Have you been brought out?
I wanted to share with you a verse that I came across the other day while reading the bible. I felt that it was a powerful little verse, and maybe you will agree after reading it. Deuteronomy 6:23 reads, "And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in..." This verse initially was referring to what was going on with the Israelites, but I believe that it is speaking to each of us also right now today. You see, the Israelites had to be brought out of the bondage of Egypt before they could be brought in to the Promised Land, and present-day believers have to be brought out of a place of sin and bondage in the world before we can be brought in to heaven!
So what I want to speak on in this paper is the importance of truly remaining "brought out." Lots of people say that they want to follow the Lord and that heaven is their true home, but many of those same people refuse to be brought out of their current ungodly situations. But you cannot have it both ways. You cannot be at two places at the same time. The Lord wants us, no, DESERVES us to be His and His alone. But if Egypt (the world) is still what you crave for in your heart, you run the risk of never being brought in to heaven.
Remember how none of the Israelite adults ever made it to the Promised Land except for Caleb and Joshua? God set them free from their captivity so that He could bring them in to a new wonderful place, but the Israelite people kept returning to their old ways and their old mindsets. And while on the journey to their new home, instead of being led by God, they oftentimes would let heathenish people influence their actions. At one point they even made the mistake of giving the glory that belonged to God alone to an idol.
And time and time again they murmured against the Lord. Some of them even began to long for Egypt in their hearts. They forgot the part about being slaves in Egypt and instead reminisced as though those were "the good old days." The Israelites eventually were even too fearful to step out on faith and believe that God would lead them to victory over their foes. All of these things ultimately lead to them missing out on being brought in to where God wanted them to be. God's Word tells us how all of this made Him feel. It reads, "I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries" (Psalm 81:10-14). God would have and could have done so much for them, but in the end they just murmured, wandered, and missed out.
And what about you? Are you opening your mouth wide to what the Lord is trying to fill it with so that He can lead you home to heaven safely, or are you not hearkening to His voice and remaining stuck in your walk, always going back to the ways of Egypt (the world)?
What is keeping YOU from being truly set free? Is it thirst? As soon as a dry spell occurs in your life, do you have trouble recalling all that the Lord has already done for you? Is it hunger? Are your appetites only satisfied by the sinful things that the world has to offer? Are idols your downfall? Are you giving God's glory to another and allowing your life to be ruled by people around you? Is it fear? Are you afraid to totally commit your life to the Lord because you know that in so doing, some serious changes would have to take place? Well, the Israelites faced all of these same challenges and failed. But we should use their failure as an example for us of what not to do. You don't want to spend the next 40 years wandering here on earth only to die and end up in hell because you refused to be brought out. Let's look at some verses that show us how people who have truly been brought out should live:
1 Peter 1:14-16, "...As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
Exodus 20:2-3, "I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
1 Thessalonians 4:7, "For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness."
2 Corinthians 6:17, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord almighty."
Ephesians 4:22-24, "...That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
You see, when you have been brought out, it is understood that you are not to go back to that former place! When God destroys something in you that needed to be torn down, do not set about trying to rebuild it. Do not try to bring it along for the journey. Keep moving forward.
I will end this paper with these important words that Jesus told us in Luke 17:32, "Remember Lot's wife." It's just three words, but they are mighty important. The Lord wanted us to again learn from someone else's mistake. Like you, Lot's wife was on her way to salvation. God had brought her out of a place of certain destruction so that He could bring her in to salvation and a new life. But she got caught up in the past and died in her tracks. She missed out on being brought in. (Refer to Genesis 19:1-26)
Friend, do not be like Lot's wife. Do not be like the wandering Israelites. Once you have been brought out, STAY OUT. Do not go back. Do not even look back. Lot's wife looked back and it cost her her life. Was her "trip down memory lane" worth dying for? Of course not. And there should be nothing in your sinful past worth not being brought out over. You do not want to miss out and end up in hell. You know what God's commands are. You know what He would have you do. You have been convicted in your heart regarding those people and places that you need to be broken off from. Do not even think about revisiting any of it. It will ensnare you. It will cause you to lose all of the forward motion that the Lord has already started in your life. Keep your hand to the plow and your face forward! Luke 9:62, "And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."