think I am trying to please people? If I were doing that, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10, CEV
Here we are! Week 5 of our Fall Series (that means we are half way through our series and just about half way through our AMAZING book!!). Here’s what you need to know about this week’s homework:
- Rewrite/memorize our scripture for the week! It’s that awesome verse just above – Galatians 1:10, CEV!
- Read Chapter 6 of You’re Already Amazing, by Holley Gerth! Complete exercises within the chapter itself AND the Go Deeper Guide Questions for Chapter 6 at the back of the book on pages 203-205.
- Listen to our song for this week: “Love Song” by Third Day. If you ever wondered how amazing God thinks you are and how much He loves you, well, this will answer those questions! It’s my favorite love song ever! I couldn’t find a full version of the song on YouTube that I liked better than this clip of Mac Powell (lead singer) singing just the first verse and chorus (it’s a few years old), but I LOVE it!!! Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulF23jpFvyY.
I pray you each have a great rest of the week and weekend! May God bless every step of your journey!
Peace, love, and GLORY!
Up Monday: Another fun, Monday Morning Glory post: Pope Francis and His Digital Disciples!!!