When the Israelites cried out to God for help, how did they see God answering their prayer? They were asking God to deliver them out of slavery but what was their slavery? To them it was forced labour. So when God answered their cry, He sent Moses to bring deliverance to the nation; the answer to their forced labour had come. But God came to bring them complete freedom. This freedom was not going to simply be freedom from forced labour but it was a freedom that would permeate every part of their lives, if they allowed it. God always gives us far more than we could ever pray for.
Wisdom, Understanding and Insight
God does not enter our lives based upon being the answer to our present circumstances. He expects us to understand that we have gone from being in one kingdom to another. This kingdom requires relationship. This transition from one kingdom to another is immediate. We receive His grace and understanding as we gradually learn what His kingdom is all about. It is not about giving up one lifestyle for another. It is more significant than that; it is about a step from one spiritual dimension to another. It requires an understanding that we have entered into a place that requires Godly wisdom and insight into all things. We cannot have an attitude of choosing to live one way or another. There is only one way to live. If the Israelites understood what they were asking when they cried out to God, they would not have gone astray in the desert.
Humility and Renewed Minds
The Israelites witnessed a God who brought supernatural, miraculous acts to a nation, bringing them out of slavery by His mighty hand. For many this was their first supernatural encounter with the God they served. As these people witnessed the manifest power of God, the next stage was to get to know Him and His ways for their nation. This required humility and renewed minds. To resist having one’s mind renewed keeps mankind in a place of ignorance and this marks the downfall of this generation of Israelites and the many that follow their own hearts.
“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6
Complete Salvation is Ours!
The Israelites understood being saved out of a place but never really understood the complete salvation that was theirs. They had entered into a new way of living, a way that brought freedom. Mankind will eventually fall if they don’t understand and receive the complete salvation of God. To walk with God requires a completely different understanding of life and how to live it under God? For many of us our lives might have been soaked in Christian teaching from the day we were born. But for the majority we will have had years of learning about the world and its ways, so that when we come to God we struggle to change our mindset. The world teaches us about self and how we can improve our lives. God teaches us about others and how we can improve the lives of those around us and in doing so we improve our own. For those of you who struggle with life as a Christian, read the journey of the Israelite nation and ponder the struggles they had with adjusting from life in Egypt to life with God.
Effects of a Displaced People
The Israelites became a displaced people who shifted from one season of their lives to another with no understanding of what they were entering into. Their vision was hindered because of the effect displacement had produced in their lives. As we cry out to God for change we can shift from one season of our lives to another without knowing how to handle it. We can react to the extreme changes that occur; affecting us emotionally, spiritually and sometimes physically.
Are we prepared for change?
We can long for change and yet are we prepared for it? The Israelites cried out for God to deliver them from their slavery but what did they see as the solution. Did they simply want to be ruled by a pharaoh equal to the one that was in power when Joseph ruled Egypt? This would have been a fleshly answer to prayer. The Israelites had lost sight of the promises of God. Their prayer should have been “Forgive us God for going astray, living our lives our way instead of believing that your way is the answer. Show us the promised land.” The Israelites had lost sight of the promise of God to have a land of their own. We often pray prayers in which we have the answer wrapped up in our hearts. We wouldn’t reveal this to those we pray with, but all of us like to think that we know the solution to the problems in our lives. “If I could just have this, that or the other.” is usually the cry of our hearts and yet how can we ever know what is best for us. Only God knows that. The answers to our prayers are always in line with God’s purpose for our lives as well as for the lives of our family. If the answers to our prayers require a tremendous shift in our lives, then we must be careful to walk closely with God so that we understand the new season we are entering into.