Monday, February 28, 2011

Coming Out of Egypt

by Donna L. Watkins

I have received so much good from many health issues I've had and have.  Although healing is God's desire for us as we uncover the sins and iniquities of our own or past generations passed down, but God's promise in Romans 8:28 ("And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him ... ") is true in my life, because after running all around the world for answers, I've come to realize that loving God with all my heart, soul, strength and mind (Luke 10:27) is the true answer.

Let me assure you, I have not arrived yet and I believe there is no arrival here on earth since we will not be able to fathom His holiness and glory until we are in His presence and then it will take eternity as He reveals layer upon layer of His glory to us.

I have been so very blessed by many books that I've read over the years, but there are few that have totally changed the way I see things. The first relating to health was Henry Wright's book, "A More Excellent Way" which showed me that there are spiritual roots to most diseases and that disease is usually a spiritual issue. It took years to absorb and renew my belief systems about that, but it has made my healing path possible. We can't expect something to happen if deep inside we don't believe it can. That book turns the head around about what is at the root of many many diseases.

Now, I can say another book that I've read two times has certainly changed my world and life around again, along with my husband's, praise God. That book is John Bevere's, "A Heart Ablaze: Igniting a Passion for God" that I've also read twice.   I began with another of his books, "The Fear Of The Lord: Discover the Key to Intimately Knowing God," that I've also read twice.

These are books that require you to make a choice for God or the world. They are not light-hearted books, but I believe in these times, God is drawing more of us to His heart and we will desire more of Him as He does so. The end result being that nothing else will satisfy our wounded and longing hearts that have been battered and bruised by this world. He truly can be a shelter for us in the midst of any storm and He will bring us out renewed and restored, able to truly do all things, in the circumstances of our world, through Him.  I'm not talking about legalism here ... it's freedom and grace living at its finest.

God gave us promises that we would not have the diseases of Egypt (a prototype of the world system then and now) for all in the Old Testament is a prototype of what came in the New Testament through Jesus. We remember the promises He gave us in Deuteronomy ... but we don't always focus on the "if clause" to know what was required to activate those promises and we surely don't want to consider that we may be doing the things that God said would bring curses.

It's easier to say the Old Testament is 'old' and not for today, but the Bible says, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto good works" (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

We live in a culture of being told we can have it our way and get whatever we desire with our own intelligence and strength. We don't want to read much about obedience and God's requirements for success, prosperity and health because it takes away our "rights" of getting to do as we please. We can become a subculture of the world's system, separated only by the designated titles of "saved" or "Christian" without any change of behavior or renewing of the mind.

We look and act just like the world (Egypt) rather than being "separate and holy" as God required (2 Cor. 6). Do we want to be a child of God or a child of the world? God desires to live with us and walk with us, but He's a holy God and cannot do so if we choose to live "of the world." Separate means unconnected, not united, distinct. Are Christians distinct from non-believers? Does anybody know we're a Christian without our saying so?

These are things to think about .... and I've been grateful to have John Bevere's book paint a picture for me and my husband. We want to be one of the brides that are ready for the bridegroom when He comes. I never thought much about this Scripture (Matthew 7:23-24):

"Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"

Do you realize Jesus is talking to those who believed in Him. These were Christians that performed miracles, healed and cast out demons and called Him Lord, but when it came time to enter into eternity, they got a reply from Jesus asking them why they called Him Lord, when they did not do what He said. They were doing their own thing. Maybe good things in the church and for the church ... but not what Jesus' words had told us to do and be.

Often "good" is the devil's best tool to drive us to Hell. We can do good things to fulfill our own desires of what makes us feel good and what fits well into our schedules, but are we sincerely open to do and be only what Jesus wants us to be? A sobering question.

Jesus said, "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock" (Matthew 7:25). How much time do we spend reading His Words? These days you don't even take your Bible to church on Sundays. Some messages from the pulpit are so culturally relevant that they don't even include a Scripture, or it's misinterpreted to fit the culture.

We are in the times when Jesus return could be today. All the prophetic signs given by Jesus have been evident and have come to pass and are coming to pass. Will we be like those in the day of Noah? "For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark" (Mattew 24:38). Are we spending time with the one we expect to spend eternity with? Do we truly know Him as Lord? Do we desire to be with Him more than movies, magazines, newspapers, email, Facebook and Twitter? How easy it is to get carried away with the toys of this world.

God created us for fellowship with Him. That is the first and foremost calling on our lives. He can't use us if we are not in tune with His desires for us. We can be busy with church, volunteering and sacrifices in all areas of life ... but God desires obedience, not sacrifice. Consider Hebrews 10:8-9: "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, 'Here I am, I have come to do your will.' He sets aside the first to establish the second."

Will we set aside the first (love of ourselves) for the second (obedience to God)? It's an individual choice that we all make. Consider what 2 Timothy 3 says, "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power ... "

Do you find yourself in that list anywhere? I certainly do. When we bow before a holy God each morning, He will reveal to us things that we knew not were present within ourselves. The god of this world would have us enjoy the world and forget about eternity ... but it's time to depart Egypt and come into the Promised Land of milk and honey. Will you go? Israel left the ground of Egypt, but they never got Egypt out of their hearts and all of God's promises to them remained unfulfilled, not because He wasn't willing, but because they weren't willing. They died without seeing the Promised Land.

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