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Back to Egypt
Posted on May 22, 2009

Do you ever have trouble trusting God, I do.  I am ashamed of it, but there it is.  Time and time again God has proven Himself faithful to us, but it seems like every time we get into a bind, anxiousness settles in.  I know that 1 Peter 5:7 says “casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”  I have memorized, translated from Greek, exegeted, and preached on that verse.  Doesn’t matter; as soon as things get dicey I get anxious.  I pray, journal, pray, study, cry out to God… still it is hard.

This morning I was thinking and praying through this.  It occurred to me that I am not alone in this.  Not sure this really should be classified as encouragement; more along the lines of misery loves company.  Israel leaped to mind.

Israel saw the Lord perform amazing miracles.  Starting with the plagues, they were lead out of Egypt by the Lord’s power and His anointed servant Moses.  They were really content to follow Him right up to the Red Sea where they begin to complain (Exodus 14:11).  The Lord opened up the Red Sea, which they walked across on dry land, and then closed the Sea on their pursuers.  They were really content to follow Him then, until they got hungry, then they wished they were back in Egypt (Exodus 16:3).  So God gave them food.  They were really content to follow Him then, until they got thirsty.  Then like at the Red Sea, they complained that they would have been better off in Egypt (Exodus 17:3).  So God gave them water.  They were really content… you get the picture.

They not only had this miraculous protection and provision, they had the presence of the Lord continually in both the form of a cloud by day and a column of fire by night, as well as the handpicked leader Moses, who talked with God face to face.  Still they were anxious. 
True they did not have the Holy Spirit.  He rested only on Moses.  I do.  That would seem to make it easier to follow and trust the Lord.  Nope. 

Why is that?  It seems to me that the issue is comfort.  Israel was comfortable in Egypt.  Though they were oppressed and slaves, they knew where the meat and the water were coming from.  They could see it.  In the wilderness they could not.  They had to trust that the manna would be there every morning.  In Egypt they could cruse.

As I thought about this it seems to me my flesh is like Israel.  It craves comfort.  It is also fallen and linked to the world, which is also fallen.  My flesh craves to rest in the world’s systems.  To not have to live a life of belief in things for which it cannot determine the source.  It wants control.  No matter the control is an illusion of the world system; it wants it.

So the battle for me is to daily choose to give into the flesh’s demand for control or through the Spirit to crucify the demands of the flesh.  Problem is the flesh does not seem to crucify easily and seems to resurrect each day with a renewed determination to “go back to Egypt.”
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