They were set free. But after centuries of slavery, Israel almost chose to remain in bondage.
You are either bound for the promised land, or permanently bound by the present land. What you believe about you determines which of those is true for you.
In 2003, a lady named Marie tipped the scales at 271 pounds. She could have insisted that it was genetic. She might have concluded that she was just “big-boned” or that she suffered from an eating disorder.
Instead, Marie got fed up with being overfed. She decided to change. She believed she could. She did. By changing her eating habits, she began to lose weight. Then she added exercise. After two years, she was 116 pounds lighter.
In 1994, J. Gravelle was drug-addicted, homeless, and dumpster diving for dinner – the results of “a series of atrocious personal choices and self-destructive behaviors.” By 1999, he owned a house, was a successful businessman, had a beautiful wife and son, and was running for public office.
But, this is not about weight loss or homelessness. It’s about something more significant. It’s about attitude and belief –about realizing potential and living what Jesus called life “to the full” (John 10:10).
Do you believe people can change? Do you believe you can? Your Father does.
God knows people can change – can move from the humdrum hovels of slaves to a land pulsing with prosperity. The Exodus story tells how God moved his people from slavery to sovereignty, from cowardice to conquest, from poverty to prosperity. Throughout the Bible, you find the phrase “out of Egypt” 143 times (NIV). He made that event pivotal to understanding his relationship with his people. It serves as a symbol of what is possible for those who believe.
It was not easy for Israel. They were not quickly convinced. When called by God, Moses did not believe. When recruited to rally, Israel’s captains complained. Even gathered up and gone from Egypt, the people grumbled, “We were better off back there!”
But, a new day dawned and God’s children rubbed the sleep from their eyes peering out of houses they did not build over vineyards they did not plant, contemplating comforts they had never comprehended.
When God says “Repent because the kingdom is close,” it’s because it really is. It’s already “within you” (Luke 17:10). He stands ready “to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).
Bound by the present? Or bound for the promised land? Which do you believe?