Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Leave slavery, come into the promised land

By Odon Bulamba (20th March 2011)  summary

We just sang a song from the book, page number 111 (the emergency number in NZ) and it is titled, “I belong to You”. Do you really belong to Jesus today? The second song we sang had the words, “I’ve found where I belong” and we also sang, “I love you so much”. Do I love Jesus sooo much, really? With what kind of love do I love Him? Is it only a one way love where I ask for things and when I get them, then I love God or is it a love we have because we have a good relationship with Jesus.

God doesn’t forget the need of our souls. We human beings focus on our material needs but God focuses on the essential things in our lives (our soul). What will you gain if you take the kingdom of earth but lose the kingdom of heaven? Jesus needs to see your soul alive.

Romans 3:1-4. God is true but every man be a liar. How is God true in my life? Allow God to act as God in your life.

Exodus 14:10-16. The people of Israel who had also sung to God how much they love him, were now given the chance to leave Egypt and go to a new land. It was time for them to leave after 400 years of captivity, generation after generation living as slaves.

A slave has no rights and is not considered as a human being. They are really humiliated and are considered less valuable than our toilet, or our dog poo. In Egypt, some people used to collect camel poo to use for gardens but the lives of the slaves were less valuable than the poo.

Moses told the Israelites it’s now time to leave Egypt and go to a place of milk and honey. They used to collect milk and honey for their masters and they were never given the chance to eat it. They were whipped with whips that had sharp ends attached to them so they would be seriously injured and then they had to carry on working. They were tortured physically, mentally, and spiritually. How loud were they crying to God?

God was watching for 400 years and said, ‘this is the promise I gave to Abraham, I can’t intervene until the 400 years is complete. It was therefore a joy when it was time to leave and go to the promise land where there won’t be sufferings anymore. Everybody was ready to go with joy and courage but after walking for a while and finding problems on the way, their joy and courage stopped.

There is a process to leave slavery, a process to leave Egypt and go to Canaan. The Israelites found themselves in front of the Red Sea. Pharaoh prepared 600 chariots and captains and he was ready to fight and take them back by force and anyone who resisted was going to be killed.

When the Israelites saw Pharaoh’s men coming they were very afraid and started to panic. When we are in fear, we lose our strength and feel completely weak and we lose our joy. Israel cried out, “help, intervene” and sometimes when we are afraid, we cry out to God and we don’t even know what to say.

The Israelites complained to Moses, “Why did you pull us out of Egypt? Why did you bring us here to face such challenges?” Imagine 1.5 million people against you. Sometimes we want to help people and they turn against us. Many people have that gift of being offended, “I’m offended” even when we are thinking of their best interest so we think it’s better not to assist anymore but Moses continued to help.

The Israelites forgot the promises that God gave them that after 400 years slavery will end. They didn’t think about that. Moses put aside his fear and turned to God. God told him not to be afraid, to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. Romans 3:1-4 says we have to allow God to be true. If we allow God to act in our lives, He will do it but if we don’t allow it, He won’t.

God promised to them, “you’ll never see Egyptians FOREVER”. This story reminds us that threats should not stop you from doing the glory of God. We have to remember that there is a process to salvation from our problems. For example, to have a baby there is a process called pregnancy which is difficult but at the process will end and there will be joy when it does.

When people go through a process, it becomes hard and they give up along the way. They feel like God is wasting their time and they want to do whatever they want. But God is asking us to not be threatened or intimidated by what you see around you, stand still, stick on God’s promises and let Him act.

Many people say, “if God is good, then He would never let this happen to me”. In Ex14:15, God said, “why do you cry to me, I gave you everything you need.” We have our own responsibility and our own role to play. God used Moses to take Israel out, Moses himself had to act.

There is a process to being saved and it’s a hard process. Today behind you is satan with a big army and commanders are attacking us. Satan doesn’t want us to escape his kingdom and he needs us back, he’s angry (like Pharaoh). For example, I don’t want to lie anymore, and I tell God, ‘Lord, I’m in a panic, Lord help me” and God looks at you, ‘why do you cry to me, I gave you everything that you need. You can stop lying in your own. Satan can’t force you to lie, he doesn’t have that power. Whenever you feel temptation, tell satan, ‘don’t even try’ and satan will eventually stop trying.

Things we think are cool are sometimes evil. God communicates with our heart. When we want to do something wrong, our conscience tells us it’s wrong and we tell our conscience shut up. Israel told Moses we should go back and sometimes we feel like it’s better to go back to our old life but you are losing your life when you go back to your old lifestyle although you feel like you are gaining it.

When we go back to our old friends and old lifestyle, we are letting God down, we are letting down His Kingdom and we are letting down our souls and the souls of others.

Jeremiah 29:11 God has a plan for you. He has thoughts of peace and not evil, thoughts that will give you hope and a future. Sometimes we think it’s better to be a slave, we are impatient waiting for God and we feel like our old life is better than our new life. But just as the Israelites didn’t belong to Egypt, we don’t belong in this world.

God asked Moses, “what do you have in your hand?” He had a staff which is something simple and yet it was enough to save 1.5 million people. God didn’t need gold or money, just a simple staff and it was able to change the situation of people’s lives. With your small faith you can move mountains. God has given you all that you need.

Moses was told to stretch out his hand with the staff and sometimes in our daily situations we have to stretch ourselves and accept to go through that pain. When Moses stretched out his hand, the Red Sea parted. God accomplished His plan, “You’ll see them no more” and Moses stretched out his hand again and saw the salvation of God on that day (as promised) and the waters came back and the Egyptians were gone forever.

When you stand in God’s promises, put fear aside and decide to allow God to act as God and you don’t fall into temptation, you’ll see God’s glory and those problems you’ll never see them again. Sometimes we want only pleasure in our life so we choose pleasure which leads to death because the only true please is the Kingdom of God.

We have to remember the battle is not ours but we have a part to play in that battle. For example, if you don’t want to make an effort to eat, no one can force you. The nurses can put food in your mouth but if you don’t want to chew and swallow, they can’t make you and eventually you will vomit it out. Day after day we vomit on Jesus but He continues to say, ‘Come back, I’m waiting for you”.

God has a plan for you and He wants to accomplish something through you and if you accept to cross the Red Sea and not go back to your sin, you find salvation. Sin tastes good but the Word of God tastes bitter because it makes us feel bad. The Lord has played His role and if you want salvation, if you want blessing, it’s up to you to decide. Usually we don’t decide. When you were saved, you promised God that you will follow Him from now on but after waling a bit, you start to complain, ‘temptation and satan is after me’ but keep going forward, this is a process and you will reach a point where satan can’t reach anymore (like the Egyptians couldn’t cross the Red Sea).

Jesus paid the price for us to be children of God but not so we can mock God and let our Father down or make the world believe He is not a good Father.

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