From my Journal on February 21, 2013

Exodus 13:16 (ESV):

…for by a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.

Jesus, it occurs me to me that it is with a strong (not weak) hand that you redeem and deliver us from the bondage of sin. Four times in this chapter your “strong hand” is mentioned. 

You want us to go straight to the land of promise, the victorious Christian life. But many followers live in the wilderness for years and years, never entering the land of promise. They live with false identities, fears, lack of trust resulting in lack of peace. Your hand is strong…strong enough to take us to the promise land. 

Help me to neither go back to bondage in Egypt nor spend wasted time in the wilderness, but rather live in what you have promised and desired for me.

The unbelief of ten spies kept 600,000 (plus women and children) in the wilderness for 40 years; scary the effect leadership attitudes can have on others.

+Additional Thoughts:

Honestly, I am tired of seeing so many of God’s children constantly and consistently struggling with sinful habits, sinful attitudes, sinful bondage and sinful pasts. I am tired of seeing them long for Egypt or being content to wander in the wilderness instead of experiencing the promised land of victory, freedom and joy.

I often think of Romans 6:12, 13 (The Message):

“That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with the old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things.”

I don’t want to ever forget and to always live in the light of the fact that I have been raised to newness of life. The power of sin has been broken in my life due to the death and resurrection of Jesus.

“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” Romans 6:5 & 6 (ESV)

Did you see that?  “…so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” So that we would no longer be pulled back into Egypt or be content to wander in the wilderness far away from what he has for us, because He has a strong hand!

Now I know people struggle and that sin has a huge pull on all of us. I want to be gentle and understanding with those who struggle greatly. At the same time, I also know that Jesus has something better in mind for us and He wants us to trust him for it.

As for me, by His grace, and as I am led and empowered by Him:

I’m going for broke

I want to play every note of the music God has placed within me

I don’t want fear of man or fear of anything else to disable me or hold me down or back

I want to dream of things I have never dreamed of, try things I have never tried,

and experience things I have never experienced.

I want to live my life out loud to the glory of God

Because the lord of heaven and earth has a strong hand!